Why I’m bullshit on Netflix (NFLX) stock

The majority of people just think of Netflix as a streaming service, but it has become the future of television entertainment for many. I fired my cable company two months ago and I don’t miss it one bit. A streaming service such as Netflix is as little as 1/10th the cost of a cable subscription, yet has far better quality content than anything I had on my cable company’s “Ultimate Plan.” I’m saving nearly $100/month and I feel like I’ve lost nothing in doing so.

Rapid Subscriber Growth

Lately Netflix has received a lot of negative headlines, mostly related to the cost of its original content, but Netflix is still growing rapidly. The number of subscribers seems to be growing with no end in sight, and the expansion into 130+ countries is seemingly being met with open arms. If you want to get an idea of how fast Netflix is growing, simply look at this graph which portrays the number of subscribers it had in each quarter:

The Disney Deal

Not only are they growing rapidly, but their recent deal with Disney puts them in an exclusive position to dominate the family-entertainment market. How many families will choose Netflix over Amazon Prime solely because it ensures their children can watch any Disney movie or show they want?

If that’s not enough, the deal also gave them exclusive rights to stream Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Marvel movies too. Disney and its subsidiaries are a content powerhouse and their titles add a plethora of content to Netflix that many consider to be timeless.

The Apple Buyout Rumor

While it’s just a rumor, Apple has been discussing an acquisition for several months; there was speculation that they would buy Time Warner but recent reports cite that bankers which worked with Apple say the company is considering purchasing Netflix. With Netflix having a current valuation of 43 billion, and Apple having over 200 billion in cash, the purchase would appear to be a decision that Apple should be very interested in.

The purchase would not only benefit Netflix shareholders, but Apple shareholders as well. Apple could use the subscriber base, which dwarfs Apple TV – it’s arguable that Apple TV was not successful when compared to the competition and their revenue is slowing down; Netflix is already profitable – imagine how much more profitable they will be once they reach the subscriber ceiling.

Conclusion

Netflix is a stock that, in my opinion, everyone should own a piece of. Despite a recent spike of nearly 15% in the past week, it’s not too late to get in and make some money. Even if the Apple buyout doesn’t happen, there is no ending to Netflix subscriber growth anytime soon.

Disclosure: I own shares in Netflix, there are personal opinions in this article and any decision you make to invest is yours and yours alone.

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Ghost photo storage issue on iphone iOS

My fiance has been complaining for months that her phone didn’t have enough space, that she couldn’t store even a handful of photos. I shrugged it off, saying “you must’ve downloaded too many apps” or something along those lines each time she mentioned it.  I probably should’ve looked at the device sooner but it wasn’t until she told me despite having zero photos saved that she could not take a 30 second video at our children’s baseball game that I finally said “you have got to be kidding” and decided to take a look.

What I found is that despite having zero photos in her gallery, and zero photos in her recently deleted folder, the iPhone claimed upwards of 8GB of storage were being used on photos. I saw an answer on stack overflow which suggested you manually set the phone’s date and time to a date several months back, so I tried that first. It did not seem to work, and I proceeded to waste a half hour attempting various other guesses on public forums.

I’ll skip discussing everything I did in fact try… What ultimately worked was not only manually setting the phone’s date and time to several months back, but also restarting the phone after setting said date manually. Once the iPhone restarted, I then was able to see the phantom files and delete them for good which cleared up nearly 10GB.

Surprisingly even the newest version of iOS does not seem to patch this issue despite numerous complaints from other users. The bug has existed since at least iOS 8.1. Someone with little tech knowledge could easily be convinced to upgrade to a “better” iPhone as this bug would make the average person believe they simply don’t have the space.

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Dealing with difficult clients who think they know it all

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs

difficult know it all clients

If you work in the web development industry and have ever had a client, or worked freelance, you’ve come across the occasional difficult clients which believe their ideas override years of experience and knowledge in best practices. While most of us won’t bring our car to the mechanic and stand over him telling him that he’s wrong or that you don’t trust his expertise, it seems to be common practice for many IT clients to carry a know-it-all attitude.

About six or seven years ago I was working for a web design and custom programming company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Our new client was a lawyer from the south who also happened to own multiple vacation rental properties. He had been using small listing services to market his properties to potential renters, but wanted to cut out the middle man by creating his own website. We started to build out a website which resembled AirBNB (which had only been around about a year at the time, and was unheard of by most), but the client complained about the look and wanted to incorporate elements of Alabama and Florida into the design and marketing of the website since those states were where his personal properties were located. Things like palm trees, the beach, and the sun were incorporated into the layout all of which the client appreciated very much.

The client appreciated the new elements too much, and decided he wanted to be flashy and add an animated dolphin jumping out of the margins of the screen while playing an “eEeEeEeEeEeEeEeEeEeE” mp3 sound, which would simply disappear after it was complete. I said I wouldn’t do it (for obvious reasons), and the client became irate. “I hired you so I am your boss so you do what I say” was his response to me kindly stating that we would not be able to implement his request. While I personally thought the idea was stupid, it boiled down to the amount of time necessary to execute what to him seemed like a simple task. I retorted with an explanation of the hours exhausted on the project so far, and referenced our original agreement in which we outlined everything which would be done and estimated time. The client demanded we not only do it, but do it for free. Him being a lawyer, he also made a variety of threats that he would bring the world crashing down on us if we didn’t essentially do anything he asked.

What can you do to avoid issues with difficult clients which could jeopardize your marketing efforts? Should you bite your tongue and do it anyway?

The older I get the more I’ve realized that while it may have given me more headaches, I’d have a lot more money if I had been willing to just let clients make their bad decisions. While the quote I copied and pasted from Steve Jobs is true, he wouldn’t have needed to say it if that’s how most companies thought. I’m not Apple, nor are you, so whether or not you bite the bullet and let your client put an animated dolphin jumping around on their website chirping is ultimately a decision that in my opinion should be based on how you are being paid and a variety of other things worth thinking about.

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1. Are you billing the client hourly or fixed rates?

Consider hourly if you find yourself undervalued. Fixed rates are calculated based on what someone estimates as the amount of time they will spend and what their time is worth. Because of this, a fixed rate could limit your income while an hourly rate guarantees limitless income on clients that are willing to exhaust extra time. By estimating the number of hours something will take to complete but billing for your time hourly, you put yourself in a great position for ensuring your time is fairly valued. When a client asks for something you weren’t expecting, it becomes a matter of telling them that it will add X hours to the project instead of needing to readjust some set-in-stone estimate.

2. Will the results of the modification negatively impact a metric which the client expects you to improve?

Will loading a chirping dolphin at the beginning of the page load effect you or only the client? If it doesn’t effect you, then the only thing that should matter is your bottom line and the client realizing that you are doing 100% of what they want from you. It’s good to politely make your position known, but if the client is adamant about doing something you see as a mistake you should just bill them and do it.

On the other hand if you are also running their google adwords account and something like this could kill conversion ratios then obviously this has a much greater impact on the long term happiness of your client. While in the short run they may be excited over a dumb animation, any decent business will care far more about the realization we see in the data.

3. Is it impossible?

Sometimes in software engineering we’re given problems that are outright impossible. If you haven’t seen it already, this video accurately portrays what it’s like being an expert engineer in a room full of people who don’t understand what we do. If a task is impossible, it simply can’t be done – just calmly explain to your client in terms they understand and try to offer a solution that may work.

 

What’s your opinion on handling difficult clients? I’m interested in what others have been through and how they resolved their issues with clients.

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Hello world!

Welcome to Coding on Coffee! I’ve never been much of a blogger – the only blogs I’ve ever owned up until now have been attempts at cashing in on the affiliate marketing cow, but I’ll try my best to be as entertaining and informative as possible.

I’ve been building websites since as long as I can remember there being an internet. It wasn’t always pretty – I started back when nearly everything was built with tables and frames.. We didn’t have Photoshop, or CSS, jQuery, AJAX, or a majority of the HTML tags we even use today. Computers back then wouldn’t have had the power to handle what we do today. I made logos and navigation menus in MS-Paint, and wrote HTML code in Notepad… sometimes during my middle school classes I would literally write out HTML in my trapper keeper notebook and visualize what it would look like in the Netscape browser.

Things have changed quite a bit… Now we create rounded edges in css instead of via making between 2-4 separate images, we make gradient backgrounds in css too, and sooner than later nearly all forms of design outside of the creation of logos will be something you can do purely in code. But with the advancements have also come expectations – websites must be responsive (work on mobile and desktop), they must be dynamic (jQuery/ajax), they must work 100% of the time (programming, database administration, server administration), they must be secure (network engineering, firewalls).

I thought about trying to write a book once, but technology moves too quickly for books. I bought a book on Symfony 2.1 several years ago and by the time I finished reading it 2.6 was the stable version. So this blog will now serve as my book. I’ll share tutorials, insight, my knowledge and experience, IT-related humor, and bits and pieces of my life as well. When talking about an issue I came across might help others, I’ll create a post about it with a clear solution.

If a post ends up helping you in any way, or you have a question or something that might help others, feel free to drop a comment.

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