During the interview, Wood opened up about the past and his time at, Netflix. Back in 2007 Wood joined Netflix as a vice president to head up a project called Griffin to build Netflix a streaming player.
“Right when Griffin was going to ship, and I think it was [after Netflix signed] the LG deal, and that was looking like a much more scalable way to acquire customers…[Hastings] made the decision ‘We’ll just integrate Netflix into other stuff, why doesn’t Roku just ship the Project Griffin?’” Wood said.
The Project Griffin would become the first Roku in 2008 after Netflix invested $6 million into Roku for the launch of the player.
It truly is interesting to see how close Netflix came to becoming a streaming player company. It begs the question of how different cord cutting would be today if the Roku launched as a Netflix device.
Wood did not stop at the past but went on to talk about the future of Roku.
“Our goal is to build the operating system for TV, that is the long-term goal, it is like Android or Windows, we want all TVs in the world to run our platform,” Wood said. “If we do that, the stock will be worth a lot of money.”
Clearly Roku sees the future of streaming as a TV not a box. For now Roku seems to have a two-prong strategy by going after both the box and smart TV markets.
The question now is how quickly Roku will make the push into smart TV OSes and away from physical hardware.
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