Mar 15, 2020 - 11:14 AM
This is not true. Marc Randolph, the Netflix cofounder, talks about it in his book That Will Never Work. They were testing lots of different ideas and Netflix was Marc's idea. Reed was the first professional investor and later took over as CEO. Marc acknowledges that while the story about Blockbuster late fees was made up, it served as a good narrative for the company.
As for Ebay, that story is not true either. Pierre Omidyar is a quant and was fascinated by the idea of creating a market with perfect equilibrium, like in the theoretical models of economists. He came up with the Oprah story later.