Legend has it that Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX ) founder and CEO Reed Hastings rented a copy of Apollo 13 from Blockbuster (OTC: BLOKA.PK) and was tagged with a $40 late fee. He went for a workout and conceived of the idea of renting movies via monthly subscription, similar to gym memberships.
At the time, in 1997, Blockbuster was a dominant multibillion-dollar company with massive brand recognition. Just 13 years later, the company inches toward bankruptcy, while Netflix sports a market cap of $6 billion. And this stunning transfer of wealth all began when a totally dominant company pissed off the wrong man at the wrong time.