Qwikster
Sure, Qwikster was a horror show. Just how scary was it, though? Image source: Netflix.

Some critics say that Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) nearly killed itself in 2011. The Qwikster error put a crimp in the company's growth for years, and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings still walks on eggshells.

That doom-and-gloom scenario makes for great headlines, but how close did Qwikster really come to destroying Netflix? The answer is: Nowhere near.

There's no question that Qwikster was a big blunder, but it never came close to dealing Netflix a fatal blow. And now the company has taken steps to move even farther away from the precipice where one huge mistake could prove disastrous.

Smart deal-making, bold content strategies, and a clever makeover of Netflix's balance sheet have combined to make the company immune to death-dealing overnight blunders. The first Qwikster incident wasn't all that terrible, and the next one (yes, management is human and will make more mistakes) will be even more harmless.

And in 2016, when the Walt Disney contract fully kicks in and expands the current Dreamworks Animation agreement to create a content powerhouse for young audiences, Netflix will stand on a rock-solid financial foundation.

In the slideshow below, Foolish entertainment specialist Anders Bylund explains how the Qwikster debacle really was a sheep in wolf's clothing, and what steps Hastings has taken to make the next misadventure even safer.

Anders Bylund owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends DreamWorks Animation, Netflix, and Walt Disney. Just like Anders, The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix and Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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