When Netflix(Nasdaq: NFLX) closed out 2002 with 857,000 subscribers and announced it would land its millionth member by the end of the first quarter, it was an ambitious goal.

With Wal-Mart(NYSE: WMT) and Blockbuster(NYSE: BBI) rolling out similar online DVD rental services, pundits figured there was no way the company could grow fast enough to hit that mark come March.

The pundits were right. Netflix nailed the milestone in February.

The dot-com trendsetter may be taking liberties by asserting it hit the million-member mark quicker in its lifecycle than AOL Time Warner's(NYSE: AOL) America Online service (we weren't as wired a decade ago), but the growth spurt is impressive, regardless.

While Blockbuster continues to argue movie rentals are an impulse decision that won't translate well online and Wal-Mart buries rentals on its website, Netflix opened 17 different distribution centers and produced $15.8 million in free cash flow last year.

There's strength in numbers. Netflix provides a sticky service, and the dynamics just keep improving. As terror alerts spin the color wheel and soaring gas prices make staying at home a compelling cost-saving alternative, Netflix is there to serve the tired, the weary -- the couch potato.

The stock has almost doubled since being featured in November's The Motley Fool Select, trading above its $15 IPO price for the first time since shortly after last year's market debut.

Last month, the company projected it would produce cash flow of at least $40 million this year, with revenue climbing by at least 54% to fall between $235 million and $255 million. If users keep flocking to the site and its monthly DVD rental service in large numbers, those figures will no doubt appear conservative in retrospect.

If only investing came with a fast-forward button, we could see how this Stocks 2003 company will fare this year.