Watch and Learn: How I Turned Hollywood Upside Down with Netflix, Redbox, and MoviePass—Lessons in Disruption

Hachette Go. Sept. 2022. 272p. ISBN 9780306827266. $29. TV
Self-styled “Zen disruptor” Lowe chronicles his career in delivering movies to the masses, which he says was often in opposition to Hollywood itself. He lays out his trajectory: His unrealized dream of a self-contained VHS rental kiosk led to his running a video rental chain. Looking ahead to DVDs, Lowe found himself advising Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph, then joined the company pre-launch. Later, Lowe’s nascent rental kiosk idea would come to life in Redbox. More recently, Lowe took on MoviePass, shepherding it from a struggling start-up to a behemoth collapsing under the weight of its debt. Lowe’s disarmingly frank career memoir acknowledges both personal and professional failings; even as he peppers the narrative with lessons in entrepreneurship, he admits that he didn’t always apply them himself. He also has a self-deprecating side (the regular on the speaking circuit refers to himself as the guy you hire when you can’t afford Marc Randolph). And despite his three houses and willingness to invest five figure sums in iffy schemes, there’s something relatable about a man who once faked a heart attack to get out of a meeting.
VERDICT Business readers will admire Lowe’s acumen and the bite-sized takeaways at the end of each chapter. Media consumers will appreciate Lowe’s insider history of game-changing film companies.
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