If someone created a time machine and went back to the year 1998, they would enter a world that is completely different from that of 2018. Just 20 years ago, names like Blockbuster and American Online were titans of their respective industries, and those of Netflix and Google were relatively unknown outside of small circles in California's Silicon Valley. Since the late '90s, Blockbuster and American Online have become shells of their former selves, with the former only having one store still in operation and the latter being nothing more than a search engine for the Baby Boomers. During that same time, Netflix and Google have grown into the giants they are today, forever changing the paradigm and charting a new path for others to follow. But which came first - Google or Netflix?
It may come as a surprise that Netflix (August 1997) is over a year older than Google (September 1998), though the original Netflix is far different from what millions of subscribers now use to look for a movie for 30 minutes before deciding on another rewatch of The Office. Before online streaming replaced cable television in a growing number of homes, Netflix started out as a mail-order movie service. It wouldn't be too far of a stretch to think that Google's founders could have possibly used the DVD-by mail service when they were crunching code and securing capital for the search engine that would change the world as we know it.
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