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Reed HastingsHe co-founded a company that has revolutionized the way we watch movies and given conscientious viewers an option outside of piracy. He serves on the board of a computer software giant and a popular social networking service. He is listed among TIME’s 100 most influential people of 2011. He is a known philanthropist but often considered as a ruthless innovator and risk taker. He is Reed Hastings.

The current CEO of Netflix started the company with Marc Randolph back in 1997 based on an overdue video rental and a gym membership. Today, Netflix streams movies and television shows to over 25 million members in the US, Canada and, more recently, Latin America.

He is arguably one of the main reasons for the downfall of video rental chains like Blockbuster. The company started as an online store that mailed DVD rentals to its members. Detractors predicted this business plan would fail but his constant improvement on its business policies has enabled Netflix to adapt and survive.

As technology progressed, the Internet started to reach more homes and users were given Web TV and controversial file sharing BitTorrent clients. Hastings had already jumped on the bandwagon with video streaming but he upped the ante by making the option more convenient than DVD rentals, a necessary move given a consistent rise in shipping costs. You may also consider him one of the pioneers that enabled the inevitable phasing out of DVDs.

Consequently, he is a much sought-after entrepreneur and has been brought on as a board member to Microsoft and, more recently, Facebook. These moves lead to speculations of a further monopoly of computers, software and social media considering that the two companies already have ties.

Looking back, Reed Hastings was viewed as a man with radical yet unfeasible ideas. He was always met with naysayers and disbelievers that were unable to share his progressive visions of business and technological innovation.