Zillow CEO Rich Barton has been around the internet long enough that he can recognize a disruptive technology on the verge of upending a market.
At Netflix, where Barton has been a board member since 2002, he was present when the company got into video streaming after anticipating the demise of its DVD rental business. Several years later, he watched as Netflix poured money into making its own TV shows and movies, to reduce its reliance on entertainment companies that were starting to see Netflix as a threat.
“Netflix was relying on the Saudis for the oil,” Barton said in an interview with The Information last week. “It was pretty compelling. If we don't learn how to drill our own oil wells, we're going to get cut off.”