I know the street address of the Netflix distribution center in Greensboro, NC. I have thought about going dumpster-diving there, or trying to get a photo or even trying to get a job there, but I have dismissed all of those ideas as being a little too creepy. I've never seen the place. I am not a spy, but I would love an invitation to visit sometime.
Therefore, it hurt my feelings when I read in the Greensboro News and Record that Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey apparently came to Greensboro for an interview at the Netflix distribution center here, and he didn't even look me up. Folks, that should prove to you I'm not a shill. A shill would get more respect.
According to the article, "the Netflix building is unmarked for security and competitive reasons, Swasey said, but "mainly, we don't want customers stopping by to drop off their DVDs."
The "security reasons" he's talking about are people like me, just curious, who might embarrass them or give away trade secrets by publishing details on a blog.
The other danger, of customers dropping off their DVDs there, is genuine. Think it through: if Netflix processes 30,000-50,000 DVDs per day, each one of those represents a person, in a car. Where would they park? What time would they arrive? If they all arrived within an hour or two, the traffic jam would shut down traffic for miles. If they arrived throughout the day, Netflix wouldn't be able to process until 5 PM, after all the discs had arrived, because they would have nothing to send out until everything had come in.
Imagine the traffic on a Saturday night after a Rolling Stones concert lets out. That's how many customers we're talking about. Do you know of any business that can handle that kind of traffic on a daily basis?
It's not about "throttling." It's just plain simple logistics. It really is better to let the USPS do the work.
And Steve, next time you're in town, let's do lunch :).