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Thanks for a great year

October 30th, 2008 by Eugene Wei SVP, Audience

Today is the one year anniversary of Hulu’s launch as a private beta. On October 28 last year, we had zero users and a small and exhausted team that had worked around the clock for months to get the site out the door. As the clock turned past midnight, we stood around a desk and watched as one of the developers hit one last enter key and pushed our product into the wild.

A year later, some things have changed. We have many more users, content partners, and advertisers. Our catalog has ballooned many times over. To support this growth, we have many new faces in the office. We like to think the taco truck that stops by during our lunch hour added our street to their itinerary to support our growth.

When we visit college campuses on recruiting trips and say we’re from Hulu, people no longer ask “What’s that?” or think that it’s a province of China (speaking of recruiting, if you are a great developer or know one who enjoys sunny weather, long walks on the beach, eating contests, Rock Band, ping pong, and foosball, do I have the place for you!). With a few moments to catch our breath, we painted our walls, hung some art, and moved the ping pong table from the hallway into its own room.

Some things haven’t changed. We still eat a lot. We have one day of the week dedicated to donuts and another to bagels. The remainder of our waking hours are powered by those freakishly large containers of various foodstuffs from Costco. Our mission hasn’t changed: we still want to make it easier and more fun to watch the shows and movies you love unabashedly, the ones you love in secret, the ones you don’t know you love yet, and even the ones you don’t love at all. Against that mission, we’ve made some progress, but we still have so much more work ahead of us than behind us. There are no “mission accomplished” banners hanging in our offices, only whiteboards filled with new ideas, designs, and to-do lists.

But on this, our first birthday, we wanted to thank some people. We want to thank our content partners, because without their willingness to clear content for us and their belief in the future growth of online distribution, none of this would be possible. We want to thank our advertisers, who help us to keep our content free for users and to fund our operations and growth. Their understanding of the value of presenting their products and services to our users is the second leg of the tripod that supports our business.

The third leg of the tripod is, of course, all of our users. Thank you all, not just for visiting our site and watching our videos but for your tens of thousands of e-mails offering suggestions, criticism, and support. Above all, we count on word of mouth for our growth. Thanks for being both our conscience and our advocates.

Lastly, I want to thank my coworkers for their hard work and around-the-clock passion. As we have employees stationed from the East Coast to the West Coast in the U.S. and on the opposite side of the world in Beijing, keeping up with them is truly a 24/7 job. I serve at the pleasure of a world-class team.

Most of the Hulu team, a year ago, just after the site launched in private beta:


Last comment: Aug 1st 2013 14 Comments
  • eMusic says:

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly think this site needs much more attention.

    I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!

  • team mak says:

    I have read lots of blogs any topics but this is the blog that worth it to read, thanks for sharing this

  • wow, great blog very presentable and elegant, thanks for sharing it to us.

  • this is such a great blog to read, thanks for sharing this one to us, great job., happy rithday hulu!, thank you so much.

  • pure actor says:

    trust me, it takes too long to navigate through the website to find movies, can it be any faster please, the movies are nice though and the quality next to perfect, but I dont have time going through all movies, the categories need to be worked on.

  • Eric says:

    Yes Hulu is wonderful…

    Although its your right..can we please stop campaigning for obama

  • Ryan Selvy says:

    Wow a huge congrats to the whole team. I use the site so much, that I haven’t touched my Tivo in months. You have a great innovative, fast, and strong service, and I’m incredibly happy it still stands. Best of all it’s legal! :)

    Keep up the good work, and thanks again for all you do.

  • Samira says:

    Happy Birthday, Hulu! You are my BFF! I love you for giving me the Daily Show without having to get cable! I love you for giving me the Mary Tyler Moore show to get me through those boring household chores! I love you for your interface! XOXO and best wishes for a great 2nd year!

  • walter says:

    please guys can we see hulu come to the roku netflix player? xbox 360 , ps3..etc??????? also what about higher quality standard def videos and bring on the hd :)

  • Chuchundra says:

    Hulu is made of awesome.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Mo says:

    Happy Bithday and congrats to the entire hulu team! All powered by donuts and tacos. Way to go!
    Great B-day tribute authored by Eugene.

  • Happy birthday, Hulu!

    You guys are easily my favorite website. I haven’t owned a TV until someone gave one to me, and I’ll never get cable, so you guys have enabled me to watch most of my favorite shows for free! And I absolutely don’t mind the ads since you give such great content.

    Here’s to hoping for another year of exponential growth!

    *throws confetti*

  • Catriona says:

    Great job. I just found your site and it’s my new fav.
    Keep it up so we can all read next year’s posting all about your 2nd anniversary!

    PS – need a virtual tech writer from Seattle? ;-)

  • susannah says:

    happy birthday hulu!