When he was 30, Hastings started a company called Pure Software. Neil Hunt was there in the early days of Pure, as was Patty McCord, who now heads human resources at Netflix. Hastings grew Pure, a public company that built tools for Unix software developers, by making three acquisitions in 18 months. “It was chaos,” Hastings recalls. When Pure was acquired by Rational Software in 1997 for $750 million, it made him a wealthy man, but Hastings realized he had helped build a company of which he wanted no part.

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