Jason Kilar ’ 93 winced at the business suit and veered off to the flip-flops and jeans,
and ultimately to where his big ideas for the small screen could flourish.
alentine’s week, 1996 —
Jason Kilar ’ 93 will one day
lead Hulu, the boldest and
most successful Internet televi-
sion company, but tonight he has more
pressing concerns. He is in New York
with girlfriend Jamie for a rare week-
They started dating the fall of his
senior year but have been hanging on
long-distance since his graduation: he in
Orlando as a marketing analyst at Disney
and then in Boston for his MBA, she at
UNC as a graduate student in pharmacy.
He concocted the meeting with
typical creativity and strategy, FedExing Jamie an invitation in the form of a
poem and a (nonrefundable, please-say-yes) plane ticket. But every plan has a
weakness, and this weekend it is the
weather. Snowstorms forced flight
delays up and down the East Coast, and
Jamie arrived exhausted at 2 o’clock in
by Carl Marziali
Now it is late evening: Time in
Jason’s plan for the most critical step.
Not even 25, Jason has decided Jamie is
But is he the one for her? Jason
hands her a photo album.
In it are page after page of people
holding up a sign saying: “Congrats
Jamie!” Among them are her best
friends from childhood and college, her
professors at UNC, Jason’s closest friends
(one of whom is in Chile at the time —
Jason sends him a sign, a disposable
camera and return postage), Tar Heel
basketball players, 90-plus classmates in
Jason’s MBA section at Harvard, and the
dean of Harvard Business School.
Clearly if he could, Jason would task
the Maker himself to hold the sign. But
he doesn’t have to. He has Dean Smith.
If, as has been said, Steve Jobs of
Apple understands desire, Jason Kilar of
Hulu understands love.
Where Apple’s strategy is built on
creating gadgets that consumers will
crave, Hulu aims for a service that
users, advertisers and show producers
will “unabashedly love.” And love is too
important to be left to chance.