Netflix Culture

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Netflix are one of the tech companies that ground through some sizable losses during the dotcom burst and the following stagnation, and have emerged, on the back of the popularity of the DVD player in US households, to be the biggest online DVD/Blue-Ray rental service in the world. The company has been managed well, and their stock price seems to show it.

Some insight as to how they achieved that can be found in a slide deck detailing their “culture”.

There is a lot of good stuff here, but here are my favourites:

  • Company culture and set of values manifests itself in who gets rewarded, promoted, and let go; Big emphasis on “talent density” – I like that.
  • Leffort’s Law: If you manage, it’s your fault.
  • Effectiveness is far more important than Effort.
  • “Rapid Recovery” is the right model, rather than wasting too much time on preventative measures (exceptions exist).
  • Vacation policy: There is none – employees take what they need and are encouraged do take “what is good for Netflix” (Professionalism and self-discipline over process adherence).
  • Expense policy: “Act in Netflix”s Best Interest”.
  • Annual salary review is also market-based, and not just hiring.

Not only do they have an inspirational vision, but they seemed to have worked out most of the details of how to make it a reality.

Netflix might have its detractors, but the important thing that these slides demonstrate is that management is recognizing what it takes to have a happy, productive, talented tech workforce producing value for business.


[via Scott Berkun]

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