Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

The “Netflix Way” Is A Double-Edged Sword

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Let’s start with the obvious – Netflix is a tremendously well-run company who’s successfully disrupting the video content and distribution space.  By any measure (subscribers, revenue, stock price, etc.) they’re killing it.  One of the keys to the company’s success is a cultural mindset called the “Netflix Way”.  The principles of this philosophy include complete (and often brutal) transparency on employees’ work and their value to the company.  WJS has written a really in-depth article about Netflix’s cultural idiosyncrasies, complete with “radical transparency and blunt firings”.

Just how crazy can things get over at the King of the OTTs?  For starters employees are encouraged to give fellow coworkers blunt feedback on their job performance, which is definitely not the norm for lateral peers.  Or how about managers using a “keeper test” to evaluate their staff –  which is asking themselves whether they would fight to keep a given employee on the team and defending their decision to higher ups.  Netflix justifies these practices on the basis of “freedom and responsibility” in an only-the-strong-survive sort of way.

Based on the company’s track record I guess you can’t argue with success.  It just feels like a rough way to run a business to me.


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