Freedom and Responsibility at Netflix

Up until last September I’d never heard of Netflix. Then I stumbled across these slides which set out the key aspects of their corporate culture. Every now and again I return for a quick refresher to see how my own appreciation of the slides has changed.

It hasn’t. I love so much of what Netflix stands for. Especially the value they place on communication as a valued colleague behaviour (slide 11).

I recommend spending 15 minutes reading the whole slide deck. And stick with it – I almost stopped reading at slide 6 where they made a crude reference to Enron’s core values. If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard Enron’s core values used to highlight the danger of having a lovely sounding value statement that has no grounding in reality blah blah blah.

Persevere and you will be rewarded. Here are some of my personal highlights:

  • Some companies tolerate brilliant jerks – for us the cost to teamwork is too high
    (slide 34)
  • Good processes help talented people get more done – bad processes try to prevent recoverable mistakes
    (slide 61)
  • Netflix vacation policy and tracking – “there is no policy or tracking”
    (slide 68)
  • There is no clothing policy at Netflix, “but no one has come to work naked recently”
    (slide 68)
  • Netflix’s expenses policy – “Act in Netflix’s best interests”
    (slide 71)
  • No bonus, no stock options, no philanthropic matching – instead pay big salary and give staff the freedom to spend it as they think best
    (slide 106)

If it all sounds a little fanciful take a look at their 5 year graph. Looks to me like they’ve been riding out the global recession pretty well!

2 thoughts on “Freedom and Responsibility at Netflix

  1. I love the Netflix concept, will be the end to Sky charging £4 for a single film on Box Office, and the end to Sky Movies to boot.

    Can’t wait until it launches in the UK!

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