Netflix Corporate Culture

The presentation below is from Netflix and provides an interesting look at a different way of building a corporate culture.

The seven aspects of the culture: Value what we value; high performance; freedom and responsibility; context, not control; highly aligned, loosely coupled; pay top of market; promotions and development.

How this manifests is practice:

  • The “Keeper Test” managers use for employees: “Which of my people, if the told me they were leaving in two months for a similar job at a peer company, would I fight hard to keep at Netflix?”  The other people should get a generous severance now, so they can open a slot to try to find a star for that role.
  • There is no vacation policy.  Vacation is not counted.  The focus is simply on getting the work done.
  • Netflix policies for expensing, entertainment, gifts and travel: “Act in Netflix’s best interests.”

Netflix was founded in 1997 in Scotts Valley, California by Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings, who previously had worked together at Pure Software, along with Mitch Lowe. Hastings was inspired to start the company after being charged late fees for returning a rented copy of Apollo 13 after the due date.   The Netflix website launched in April 1998 with an online version of a more traditional pay-per-rental model (US $4 per rental plus US $2 in postage; late fees applied).  Netflix introduced the monthly subscription concept in September 1999, then dropped the single-rental model in early 2000.   Since that time the company has built its reputation on the business model of flat-fee unlimited rentals without due dates, late fees, shipping or handling fees, or per-title rental fees.


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