At Netflix “Adequate Performance Gets a Generous Severance Package”

Note that Netflix practices what Clayton Christensen called “emergent” strategic planning. Experimental responding to opportunities; no five year plans.

(p. B5) As a founder and co-chief executive of Netflix Inc., Reed Hastings has reshaped both the way people watch television and how the entertainment industry operates.

. . .

In his new book “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention,” Mr. Hastings likens being employed at the streaming giant to being part of a sports team: Getting cut is disappointing but carries no shame. “Unlike many companies, we practice: Adequate performance gets a generous severance package,” reads one of Netflix’s mottos.

. . .

WSJ: In the book you say, “It’s impossible to know where a business like ours will be in five years.” What kind of prognosticating do you do?

Mr. Hastings: We keep trying experiments. The business model will be pretty similar in five years. Can we figure out animation? Can we catch Disney in family animation?

WSJ: You’ve said you want Netflix to be able to pounce on unanticipated opportunities. What’s an example of one you didn’t see coming?

Mr. Hastings: Nonfiction programming is a pretty good one. We started as superpremium TV, and the expansion into nonfiction has been a huge success. The whole sharing of content around the world has been a huge success. Prior to that, people thought Americans won’t watch content that’s produced outside the U.S.

For the full interview, see:

Joe Flint, interviewer. “BOSS TALK; Netflix’s Hastings Isn’t Fan of Remote Work.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, September 8, 2020): B5.

(Note: ellipses added. “WSJ” and “MR. HASTINGS” were bolded in original.)

(Note: the online version of the interview has the date Sep. 7, 2020, and has the title “BOSS TALK; Netflix’s Reed Hastings Deems Remote Work ‘a Pure Negative’.”)

Hastings, Reed, and Erin Meyer. No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention. New York: Penguin Press, 2020.

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