Netflix does it right: 128 page internal slide deck on company culture is a revelation

Zappos has done an incredible job of building a culture that transcends the classic soul-crushing corporation. Add Netflix to that list.

The classic and key takeaway is around how companies start with small teams of incredible high performers and evolve into large organizations filled with process that stifle those same difference-makers. This deck is an instruction manual on how to avoid it.

There are quite a few companies that desperately need to infuse the contents of this deck into the way they operate.

34 responses
There's a great book about this, too, written by a man who worked at Hallmark for years. It's called: Orbiting the Giant Hairball.
I'm sorry, but this sounds like a lot of feel good BS, would love to see stories of how they actually manage rather than see a presentation saying "we're great." They even say it at the beginning "Lots of companies have nice sounding value statements," and "real company values ... are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go." What they have here is just a pretty slideshow of their value statement.
The irony that it takes a 128 slide powerpoint deck to get it across...
Kodak missed the digital revolution, insisting film would always be relevant (at the level it was when the first digital cameras were introduced.) They made a few digital cameras but never took them seriously, and the company suffered.

Xerox had all the technology to produce a computer equivalent to the Mac. They had great prototypes, but thought that copying paper was always going to be more relevant and people would always need $20,000 copiers (even though the wysiwyg desktop project was called "paperless office.") (!)

Netflix saw the download video market, jumped all over it, and figured out how to make it work, even though it was outside of the currently successful mail-a-disc business model. They didn't just assign a couple of noisy employees to an underfunded doomed "experimental" project, the whole company embraced the idea (I have no personal knowledge of the internal politics in this case, I'm just judging by the visible outcome.)

So you don't have to peek inside the company to see if they really mean it. Just look at their results.

I'll have to agree with Jason - I fell asleep somewhere around the 50th slide. I think any employee would fall asleep around the 10th. What's great about really awesome companies is, they don't trumpet that they're different or awesome. Take Patagonia. Their quirkiness comes naturally, because their founder lives those values. I bet they don't have to explain their company in a 120-slide deck.
this makes me want to work for netflix.
27 visitors upvoted this post.