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Summary

Hard work is irrelevant. Be radically honest. Adequate performance gets a generous severance. And never, ever try to please your boss. These are some of the ground rules if you work at Netflix. They are part of a unique cultural experiment that explains how the company has transformed itself at lightning speed from a DVD mail-order service into a streaming superpower - with 125 million fervent subscribers and a market capitalisation bigger than Disney.

Finally Reed Hastings, Netflix chairman and CEO, is sharing the secrets that have revolutionised the entertainment and tech industries. With INSEAD business school Professor Erin Meyer, he will explore his leadership philosophy - which begins by rejecting the accepted beliefs under which most companies operate - and how it plays out in practice at Netflix.

From unlimited holidays to abolishing financial approvals, Netflix offers a fundamentally different way to run any organisation, one far more in tune with a fast-paced world. For anyone interested in creativity, productivity and innovation, the Netflix culture is something close to a holy grail. This book will make it and its creator fully accessible for the first time.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2020 Erin Meyer, Reed Hastings (P)2020 Penguin Audio

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Awful

After reading THAT WILL NEVER WORK which is by the first CEO of Netflix and who it all started I had really high hopes for this book and it was a massive let down.
Lets start with holidays or vacation to our American friends. Oh how we laughed when it is said that Netflix dont have a policy and employees can take what they want. Then we are told that 54% of Americans dont take their full vacation entitlement. But then we can only deduce that Netflix staff take even less as they are subtly pressured to take very little at all as Netflix only have the very best staff and the rest are asked to leave with ' generous severance packages'.
But are they? There is a whole section on a Netflix representative in India that does really poorly and has feedback to him that whilst in India he is really not sociable by continually looking at his watch watch when out for dinner with major clients. He takes the feedback well but if Netflix only have the very best staff how is this person allowed to keep his job in what is a major client interface role.
The whole we only have the best people thing reminded me of Jack Walsh and the General Electric debacle of each year firing the bottom 10% of people. Its not liberating and its not fair as the CEO is not in the firing block each year.
Besides as an investor Ive long felt that Netlix is the worlds largest Ponzi scheme. More and more revenue has been achieved especailly with the lockdown, but the actual profit is really really low ( and dont start about the lack of corp tax in the UK). Netflix will say that this because they need to build up a really large own studio work to protect them from the studios, but even Amazon was able to show profit from AWS and later from retail sales. Netflix is not showing this direction and 90% of the content is tosh even if they are getting some awards.
I feel that Erin Meyer sold her soul to the devil in this book as only a cursory glance to employee feedback from Netflix shows it is below average for a large tech company and its industry as a whole and Im not just speaking about only looking at Glass Door.
So in summary. Im not impressed and I didnt learn anything from this book. That will never work was brilliant in the initial story telling and I understand more now why the first CEO left. If you like the work practices of Sports Direct, Amazon you will like this. And I do mean work practices, which this book preaches. If you want a great book on the start and success of Amazon read the everything store.

6 people found this helpful

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Too many self-pleasing comments

Too often ‘the audience all read my book’ and ‘person x complemented me on my book’, this info doesn’t add to the content of this book.

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Egotistical BS

To say I hated this book is an understatement. It reads like CEO polishing his ego. The ideas put forward are all found in other books and most have been tried in other companies. As someone who has worked in Tech Internationals, I can see and agree with some of the criticisms levelled at them, but the options put forward against these bad practices are similar in that the put the company first, employees are just tools to get used and replaced. To suggest that people are only useful when they are considered Top Talent and that they understand that they will be pushed to leave as soon as they are no longer so is barbaric. Everyone has a yearly 'Keeper' review with their manager and they all understand that when performance dips you go, no PIPS , just paid off to go with a healthy severance (4 months pay). A company that claims that they are booming because they have a policy of only high talent density compared to others are just waiting for their competitors to take those people to somewhere that puts employees before shareholders.

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Excellent Read/Listen

though provoking concepts. Love it. It gave many insights and different ways at looking at organizing and organizations.

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Very mixed

While the core idea of creating a culture of freedom and responsibility really does work, this book is delivered rather arrogantly. Chapters on working with different nationalities are basically how to make them more American, rather than actually understanding and partnering with them.

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Outstanding!

The best book on leadership navigating a modern world I have read in a long time.

By building the structure of the book around three concrete principles the book becomes both logical and actionable.

Includes many explanatory examples which also helps understand the principles laid down to shape an innovative culture of freedom and responsibility.

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Great book for all leaders

Great book but it wouldn't encourage me to seek a position in Netflix still worth the listen

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A fantastic read

Very impressive perspective to management. Key lessons are around getting feedback, allowing staff to know what competition is ready to pay for their services so they can negotiate better salaries

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Mixed bag but worth the effort

1. Interesting challenges to status quo
2. often let down by the idea that people seem to just get the sack if they take the "no rules, rules" to heart. I couldn't help thinking that a guideline or poliplof⁶⁶ce would have saved everyone a load of trouble

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Couldn’t stop listening

Great style with 2 voices; such an easy and engaging read; leaves you curious for what’s next. Definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in business, growth, innovation, leadership and culture.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-06-22

Very insightful

Truly remade me think of current processes and highlighted everything I hate about office job settings and tossed it out the window

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  • 1jacqie1
  • 23-03-22

Filled with a lot of Knowledge

I loved the structure of the book and the practical examples they provide. The book is easy to understand and takes you on a journey that is easy to follow along and can make a big difference in your company.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-09-21

A Breath of Fresh Air

A different and fresh perspective on how to get the best collaboration in businesses that require creativity.


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  • Marius Vorster
  • 28-07-21

Great insight into a high performing organization

Are you working in a creative sector where innovation is more important than error prevention? Netflix's operating model shows how an organization can flourish building a high density workforce and distributed decision making at scale using context over rules. This book challenge many traditional ways of running a company from fluff to substance. Not easy to implement but something we believe can be truly game changing but very far from easy.

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  • Kacper
  • 02-02-21

One of the best business/management books out there

Innovative approach not only to one of the key challenges of today’s business world - culture, but also to management in general. This book provides a perfect mix of storytelling, research and frameworks - something rare in business books.

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  • Chamal Perera
  • 28-11-20

Good read

This book explains how Netflix reinvented the entire entertainment industry, explains the amazing thing they practiced at Netflix.

Good book for learning different leadership practices!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Hemali Tanna
  • 27-09-20

Boring and repetitive

The book dragged on for hours, for what could be summarized in a 15 min youtube video, or shorter. The writing wasn't even entertaining, to endure the length.