Business Culture at Netflix

I stumbled across this presentation while listening to an excellent episode of the Tim Ferris podcast.

The presentation is almost 10 years old at this stage but I think there are principles in there which are still very applicable. After all, human behaviour and the communities we form have changed little over that time.

This is definitely worth a read for anyone who is looking to build a high performance team, whether that be in a large organisation or a start up.


Netflix shared the above presentation (created by Reed Hastings) with prospective employees so each new person they brought on board had a clear idea on what working at Netflix was all about.

Personal Key Take Outs

Judge a company on what they do rather than what they say. Actions are everything. Who are they rewarding within the company, does this align with what they say their values are all about.

Aggressively target top performers in every role. Do this by allowing employees freedom in their roles and by paying at the top of the market.

Encouraging a culture of appreciating quality of work over effort will also help attract top performers. Judge employees on the quality of their work rather than how hard they work or how many hours they are in the office. Obviously if the role depends on the employee being somewhere for a certain amount of time eg. security guard then this isn’t strictly possible.

Honesty should be a value that runs right through a team. Team members should not be surprised by each others thoughts and opinions. Candid conversations should be held regularly and include such awkwardness as: “If I told you I were leaving how hard would you work to change my mind”

For knowledge workers particularly the difference between the average and the top can be 10x. As such there should be a premium on top performers.


There are many more nuggets of gold in this presentation by Reed Hastings worth considering when thinking about culture. If any of them stand out to you please let me know in the comments below.

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