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Ness Labs: Make the most of your mind
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A Summary of

Reed Hastings, Founder & CEO of Netflix

by
Masters of Scale
Masters of Scale
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Lessons from Pure Software

  • Working harder is never enough. You must leverage every person in the company.
  • Hiring the right employees is crucial to building a lasting culture and an adaptable company.
  • If you permit abusive or exclusive behavior early on, it's extremely hard to reverse these organizational habits.

The Growth of Netflix

  • Hastings only hired "first principle" thinkers - always asking what's best for the company rather than blindly following directions.
  • You need people who can change the business model fast.
  • Define your culture before scaling.
    • Netflix used its 100-slide "Culture Deck" to define its culture early on.
  • The "keeper test" evaluates a hire's honesty and willingness to work.
  • Emphasize excellent performance and discourage short-term judgment.
  • Build a culture based on generosity rather than competition.
  • Reject A-players that don't fit the culture.
  • Look for "we" people, not "I" people - those that would stay in the company for a long time.
  • Diversity is a strategic advantage.
  • Improve culture, don't preserve it - e.g. Netflix updates its Culture Deck to reflect who they are.
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