You make wise decisions (people, technical, business, and creative) despite ambiguity.
You identify root causes, and get beyond treating symptoms. You think strategically, and can articulate what you are, and are not, trying to do. You smartly separate what must be done well now, and what can be improved later.
You listen well, instead of reacting fast, so you can better understand. You are concise and articulate in speech and writing. You treat people with respect independent of their status or disagreement with you. You maintain calm poise in stressful situations.
You accomplish amazing amounts of important work. You demonstrate consistently strong performance so colleagues can rely upon you. You focus on great results rather than on process. You exhibit bias-to-action, and avoid analysis-paralysis.
You learn rapidly and eagerly. You seek to understand our strategy, market, subscribers, and suppliers. You are broadly knowledgeable about business, technology and entertainment. You contribute effectively outside of your speciality.
You re-conceptualize issues to discover practical solutions to hard problems. You challenge prevailing assumptions when warranted, and suggest better approaches. You create new ideas that prove useful. You keep us nimble by minimizing complexity and finding time to simplify.
You say what you think even if it is controversial. You make though decisions without excessive agonizing. You take smart risks. You question actions inconsistent with our values.
You inspire others with your thirst for excellence. You care intensely about Netflix' success. You celebrate wins. You are tenacious.
You are known for candor and directness. You are non-political when you disagree with others. You only say things about fellow employees you will say to their face. You are quick to admit mistakes.
Great workplace is stunning colleagues.
Great workplace is not day-care, espresso, health benefits, sushi lunches, nice offices, or big compensation, and we only do those that are efficient at attracting stunning colleagues.
Like every company, we try to hire well.
We're like a pro sports team, not a kid's recreational team.
Coaches' job at every level of Netflix to hire, develop and cut smartly, so we have starts in every position.
In procedural work, the best are 2x better than the average. In creative work, the best are 10x better than the average, so huge premium on creating effective teams of the best. Great workplace is stunning colleagues.
Our model is to increase employee freedom as we grow, rather than limit it, to continue to attract and nourish innovative people, so we have better chance of long-term continued success.
"Good" processes help talented people get more done:
"Bad" processes try to prevent recoverable mistakes:
"Bad" processes tend to creep in (preventing errors just sounds so good).
Until 2004 we had the standard model of N days per year:
We're all working online some nights and weekends, responding to emails at odd hours, and taking an afternoon now and then for personal time.
We don't track hours worked per day or per week,
so why are we tracking days of vacation per year?
We should focus on what people get done, not how many hours or days worked. Just as we don't have an 9-5 day policy, we don't need a vacation policy.
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the people to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea."
– Antoine De Saint-Exupery, Author of The Little Prince
Instead, ask yourself what context you failed to set.
Are you articulate and inspiring enough about goals and strategies?
There are no centrally administered "raise pools" each year. Instead, each manager aligns their people to market each year — the market will be different in different areas.
Some people will move up in comp very quickly because their value in the marketplace is moving up quickly, driven by increasing skills and/or great demand for their area.
Some people will move down or stay flat because their value in the marketplace has moved down or stayed flat. Depends in part on inflation and economy. Still top of market, though, for that person.
Whether Netflix is prospering or floundering, we pay at the top of the market
- i.e., sports teams with losing records still pay talent the market rate.
Employees can choose how much they want to link their economic destiny to Netflix success or failure by deciding how much Netflix stock or stock options they want to own.
It's pretty ingrained in our society that the size of one's raise is the indicator of how well one did the prior year — but at Netflix there are other factors too — namely, the outside market.
In our model, employee success is big factor in comp because it influences market value:
Big salary is the most efficient form of comp:
Some people, through both luck and talent, will have extraordinary career growth.
Culture is how a firm operates What practices give Netflix the best chance of continuous success for many generations of technology and people? Continuous Success = Continuous growth in revenue, profits & reputation
Need a culture that supports rapid
innovation and excellent execution
Both are required for continuous growth.
There is tension between these two goals; between creativity and discipline.
High performance people and effective teamwork can be in tension also —
stars have strong opinions.