Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Netflix Culture

The other day a co-worker sent me a link to a presentation from Netflix that describes their corporate culture. Well worth the twenty minutes required to read the slides.

I'm sure like many others, I found the described culture very attractive. I thought the desired values were so compelling that I printed out slide 19 and hung it up in my office as a reminder of my self-development goals. I think anyone in a creative profession, technical or otherwise, wants to work with "stunning" colleagues as a means for improving one's own skill. Too often I've seen loyalty appreciated more than performance so I liked the "adequate performance gets a generous severance package" rule. The guidelines designed to increase employee automaticity, decrease complexity, and minimize process strike me as recipes for success, provided that you have the suitable talent. Finally, I really liked the notion of always paying at the top-market rate. Frankly, the practice of reactively adjusting compensation to market rate when an employee tries to resign never made sense to me; why not pro-actively pay appropriately to avoid the employee from feeling unappreciated or being tempted by external opportunities?

Congratulations to Netflix for creating such a unique and outstanding corporate culture. It will be interesting to see if this culture persists as the company grows and the original staff moves on to other opportunities.