Endlessly Curious › NetFlix’s Culture

March 15, 2011



Photo credit: alforque

I am busy preparing for a speaking and consulting engagement at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey at Guadalajara, Mexico.  I am really excited about the opportunity, but it means I don’t have a lot of time for this week’s blog post.

Two weeks ago, my friend Daniel Brown posted a SlideShare presentation on the company culture and interview process at NetFlix.  The presentation originated from the jobs section of NetFlix’s website.  After reading that presentation, I had to share.  Because I live the values described in the presentation, I loved the content.  What I loved even more was the transparency and the intention of the presentation.  For NetFlix to ensure their corporate values are demonstrated in every employee, their hiring process is specifically designed to test candidates on whether they embrace the values.  Brilliant!  In addition, they are completely up front about it.  It clearly states what they expect from the employees they hire and assumes candidates will be mature and responsible enough to choose whether they are up to the challenge.  Of course, there will always be some candidates who will try to present what an employer wants to hear.  I have been involved in hiring a lot of people, so I can say with confidence that most of the time hiring managers can easily tell who those  people are.  For the few that still get by…  well, they get dealt with later if the problems are big enough.   Companies with this sort of transparency and commitment to their company culture are refreshing to see.

So, go over to Daniel’s blog and view it there: Endlessly Curious › NetFlix’s Culture.

If anybody who actually works at NetFlix, or knows someone in less than three degrees of separation, reads this post, I would love to hear whether those values are part of the interview process and lived in the company every day.

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About Liza Wood

After a dozen years leading video game development projects in a variety of roles, I decided to pursue a Master of Data Science at the University of British Columbia. Studying data science doesn’t mean I’m moving away from leading people. Growing data science teams need collaborative, pragmatic, Agile leadership to connect data to all areas of the business. I would like to share that point of view, along with my experiences, on this blog.

View all posts by Liza Wood

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4 Comments on “Endlessly Curious › NetFlix’s Culture”

  1. bornagainagilist Says:

    Interesting post. I really like the majority of the principles but I was left wondering whether Netflix is only a great place to work if you are a star. I wonder how they rate at developing stars?


    • Liza Says:

      With the current economy in the US, they are in a position to choose to hire only stars, particularly in Los Gatos, which is a very desirable place to live and work. It’s been that way through most of the company’s history. They were still pretty small when I worked in the area, so I don’t know much about them as an employer, other than what they have published. However, if they are hiring stars, they have to be doing something to develop them. Otherwise, they couldn’t retain them.


  2. Daniel Says:

    RE: bornagainagilist

    From the slides it doesn’t sound like that non-stars get into the company to start with: I do wonder whether they attempt to mentor individuals that perform less than star like?



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