Co-founder and CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings is particularly a nostalgic type. He usually avoids dwelling in the past which is why he never wrote a biography. Moreover, he is not very fond of all the biographies of the great CEOs of the world that talk about all that was great. According to Hastings, real learning is where you know the bad as much as the good.
In the year 2009, Hastings released a 127-pages long PowerPoint presentation that broke the Silicon Valley. The presentation was on Netflix’s key to success: it’s culture. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook Inc. said that this is probably the single most important document to have ever been made in Silicon Valley. The fact that this deck was viewed over 20 million times provides evidence of Sandberg’s statement.
Now, being heavily inspired by “The HP Way” and “Beyond Entrepreneurship”, Hastings has written a book called “No Rules Rules” along with co-author Erin Meyer as an extension of the PowerPoint Presentation from 2009. Netflix’s culture of “freedom and responsibility” is the reason why a tiny DVD-by-mail company became the world’s biggest TV service. As Hastings says, “The goal is to give back and influence young organizations about a set of principles we think are valuable.”
Hastings has poured everything he has learned in the past 30 years into the book. The book is dotted with personal accounts from his life and is basically a 10 step plan for those young entrepreneurs who want to leave a mark in the world.
Netflix has a very strict culture of independence. Through the PowerPoint Presentation in 2009, Hastings made a point for everyone to know that Netflix will only hire those who have the capability to perform their best and are independent thinkers. This company wants those who do not rely on a system of hierarchy to get work done. The employees should have the capability to make their own decisions and decide their own optimum potential.
Along with the independence of thought and action, Netflix employees have benefits of unlimited leaves and no mandatory limit on company expenses. Hastings strongly believes that among other things this culture is the main reason why Netflix stands where it is today.