By: Haydn Shaughnessy
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings made an unexpected appearance just now at the Dublin F.ounders conference. F.ounders is the new hot ticket on the tech conference scene. Ninety percent of attendees have started their own companies, so it’s entrepreneur to entrepreneur. I’m blogging the highlights as we go through the day and weekend.
Hastings made two points that are worth a wider audience.
The first is his vision for Netflix.
Everyone knows Moore’s law, but Hasting pointed out that fiber optic is just as powerful a disruptor as the exponential growth in processing power.
Ten years ago we accessed the Internet through dial up, but in 10 years’ time we will all have fiber, and that means a step change in the online experience of video. Hastings sees that plus the pervasiveness of mobile creating a global market for Netflix’s services.
There are 5 billion people on mobile, Hastings said, adding that they all watch video and are all part of a future Netflix audience. His dream is to see Netflix rolled out across the globe, in the process becoming the world’s best entertainment distribution platform.
Netflix will license the best content, film or TV, from suppliers across the globe and create the market that lets the film maker from Mexico or Argentina or wherever find his or her global audience.
Second he talked about himself and the Netflix culture.
He gave an example of his first company forcing him to choose between business and family and specifically his own dishonesty in claiming to value family above all else even while he was spending all his time with his business. That dishonesty was something he obviously feels compelled to purge, not just from his own life but also from Netflix.
Netflix looks to jettison processes that rely on dishonest or trivially irrelevant claims. So Netflix does not have a vacation policy – they don’t count the hours that employes work in a day, so why count how many days they are away? His advice to entrepreneurs was to focus on creating freedom and responsibility as we grow, rather than installing ever more process.
Openness and getting rid of irrelevant process is how he characterizes the Netflix culture and in terms of how he gets employees working well – Netflix thinks of itself as a sporting team that wants to win and uses sports analogies in hiring talent and in securing commitment to winning.