Netflix and Chill? A look into the Culture of Netflix

By: Natalie Antonio


Netflix has quickly become the video and tv streaming device of our lifetimes. Netflix has put box stores out of business, such as Blockbuster, because of punctuated equilibria. Netflix has now become available for streaming on many devices, like Mac, PC, Smart T.Vs, as well as gaming systems. It is easy as a college student to blow off responsibilities, log on to Netflix and “binge watch” the hottest TV show. Right now I am in the process of watch the newest episodes of Bones. This is one of my favorite TV shows that I could sit and watch over and over again. This series being on Netflix, has made it easier than going to the library and renting the discs or buying them from a video store.

Netflix started out in 1997 by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. Their idea had started out with them thinking of creating an online company where people could “buy and rent DVDs from sitting in their homes.(Netflix, inc a Success Story)” At this point Hastings had invested $2.5 million to get the business off the ground.  April 14th 1998.  This is the day when Netflix had finally reached the point of renting out DVDs. On this day, Netflix had about 30 employees, and roughly 900 titles available for renting. The first DVD was available for a seven day rental that cost about $4 for the actual film, and $2 for shipping. The site also used customer feedback to review movies to provide automatic suggestions which would then prompt the customers to rent a new title. One of Netflix’s biggest sales happened in September of 1998. Netflix made 10,000 copies of Bill Clinton’s testimony to the Lewinsky affair. Unlike the other DVDs that were priced at $4, this DVD was priced at two cents and only $2 for shipping. This title sold out within the week.

In 1998, Netflix had stopped selling DVDs and focused on renting DVDs. They increased employees with about 110 employees, as well as about 250,000 DVDs available for rental. By 2002 the sales of Netflix skyrocketed to $150 million. Finally in 2010 Netflix made online streaming available, making it one of the most popular sites in the United States.

Because of this rapid success Netflix has grown to develop a set of standards, that have also helped developed their culture. The standards in this culture consisting of value, high performance, freedom and responsibility, context not control, high aligned loosely coupled, pay top of market, and promotions & development.

With value listed as one of the first company aspects, Netflix consistently ensures that the quality of their employees as well as a quality in service is met throughout. A value is something that everyone should include on their list of morals. Value is having standards for behavior for the things that are the most important to the individual. From a young age I have been taught to hold value to everything that I accomplish. I have a high standard for myself as well as others, because I would be willing to go that far to accomplish something. To which I believe that other people should have as well. I always want to try and be the best version of myself. I believe that Netflix wants the best for their employees and in return expects the best from them.

High performance was next on Netflix’s list of morals. In any given thing that anyone does I believe that they should hold to the value of high performance. If a person is not willing to give a task their all then they should not expect a good result. I always like to work to my highest potential whether it is inside the classroom, out in the community with volunteering, at my job, or even at the barn when I am training my horse. Within a large company such as Netflix, there is a great expectation for high performance standards.

Freedom and responsibility was next on the list of standards. For a business to succeed in their given community they need some form of freedom and responsibility among their employees. Freedom and responsibility some what go hand in hand, because when exercising freedom, a person also needs to remember what he or she is responsible for. When an employee starts at a new company, they are usually held on a tighter leash, because of the learning curve of a new job. As that employee grows and matures into the culture of that business he or she is then given more freedom thus more responsibility.

Context not control was next on the list. For a recruiter of Netflix to get the best employees possible, the new hire needs to be aware of the work ethic that is put into the work done at Netflix. Any company does not want to hire people who are lazy and unmotivated, Netflix takes this into account when running job interviews. They want people who are going to work at their full potential for their whole career. 

High aligned loosely coupled was the fifth ideal on Netflix’s list. Some people work better in a team or a group atmosphere to ensure that their goals and expectations are being understood and met. As a person who does not usually like group or team work because in past experiences, especially in high school, I have been in charge of the group, making sure that everything gets done on time. But college has slowly changed my mood on group projects, when the work load is distributed evenly and fairly across the board then it makes for a much better attitude towards the given project.

Pay top marketing was the sixth ideal for Netflix. This is a concept that allowed each employer to stay at the top of the market and remain in good standings. The last aspect of the culture of Netflix is promotion and development. I believe that Netflix is doing an amazing job with promotion and development, because they are constantly updating their new releases as well as promoting it having outside companies report on “what’s coming to Netflix in the coming month.”

All of these aspects of Netflix’s culture are attributes that anyone can relate to in any given job in any profession. I have experienced some of these in group projects or work situation that I have experienced. Working hard is a common denominator in each of these attributes. I want to work to my fullest potential in every aspect of my life.

Netflix being such a successful organization and one who I could bring more effective working skills to their company.


Hastings, R. (2009, August 1). Culture. Retrieved October 5, 2016, from

Netflix, Inc. Success Story. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2016, from


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