Career

Weekend Insights: This Company Flips Standard Work Culture On Its Head (With Amazing Results)

As part of an ongoing series, we’re sharing the books, podcasts, talks, videos, people (and more) that inspire, prompt expansion of thought, and have the potential to affect change within us.

When most of us think of Netflix, we immediately think ‘and trackpants’ or ‘and take away’ or ‘and chill’. But in Silicon Valley, Netflix ‘and work culture’ is a more likely association.

Over the past couple of years, the streaming giant has created a notorious reputation for themselves as pioneers of modern work culture; creators of a company model based on the idea that you simply hire the right person for the job and make sure they do it spectacularly. Which is what everyone else thinks they’re doing, but really aren’t.

And as we know from its now inescapable place in our everyday life, driving this lean, high performing company standard has seen Netflix reach enormous success.

Planet Money ran a fascinating podcast detailing the success and failure of the Netflix model titled ‘Hard Work is Irrelevant’

It explores the beginning of the startup and how the woman faced with the firing a third of the company to keep it afloat, Patty McCord, has become famous for writing a series of viral slides explaining the Netflix work culture she helped create. So much so that Facebook’s Cheryl Sandberg described it as “the most important document to come out of Silicon Valley.”

With ideas such as “hard work is irrelevant” and “we are a team, not a family” we’re seeing traditional work ideas being completely flipped in a totally honest, no-holes-barred way.

With the Netflix model, you have to reconsider that there is a job for life. In fact, you’d have to reconsider your whole approach to your job. There’ll no longer be ‘that guy in the corner somewhere, and everyone’s like, what exactly does that guy do?’ But seeing as how frantically the rest of Silicon Valley has adopted these work ideals, it won’t take long for the rest of the world to notice, too.


Josephine is a writer from Sydney. She has written for AWOL, Kaleido Press and is a commissioned poet for the Disappearing 2.0. She tweets nonsense here @josieannparsons.