No Rules Rules- Netflix and The Culture of Reinvention — Book Review

Aditi Agarwala
4 min readDec 11, 2020
No Rules Rules — Netflix and The Culture of Reinvention

Ever wondered why is Netflix so successful even after having one of the most unorthodox and unconventional work cultures?

There has never been a company before with a work culture like that of NETFLIX. From the time Netflix launched as a DVD rental service in 1998 to be one of the most loved and subscribed OTT platforms globally, this journey of Netflix is one of the most interesting stories that anyone can get to know about.

Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

With a no vacation policy and the pay at rates higher than the market rate, how does the company show very successful and consistently growing results every year?

Originally NETFLIX started as an online DVD renting company but as the business environment continued to be dynamic, NETFLIX kept adapting to the dynamism by implementing policy and rules which were never heard of or even tested before. It had continuously re-invent itself to cope up with the advancement of technology and changing tastes and preferences of the people.

Image from Insider.com — Netflix started as a DVD rental service

Reed Hasting defied the culture of conventional orthodox rules and policies that other companies follow to operate, instead, he focused on developing a culture of Freedom & Responsibility, valuing people over processes, focusing on innovation over efficiency. Sounds out of the box? Doesn’t it?

Image from xanjero.com — Reed Hastings

That is exactly the work style and culture at NETFLIX. Unique and out of the box. There is no expense policy or vacation policy at NETFLIX. Employees don’t have to take permission from their Seniors in the management hierarchy to sign a deal.

Hastings believes in the policy of providing the employees with the context within which they have to act instead of giving them orders and controlling their actions. Not only this but he also believes that there should be a candor environment in the company, and the employees should give candid feedback not only to their colleagues but also to their seniors.

If you hope for more innovation on your team, teach employees to seek ways to move the business forward, not the way to please their bosses.” — Reed Hastings

All these policies not only motivate the employees to work with their best and utmost efforts but also increases their creativity.

Employees at Netflix celebrating Halloween

When Hastings and his team derived these unorthodox principles the results were unknown, but their principles led to creating one of the most innovative and successful companies having the most creative and interesting work culture for the employees to work in.

Erin Meyer and Reed Hastings dive deep into the policies, principles, and methodology of the Work culture at NETFLIX which are the envy of the corporate world. Erin Meyer drawing on several interviews with the ex and current employees of NETFLIX from around the world, get an opportunity to know about the fascinating work culture of one of the most globally successful company, NETFLIX.

Written by Erin Meyer this book gives us a deep and detailed insight into the journey of Netflix which started as a DVD rental service to being a company with more than 7000 employees across the globe, producing its own award-winning Movies and TV shows, forming an unconventional & unorthodox work culture making it one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and incredibly successful company where the approach of “Don’t seek to please your boss” is followed.

Image by Curtis Brown — Erin Meyer and Reed Hastings

Shortlisted for the 2020 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year this is a must-read for all entrepreneurs, business students, and non-fiction book lovers.

Erin Meyer, Reed Hastings, Netflix Technology Blog, Netflix剧推, Netflix Türkiye, Netflix Com Activate, The Book Doctors, Book Review Blog

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Aditi Agarwala

Always curious to learn new things. Grateful for everything that I have in my life.