Netflix: When flip flopping is good leadership
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings isn't afraid of changing course, which can be a real strength
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, gave subscribers some good news yesterday:Skip to next paragraph
Donald B. Marron is director of economic policy initiatives at the Urban Institute. He previously served as a member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and as acting director of the Congressional Budget Office.
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We are going to keep Netflix as one place to go for streaming and DVDs. This means no change: one website, one account, one password … in other words, no Qwikster.
As a long time subscriber, I can only say Hallelujah.
But I am not surprised. Hastings has changed course sharply before. Most famously, he killed off a set-up box–the Netflix Player–just weeks before its scheduled launch. I take that as a sign of great leadership. As I wrote two years ago:
Reed Hastings is not a man who gets locked in by sunk costs: he’s willing to kill projects … even if he’s got years invested in them.
That’s a real strength. I am sure he regrets the decision to move toward Qwikster, but kudos to him for reversing course.
P.S. Netflix’s corporate culture was the subject of one of my most popular posts. Favorite line: “Adequate performance gets a generous severance package.”
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