The last decade has seen a meteoric rise of technology companies especially in the context of market gains and economic growth1. The top five publicly listed technology giants (as per the NYSE) are Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (now Alphabet). They go by the acronym FAANG. As one can reasonably expect, a lot has been said and written about these technology companies. This is partially because of their tremendous commercial success and largely because people want to replicate this success.
Netflix in particular has been of interest to many entrepreneurs, business leaders and technology enthusiasts because of their unconventional approach to corporate culture and rules. Netflix’s journey from DVD mail-order service to digital streaming and production house has been a fascinating one.
No Rules Rules offers an insight into Netflix’s journey and the thoughts/ideas that made it possible. Contrary to corporate wisdom, the book suggests that rules and detailed processes are what hold back organizations from true innovation and rapid growth. A blurb on the back of the book summarizes the intent of the book quite succinctly.
It’s time to do things differently.
Trust your team.
Be radically honest.
And never, ever try to please your boss.
To accomplish this mission of doing things differently the book provides a step-by-step guide through a series of interactions between Reed Hastings, Netflix Co-founder & CEO, and Erin Meyer, INSEAD Business School. Each interaction introduces a new concept, a set of actions and perspective. The book is peppered with anecdotes about Erin’s interactions with Netflix employees, her perspective and flashbacks to Reed’s personal and professional experiences prior to Netflix.