For the past 20 years, Netflix has steadily taken over the home entertainment industry. It went from a struggling DVD-to-home mailing company to an entertainment powerhouse that produces its own big-budget shows and movies in addition to its large library of third-party releases. Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings attributes the company’s success to three areas: building talent density, increasing candor, and reducing controls.
Hastings was forced to lay off a third of his staff during the dot-com burst in 2001. This left him with the highest-performing employees who truly loved their jobs. He encouraged these fantastic employees to openly speak their minds so they could make the best possible decisions to boost business and loosened his control by creating a more relaxed environment that would inspire innovation. Previous procedures delayed action, so he threw the rule book out and creativity began to surge. By gathering the best possible staff – and allowing them the freedom to do what they did best – Netflix’s stock and popularity grew to unprecedented levels, where they remain to this day.