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Publisher's Summary

Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings reveals for the first time the unorthodox culture behind one of the world's most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.

There has never before been a company like Netflix. It has led nothing short of a revolution in the entertainment industries, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue while capturing the imaginations of hundreds of millions of people in more than 190 countries. But to reach these great heights, Netflix, which launched in 1998 as an online DVD rental service, has had to reinvent itself over and over again. 

This type of unprecedented flexibility would have been impossible without the counterintuitive and radical management principles that cofounder Reed Hastings established from the very beginning. Hastings rejected the conventional wisdom under which other companies operate and defied tradition to instead build a culture focused on freedom and responsibility, one that has allowed Netflix to adapt and innovate as the needs of its members and the world have simultaneously transformed. Hastings set new standards, valuing people over process, emphasizing innovation over efficiency, and giving employees context, not controls. At Netflix, there are no vacation or expense policies. At Netflix, adequate performance gets a generous severance, and hard work is irrelevant. At Netflix, you don’t try to please your boss, you give candid feedback instead. At Netflix, employees don’t need approval, and the company pays top of market. When Hastings and his team first devised these unorthodox principles, the implications were unknown and untested. But in just a short period, their methods led to unparalleled speed and boldness, as Netflix quickly became one of the most loved brands in the world. 

Here for the first time, Hastings and Erin Meyer, best-selling author of The Culture Map and one of the world’s most influential business thinkers, dive deep into the controversial ideologies at the heart of the Netflix psyche, which have generated results that are the envy of the business world. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with current and past Netflix employees from around the globe and never-before-told stories of trial and error from Hastings’s own career, No Rules Rules is the fascinating and untold account of the philosophy behind one of the world’s most innovative, imaginative, and successful companies.

*Includes a PDF containing examples of Netflix Culture Maps from the book.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2020 Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

“Given the current hostility to the technology sector, the rejection of established H.R. wisdom and intensity of the organizational upheaval promoted by No Rules Rules may generate controversy. Mr. Hastings could have remained under the radar during the Silicon Valley’s cultural maelstrom. Instead, he has entered the fray with an important contribution that provides the beginnings of a road map for the sector to regain trust.... No Rules Rules demonstrates that it is not only possible to pursue both freedom and responsibility at the same time, but that for Silicon Valley and the rest of us to thrive together, it is essential.” (The New York Times)

“Hastings, CEO and cofounder of Netflix, and Meyer, a business professor at INSEAD, team up to explore the organizational cultures, successes, and lessons learned within Netflix...taking turns throughout the book to explain a situation or practice. This format feels conversational, and makes the book very easy to follow.... Informative, thought provoking, and down-to-earth.” (Booklist)

"In alternating sections with Meyer, who provides elaboration based on more than 200 Netflix interviews, Hastings details the making of the Netflix way, from hiring the best creative talent at high pay to increasing candor through frequent feedback and gradually removing controls that stifle innovation.... Fascinating story of a counterintuitive approach that apparently works." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about No Rules Rules

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Too good for a headline. Please read my review.

As a young 27 year old 5th year real estate agent, I bought this booking looking to learn more about the art of disrupting and changing an industry. Though there was certainly some of that, what I found in this book was equally, if not more valuable.

Whether you're an employee, a student, or an employer, this is a must-read. The culture, dynamics of their workplace, and values, were all completely new information for me. I don't want to go into detail in this review as there is no way I can articulate it half as well as they do, but this book dramatically changed what I'm looking for in an employer as well as how I plan to run any startup or business I go into. This is NOT your average business book or leadership book. I would go as far as saying I would ask every potential employer if they've read this book and what their thoughts are.

As far as audiobooks go, this was beautifully presented, very engaging, densely packed with valuable information, and digestible enough that you don't need to be a genius to gain value from it.

I'm a person who has a hard time paying attention. I likely have some form of attention disorder, so for me to be able to get through a book means the book was perfectly written or presented. Please buy this. I promise it will be one of the best decisions you'll make. After reading this, Netflix sounds like the type of workplace I'd love to work at.

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could not stop listening to this book

if you are an owner a manager or consultant this is a must read, if in any way you have to do with culture of a business you truly need to read this. some things mentioned are not relevant for me but maybe for you but the majority of this was valued content

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A great listen!

Thought provoking. Anyone in business should listen. I will listen again and make notes to use. Not to the extreme Netflix does but definite take a ways.

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Weak Narration

Despite the interesting subject matter, regrettably, I found the narration to be more distracting than engaging.

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Relatable in many ways

The content gave room to pause and consider your own situations and apply what makes sense. As well, how to build something different. Very helpful and impactful.

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Incredible.

Incredible book on leadership. I love the stories and cultural differences across the world. Incredible book on leadership. I love the stories and cultural differences across the world.

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Most amazing book about culture i've read

Awesome perspectives on talent development, combination of culture and performance. Integrates a lot of the aspects of Sinek, Collins, Meyer and Brene Brown - all into one book. Reed Hastings has the best examples of learnings and transparency, hard learnt lessons.

I've bought and sent this book to three ppl so far.

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Chaotic & Insightful

Wow. I approached this book with a lot of scepticism about Netflix’s is “no rules” culture. But after reading (or rather, listening) I understand that there is method to the madness.

The book is very well structured and lays out the takeaways in a very clear and sequential manner. Definitely recommend this book.

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Great and Fascinating Read

It has depth into the specifics of what Reed sees as the core principles which have led to great success. It's really quite thorough in explaining the often counterintuitive actions of Netflix, which is what makes it such a compelling book. The contrast between authors is a nice touch that adds to the significance of the framework.

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Very well written

Great insights into Netflix culture. Definitely lot to learn from each chapter.

Would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand culture development and performance evaluations.

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  • Srikanth Raju
  • 2020-11-01

Infomercial for Netflix

Mostly an infomercial for Netflix. Too early to celebrate for va 15 year old company. it is unfortunate they had to drag Erin Meyer to co-author this self advertisement. There was only a half a chapter at the end of the book on how this so called Netflix culture would be adaptable globally.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Brent K
  • 2020-09-11

I'd Rather Binge-Watch This as a Netflix Series

"Fast Recovery is the Best Medicine," is my favorite quote from the book. I feel like it is applicable to both technical systems and people sunshining unfortunate moments.

I'm inspired to enhance, improve and kickstart many of the Netflixian techniques listed in the book at my own workplace, w00t! So naturally, I'm sure my coworkers are going to hate me 🤣🤣

Btw, when offline content works, I like it. Recently, my partner had a bad incident with it and now I understand that it was never a fully embraced feature (probably why it is still crapola today). Reed--your nuts wrt Data Caps. Somebody please sunshine the offline cognitive bias out of his brain. We're a good 15 years away from truly unlimited and streaming data (why would profitable IP companies or SpaceX give up control of the pipe/satellite). Free us from the pipe!!!!!

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  • Sean Grossnickle
  • 2020-11-11

An Interesting Approach to Corporate Culture

This is a great overview of a very unique way to approach corporate culture in the creative industries of the 21st century. Highly recommended read for all managers and business students.

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  • J-Knight
  • 2020-10-23

Good at first

Starts strong but ends meh. Listen at 1.5x and it’s worth it. At least it’s not a huge time commitment.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jimbob
  • 2020-10-06

This is the future of corporate culture

I highly recommend reading this book to study the future of corporate culture . culture becomes the most important differentiator and factor for success, attractiveness and innovation.
its narrated very well and the voices are nice to listen to.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jules1817
  • 2021-05-24

Fascinating book

This book gave me a lot to think about. I don't know that I believe Netflix got everything right, or that I would even want to work there, but the Netflix way challenges the assumptions of Corporate America and I found it very interesting to reach about.

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  • Gabriel Orrico
  • 2021-07-02

How to be an innovative company

Talks about how to operate like Netflix not just the story of Netflix. Awesome read for leaders that can get innovative in their industry and wanna lead their team that way.

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  • AndyD
  • 2021-06-29

made me want to work for Netflix

Great inside baseball look at the inner workings of Netflix that outlines several of their frameworks for handling all manners of business.

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  • Steve
  • 2021-06-26

Horrible

Not a fan of this book. Reed Hastings lives in a bizarre world . The amount of money Netflex has to throw around is crazy.

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  • Brian Sachetta
  • 2021-06-23

A powerful playbook on company culture

This one is all about building a winning, sustainable company culture. In it, Netflix execs Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer discuss various policies they’ve enacted at their organization over the years.

What I enjoyed most about it was the openness with which the authors recount such policies and accompanying cultural changes. As Hastings admits, some “desirable” rules (such as unlimited vacation) are hard to implement in small companies. This admission paves the way for him to share Netflix’s own bumpy road with such mandates and how the organization used its learnings about them to strengthen its culture.

A good, concrete example of this sort of thing is Netflix’s guidelines on work-related expenditures. Hastings describes how the company once had a “rental car or taxi expenditure (but not both)” policy regarding employee business trips. Such a hard-and-fast policy left little room for nuance, however. This meant workers often found themselves renting cars to save the company money on longer hauls yet frustrated when they had to decide between paying for a taxi on their own or getting behind the wheel after an alcohol-infused client dinner.

As with most of the policies described in this book, Hastings saw the holes in such a rule and decided that Netflix’s company-wide practices should allow for nuance and exist solely to protect and help the business. As such, he changed all spending-related mandates from hard-and-fast ones to one simple statute: use good judgment and do whatever is in the company’s best interest.

This sort of logic makes this one fun and interesting to read and paints Netflix as a great place to work. The book does drag on a little at times, which is why I’m going four stars here instead of five. But, even with that fact, this is still an excellent resource for company culture and success. I’d recommend it to leaders and HR folks alike.

-Brian Sachetta
Author of “Get Out of Your Head”