Cover Image: No Rules Rules

No Rules Rules

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Member Reviews

A good book about the constant reinvention of Netflix, and how it became one of the biggest global media brands today. A look at how not sticking to the rules and treating workers like family can be beneficial to your business and employees - all while still seeming like a great place to work. (As a sidenote...every place I know of that describes their employees/team as "a family" treats their employees like a very messed up family). Lots of practical advice and insights on how a business, especially a creative business, works from higher up.
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A fascinating insight into the radically different corporate culture at Netflix, and a clear deconstruction of how and why it is so successful. I almost wish all businesses could function like this, but the flaw then would be every corporation chasing only the employees at the top of their profession!
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F&R (Freedom and Responsibility) are the cornerstone of the values held at Netflix. Unlimited holiday, no need to follow your bosses instructions, financial sign-off to any amount - all this F&R gives employees the sense of ownership and empowerment, and with that, Reed argues, comes greater creativity. The book is well written, with a well thought-out structure, and an easy read.

The issue I have with this book and the approach, is the so-called "keeper test". You can only give staff this level of F&R if you have fully commitment, high performing staff. Any low performers would reduce the "talent density" and make those benefits unworkable and abusable. In Jack Welch's era, all staff would be ranked and the lowest 10%, regardless of performance, would be shown the door. Netflix isn't quite that brutal - but the "keeper test" is if your employee offers their resignation would you fight to keep them? And if you wouldn't, why bother having them on your team now, just show them that door! They lessen the blow with a "generous" severance package, but they did concede that this had to be raised in European countries.

In the UK, where I live, this approach simply wouldn't be possible. You can't fire someone because they're not exceeding - provided they're doing the job they were hired to do, they're entitled to that position. I would've liked to have seen a chapter discussing this, and how to deal with 'average' staff in these situations, but the approach throughout was to simply show the non-excellent that door.

Overall, it's an interesting book, with well reasoned arguments, and I'm sure many of the practices will (and already are) being adopted by the wider IT industry.
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Urgh this was a really dry read to me. I think the same information could have been delivered in a 60 minute Netflix show ironically. It is definitely for professionals but the book was so lengthy and exhaustive. I thought it would have more details on how Netflix grew to be so big and all the technical obstacles they had to over come. It just turned out to be a slow read.
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A very insightful book. I found the content extremely interesting and the writing styles of both Hasting & Meyer very easy going.  I have not read a book like this before and have already recommended it to others. It took a while to read the book, but that is more due to it being content heavy, rather than unenjoyable. 4 stars.
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Although well-written this title's structure and content has left me feeling ambivalent towards it. Firstly, I do not think Erin Meyer's input was necessary and I found it distracting, despite offering known counter arguments i.e. the status quo for organisations. Instead I would have preferred the title to focus on Reed's perspective, instead of watering down the the overall message and narrative with another 'voice'. 

The constant references to 'high talent density' and 'firing' people were really uncomfortable for me to read and I gradually found the idea of 'freedom and responsibility' an excuse for an organisation to be self-interested, uncaring and remote. I appreciate the sense of treating employees as 'peers', 'adults' but I didn't get the sense that anyone would support you if you had an issue at work or in your personal life. This reliance on self-management works up to a point. I also wondered why no-one fired Reed when he made his debacle, which was even satirised on a TV show - is it one rule for one and for others....

Having said that this books delivers on explaining how Netflix scaled up, the theories and their practical application. It doesn't shy away from stating where it went wrong and explaining why, so it's a kinda manual on how organisations can work differently and effectively. I think the biggest takeaway for me is the idea of a 'creative' company organised and operating' creatively - what that looks like and how it evolves. The emphasis on 'innovation', 'reiteration' and 'evolution' hold true throughout and it's easy to understand why Netflix has become a huge success, relatively quickly.
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As an original subscriber to the dvd postbox scheme I’ve always been fascinated by Netflix and its growth and success. How did it get to be such a heavy weight when other Dvd/video companies like Blockbuster faded away? This book offers a fascinating insight into how Netflix did it. Such lessons can be learnt and applied elsewhere in our current challenging and competitive business climate.
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Written by Reed Hastings ( one of Netflix cofounders) and Erin Meyer this book reveals the reinvention several times over of Netflix since it launched as an online DVD service to become one of the biggest movie/tv prog producers by not following established business rules even when it has grown into a global brand.
The rules are there even if they are not written down in manuals.
Having worked in several global businesses I found this book thought provoking and interesting.
Great book for entrepreneurs and large firm managers.
Highly recommend it.
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I really enjoyed this book. The style is an engaging mix of information and anecdotal which makes it an easy read. 

One note of caution - this is not a how on running a successful business or how to engage with a high performing team. This is how one very specific culture has built Netflix and in my opinion the methods used would not work for most companies. The feedback and strategies used, although honest, come across as brutal. 

That said it was an interesting and engaging read.
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No Rules Rules boils down Netflix's principles of success. It's a mixture of common sense and "blue sky thinking" that will no doubt be useful to tech startups, but may be a little dry for those more interested in the narrative of Netflix's growth into a global behemoth.
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No Rules Rules is absolutely fascinating. Full of practical advice and insights in to how to run a successful business empire. It's a book anyone who wants to run a business or be there own boss should read.
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There are some really interesting insights in this book about one of the world's most innovative companies. Although each section focuses on the same three initiatives - talent density, candour and removing policies - the lessons in each are new and remain fascinating. 
The book is written by Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, and Erin Meyer, a professor at INSEAD. Having the book co-authored by Meyer adds some authority and weight to Hastings' ideas. It also adds a wider business context and examples.
The main downside to this book is that it's quite laden with cliches and some of the personal anecdotes feel a bit irrelevant/shoehorned in.  
An insightful read for anyone interested in innovation within the creative industry.

Thanks to #NetGalley for the free e-book of #NoRulesRules to review.
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Loved this book! I learned so much about Netflix and fascinating to hear more about the company culture and the CEO. Great one!

Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.
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I found this book fascinating. I loved reading about something that unfortunately plays such a huge part of my life. Learned so much.
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This was a really interesting insight into Netflix and how it operates. It was really valuable to see how they transformed their organisation in difficult circumstances and beat other organisations going through similar transformations. I definitely enjoyed some of the insights around how staff are hired, retained and fired. However I found a lot of it probably wasn't applicable to me as a manager, especially being in the UK where some of the procedures wouldn't go down well! Definitely useful to some people and industries but not quite one for me.
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I requested this book on a whim, as I'm quite interested in finding out the back-story of how businesses start and evolve.

This is certainly an interesting read that gives some interesting insights. Not a handbook, and not a book to be read in a single sitting by any means. I didn't really know anything about Netflix as an organisation before - despite being a customer. Definitely an organisation that does things differently...

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for an ARC.
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Want to know how working at Netflix is similar to driving around the Arc d' Triomphe in Paris? I certainly did, and having worked indirectly for Netflix for some years now, and having gone from subscriber of the DVD postal envelopes to full family streaming subscription, I wanted to know the rules, or lack of them. 

I wasn't; disappointed. This book should be part of the curriculum for any business GCSE or A' Level course. Instead of keeping all their internal policies and practices secret, the CEO of Netflix lays them bare. 'Almost daily a new employee expresses to me how astounded he is by the transparency at Neflix. This gives me great joy' shares Reed Hastings. 

How to own up to your mistakes,;how to sunshine bad decisions; how to give constructive feedback; how to decide whether to let someone go; how to let employees make their own limitless financial decisions and how to hire the very best. All these topics are covered, with feedback from many Netflix employees in the States and all over the world. The subject I found most interesting was how to abolish holiday allowances - sneak preview - make sure the bosses take lots of holidays and talk loudly about them when they get back. 

Would I want to work for Netflix as an employee? Do I believe absolutely everything I read in this book? Should this way of working be adopted freely? The jury's out. But as far as a fascinating read goes - this book RULES.
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So, it's an interesting read on the culture of working at Netflix. The bar is so high and process so open it sounds almost stressful but it also feels like a goal you'd want to be good enough to work there. Largely, you read the "rule" and think, no chance that's right, and have it deconstructed how the radical lack of rules actually allows Netflix to excel. It's different, it's surprising, it's good.
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Reed's book is a gift! Let me put this in upper case - EVERY SINGLE CEO (& CHRO)  MUST READ THIS!

It is a management styled non-fiction book - yet very binge-worthy! 

It is a study of how work-culture is built on freedom & responsibility. It is about how to lead with context not control.

The principles that Reed Hastings is sharing are both simple and intuitive. Yet, at times you'll be smiling to yourself saying, of course that works OR no way, no way!! 

No spoilers - but you'll be intrigued to see how these non-policies have come together to define the Netflix work culture. 

In my opinion most companies are trying to move towards this culture of empowerment. Yet we haven't adjusted perspectives for a long, long time. In fact with the largely work-from-home environment this book becomes even more relevant than before. I would encourage CXOs to read and honestly deliberate on some of these non-policies if they truly aim to think, talk and act brilliance.

It is a fabulous read, indeed!

I will be posting some excellent Book Club questions and far more detailed review on my website: www.thebookbuff.com - so watch that space!
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I can see so many benefits from organizations following the business ethos of Netflix. Doing what is best for the company doing away with big bonuses and paying the remuneration in salary so the employee is 100% focused on the company and not an objective that would make them money. Taking holidays when it will not cause issues for your department and colleagues and if companies only took on 1 item  "candor" would be the area I would hope companies to adopt. This is a great read with wonderful examples of where things went wrong and right I wished I had read it 40 years ago when I was starting my career in the big corporate world x
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