The Transformation of Netflix: How can you apply the lessons to your business?

Did you spend the holiday vacation watching BirdBox on Netflix? Well, apparently 45 million people around the world did.

Without a doubt Netflix is an example of an organization that is constantly transforming itself in order to stay relevant in the marketplace and as a result has grown into an entertainment powerhouse.  My how things have changed.

How Netflix Began

Some of us remember when Netflix began as a DVD subscription service.  The convenience of having movies delivered to your doorstep with no late fees seemed revolutionary.  But then came streaming services and Netflix changed to meet the new market demand by offering not only movies, but also TV series that could be streamed at will. The concept of binging was born.

But it didn’t stop there. Now Netflix is producing original content. Content that is not only increasing viewership, but also garnering accolades including Emmy nominations. The only similarity between the Netflix at its inception and the Netflix now is the name.

Holding on to What Works

More than one company has gone out of business chasing trends and expanding too quickly. The lesson of Netflix is not change, change change.

The lesson is about listening to and monitoring the marketplace to determine what trends your business can take advantage of in the coming year. Moreover, it’s important to know when and if to let go of products or services that are no longer working.

Imagine if Netflix was only mailing DVDs to people through a subscription service. Yes, it still offers that service and over 3 million people take advantage of it, but it is a small percentage of its business. Netflix would still be in business, but it never would have grown into the major corporation it is today.

How can you apply these lessons to your own business? 

Do you currently have a product or service that needs a revamp? Is it time to start home delivery or a subscription service for your product? Is there a company that is already in business you could partner with to give your product or services greater exposure? Or is time to rethink the whole concept of what you offer?

Think about how Uber and Lyft have turned the transportation industry on its head. What seemed revolutionary is now mainstream. Sometimes it’s easy to criticize new ideas and focus on why they won’t work or even try to fight against them. Think about taxi companies suing Uber.

This year look at ideas with fresh eyes and think if incorporating them into your business could be transformative.

What’s next for Netflix? Black Mirror is a movie that premiered over the holiday season where the viewer controls the content. The viewer actually makes decisions throughout the movie that influence the arch of the story. It even tells you when you’ve “gone the wrong way.” There are 5 different endings.

Happy 2019. No matter the size of your business. Think like Netflix and chances are you’ll be ending the year in a better place than you began.


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