The 4 Less-Known Secrets to Netflix’s Success

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Have you ever dreamed of establishing a simple startup that would later turn into a multi-billion entity like Netflix, Apple Inc, or Microsoft? Have you ever wished to become successful like or even more than these top 30 entrepreneurs under 30 creating life on their terms?

FYI, Netflix, Apple, Microsoft, and other successful startups you see today started small. Some of those companies, which today have thousands of employees that work for them, began with no more than 15 employees. 

For example, Apple Inc, which has around 154,000 employees today, had only 10 employees in its initial days. Similarly, Netflix started with only 30 employees, although the company today has over 12,000 employees. Just like Apple and Netflix, Microsoft had only 11 individuals working for it when it came around in 1978, even though the giant software company boasts over 182 thousand employees, today.

Establishing a successful business like the above from scratch requires a smart, well-thought-out approach. You want to pay attention to a few crucial things namely your; 

  • Business idea
  • Product or service
  • Workforce 
  • Customers
  • Develop An Incredible Business Idea

For starters, a business idea is a concept that leads you to create a new product or service for a particular consumer market. It’s the first step in the process of establishing a successful business.

Don’t start a clothing, liquor, plumbing, or any other type of business just because you heard that the business is profitable or everyone seems to be doing it. By the way, that’s a perfect remedy for failure. 

Take the time to observe what people desperately need that is not easy to find in your area. If you can develop a great new business idea that supplies a need, it’s easy to become just as rich as the likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Reed Hastings, Marc Randolph, and so on. The difference between these global billionaires and you is that each developed an incredible business idea that solved a problem while you didn’t. 

For example, Musk made electric vehicles and self-driving cars readily available to the public, allowing his customers to enjoy all the benefits of each type of vehicle. An EV doesn’t require gas, which is a cost-saving benefit. A self-driving car, on the other hand, is safer to travel in than a regular car as statistics show that 94% of accidents are caused by human error.

Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph, on the other hand, used the internet to make movies, TV series, and other forms of media entertainment readily available to the general public. Netflix has saved movie lovers the headache of buying or renting movies from libraries, many of which subject their customers to stringent terms and conditions.  

When it comes to niches you can choose, there are plenty of options available. However, you should know that niches do vary in profitability. Video Games are a highly rewarding niche you can select. You’ll be surprised that even the most basic games like I’m a Puzzle fetch their owner’s thousands of dollars per month. 

  • Offer Quality

Netflix is arguably the #1 movie streaming service currently. Notably, the company has even overtaken YouTube, which is one of the pioneering movie streaming services available. Why is that so? 

Well, one of the reasons why this movie streaming service has become quite popular is that it offers strictly high-quality content. YouTube, on the other hand, provides the content of all types of qualities(low-quality, medium-quality, and high-quality). 

For example, many movies are available to watch in high definition (HD), and will automatically play in HD quality if you have a Premium or Standard subscription. As if that were not enough, Netflix movies have originality, interesting scripts, and great structure. On top of that, they feature top-rated actors and remain true to life. 

Quality is critical when it comes to having satisfied customers. Whether you offer a product or service, make sure you give it the best quality ever. To ensure quality, you need to establish an effective quality control process, which entails;

  • Setting your quality standards and focusing on those.
  • Creating operational processes to deliver quality.
  • Review your results.
  • Use measurable feedback from external sources e.g customer surveys to get a fuller picture of your quality.
  • Continuously making improvements. 
  • Frankness Over Kindness

During his early career, Reed Hastings wanted to be liked by everyone. This prevented him from having frank and sometimes confronting conversations with his employees. 

Upon realizing that his leadership approach wasn’t what his organization deserved to move forward or grow, the co-CEO of Netflix had to come up with an unorthodox approach, which has proven to be highly successful. He started focusing on giving thoughtful and constructive feedback(including criticizing mistakes) all with positive intent. 

Key takeaway: To steer your business to grow, you want to be a frank, firm, and honesty-seeking leader instead of a kind leader who wants to please everyone. 

  • Prioritize Your Customers’ Needs

I’m currently in Kenya where I am doing some charity work on behalf of a not-for-profit organization my family and I co-founded back at home(Australia) in 2015. For the 14 months, I’ve been in the East African country, I’ve developed a strong affinity towards the local content and entertainers. 

I was amazed to learn that there’s a whole niche of entertainment curved out of the Hollywood industry. Many individuals offer spoken commentary on Hollywood movies to help local viewers who don’t understand English enjoy the movies. These folks commentate in Swahili(the country’s national language) and even local languages such as Kikuyu. 

So, there’s this guy known as “DJ Afro Amigos” who has been very popular for quite some time now. He is said to be the person who originally started commentating on Hollywood movies in Kenya. He is known to have commentated on numerous blockbuster movies in both Swahili and Kikuyu. 

So, when Netflix hired “DJ Fish” to commentate on its movies to accommodate and expand its local audience, many Kenyans were not happy as this guy is considered unoriginal and less entertaining compared to DJ Afro. Some people see him as an imposter of the latter. The movie streaming service was criticized by the citizens for not selecting DJ Afro who is their favorite choice. 

Through a Twitter page known as “KOT”(Kenyans on Twitter), Kenyans petitioned Netflix to drop DJ Fish and replace him with DJ Afro instead. To their satisfaction, the company did just that! That’s just one good example of how the movie streaming service prioritizes its customers’ needs.

Key takeaway: prioritizing your customers’ needs will earn you loyalty from your customers, which would be key to the growth and success of your business. 

Final Thoughts

When Netflix was launched, no one thought that the company would grow quite massively to become the best movie streaming service in the world. For keen observers, the massive success of this company can be attributed to four key secrets. 

First, Netflix was established around an incredible business idea that solved a real problem. Many people were fed up with movie libraries, which subjected clients to stringent terms and conditions! 

Secondly, the company is passionate about providing a high-quality movie streaming service. That is backed up by the fact that most of their contents are in HD. 

Thirdly, the company’s co-CEO uses a very effective approach where he focuses on firmness, frankness, and objectivity as opposed to trying to please employees. 

Finally, Netflix puts its customers’ needs ahead of everything. It does what its subscribers ask it to do. 

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