Posts Tagged 'innovation'

Innovators Wanted – The Netflix Story

I came across this story a while back and faved it for later, which is now. Innovation is defined as a change in the thought process for doing something or “new stuff that is made useful” (from Wikipedia). The following example focuses on the change in the thought process of a company’s CEO, and the actions he’s taking to keep his company in the lead.

Netflix Strategy - The Future

Netflix Strategy - The Future

Reed Hastings, Netflix Co-founder and CEO, uploaded a presentation last month, called Netflix Business Opportunity (RSS readers click here). In the 40-slide deck, Reed quickly reviews Netflix performances to date and shifts to the future – threats and opportunities, and what his company must do in order to continue the growth and lead the market.

Netflix - The Future

Netflix - The Future

In a candid inside look into his own company, Reed is saying ‘Our main revenue stream is dying, we need to find and cultivate a new one’. That’s not an easy statement to read, yet alone write, for a CEO. The DVD-by-Mail service will grow for 3 more years, but streaming will eventually replace it. If Netflix wishes to grow, it must focus on ‘a single segment of the streaming market, where we can gain and maintain leadership’.

Netflix segment - to lead and maintain leadership

Netflix segment - to lead and maintain leadership

How Netflix intends to gain and maintain leadership? By Democratizing Innovation, meaning leveraging the company’s assets – its customers and employees. Reed explains the threats to the company’s new strategy (Pay-Per-View, Piracy, Cable/Sat/DVRs, Direct/Online/Free, etc), but also how to compete with them – providing superior customer service, improving subscribers’ satisfaction, creating amazing user experience, and keeping subscribers raving about Netflix (among others).

Democratizing Innovation

Democratizing Innovation

The complete deck is embedded here, definitely worth the reading time. I know that once Netflix launch in Israel (expanding international begins 2010) – they have my vote, and subscription.

Talking Innovation and Technology /w IBM Research

Just returned from a very unique gathering, held by IBM HRL (Haifa Research Labs) and IBM GTU (Global Technology Unit). The 2 divisions teamed up and invited local bloggers (~25) to an evening of technology and innovation, coupled with food & wine of course. The purpose of the event was to expose some of the work HRL researchers are doing at the various locations in Israel and what applications and services have been deployed internally, towards a future IBM Product or Service.

Coming from Big Blue I was no stranger to the innovative thinking and the endless possibilities HRL researchers posses. No wonder IBM invests $6B annually in R&D. The presentations were more like short pitches, 10-15min each, covering 3 topics:

  • Do smarter people make smarter search engines?
  • Is it all about context?
  • Shouldn’t non-techies be able to create online applications?

The crowd was very involved in the pitch, questioning possible applications and services, how metadata is gathered and filtered, and more. As a research facility, HRL are quite lucky to have a testing population of some 350,000 employees – which definitely helps shorten development cycles.Obviously I felt a strong connection to the 1st topic, being an advocate for corporate collaboration and knowledge management (E2.0). I think my 1,000+ social bookmarks are still part of IBM’s internal knowledge base (Dogear), available at the company’s intranet (w3).

In short, great event, interesting discussions and awesome people to brainstorm with.

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What about Brilliant Jerks?

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

Going through Netflix’s latest ‘Culture‘ presentation I came across that line (slide 34), under High Performance, one of the seven aspects at Netflix. The 128 pages presentation is A MUST for any company’s C-Level and HR, and it details what matters at Netflix, paying special attention to workforce efficiency. It also deals quite bluntly with stuff other companies keep inside, like layoffs and employee retention (slide 27):

We’re a team, not a family. We’re like a pro sports team, not a kid’s recreational team. Coaches’ job at every level at Netflix (is) to hire, develop and cut smartly, so we have stars at every position.

Clear out 30min of you day and learn this presentation. You won’t regret it.


View more presentations from reed2001.

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IBM’s CEO at the White House with President Obama

I was relaxing one evening at my hotel in Barcelona, watching CNN, when all of a sudden I see Sam Palmisano, IBM CEO, alongside US President Barack Obama. I read on our corporate intranet that Palmisano presented his remarks on the economic stimulus plan to the White House, had no idea he actually met with Pres. Obama.

IBM CEO, Sam Palmisano, participated in a roundtable discussion of business leaders with President Obama to discuss the economy. Sam was also asked to give a brief speech.
My colleagues Todd (Turbo) Watson and Adam Christensen already wrote about this, with links to the video from CNBC and the transcript.

Sam visits the White House – Todd Watson
Economic stimulus remarks from IBM’s CEO – A Smarter Planet (Adam Christensen)
A smarter planet: The next leadership agenda – Council on Foriegn Relations
Government investment could lead to 900,000 IT jobs – eWeek
Samuel J. Palmisano –

Introducing a revolutionary software platform

The official press release is here.

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Mobile & Media Consultant. I help startup companies launch products to the consumer market. Reach out: dvir.reznik [at]



This is my personal blog. The postings here do not represent the thoughts, intentions, plans or strategies of my past employers or of my clients. It is solely my opinion.