Why Netflix's CEO calls his company 'the anti-Apple'

Photo: Robin Utrecht/Amsterdam
  • NetflixCEO Reed Hastings said at a TED conference on Saturday that his company’s culture of open information sharing among its employees makes it like an “anti-Apple.”
  • “We’re like the anti-Apple. They compartmentalise, we do the opposite. Everyone gets all the information,” he said.
  • Hastings, a Facebook board member, also discussed Facebook’s recent privacy scandals and explained how social networks like Facebook are “are clearly trying to grow up quickly.”

Netflix CEO and Facebook board member Reed Hastings spoke on his company’s culture and Facebook’s recent privacy scandals at a TED conference in Vancouver on Saturday.

Hastings said that Netflix’s open culture of information-sharing among its employees makes it an “anti-Apple,” in that Apple witholds sensitive information and product developments from many within its company, Wired reports.

“We’re like the anti-Apple. They compartmentalise, we do the opposite. Everyone gets all the information,” Hastings said. “I find out about big decisions made all the time that I had nothing to do with.”

Hastings, who is leading Netflix in a charge to spend roughly $US8 billion on content this year, said that his company’s tactic of information sharing fosters healthy debate in Netflix’s decision-making processes.

“We want people to speak the truth, and we say, ‘To disagree silently is disloyal.'” He added, “It’s not OK to let a decision go through without saying your piece. We’re very focused on trying to get to good decisions with a good debate.”

Hastings also discussed how criticism of Facebook over its Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal was “not completely unfairly,” adding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was “leading the charge on fixing” the social network’s issues.

Hastings said that social media networks like Facebook “are clearly trying to grow up quickly,” and he compared the rise of social media to the controversies that surrounded television in the 1960s, as Recode notes.

“When television was first popular in the 1960s in the U.S., it was called a ‘vast wasteland.’ And television was going to rock the minds of everybody,” Hastings said. “And it turns out everybody’s minds were fine. There were some adjustments. So I think of it as all new technologies have pros and cons. And in social we’re just figuring that out.”

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