Product Thinking
Culture and Strategy, the Netflix Way with Gibson Biddle
April 28, 2021
The theme of this week’s Product Thinking Podcast is culture, and Melissa Perri’s guest is Gibson Biddle, author of the “Ask Gib” product newsletter. Gibson is dedicated to teaching product strategy and culture both in and outside of the classroom. He joins Melissa to discuss the importance of having a good organizational culture, and how that affects strategy. Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Gibson talk about in this episode: The product leader’s job is to delight customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways (DHM). [3:18] How Netflix developed their high-level strategy for personalization. [8:47] Gibson’s experience with managing the product team as VP of Product Management at Netflix. Every product leader who worked for him was expected to have clear, defined strategies for their teams. [12:39] The failure of Project Griffin. [20:37] Building a culture where everyone is on the same page about making the best choices for the business is difficult, but not impossible. One key practice is context over control; ensure that everyone understands the context that the business is operating in. [25:54] “At the end of the day, people are not there forever but the culture is; the culture describes the [company’s] values and the values describe the skills and behaviors of everyone in the building,” Gibson tells Melissa. “At our quarterly meetings, we would discuss strategy, but we would also learn to form good judgment. This is what the culture is about; helping individuals make great decisions about products.” [29:41] "Culture is all about who you hire… who you promote- every time someone was promoted to director or VP there was a celebration because it was about them being a culture carrier, them living the Netflix culture. And [when you would] let people go, they might demonstrate amazing results, but they were living outside of Netflix's values,” Gibson shares. [38:46] Strategy is important when starting a product organization, but it’s ok if half of it fails. It’s a process and a bunch of hypotheses that you need to learn from. [43:46] Resources Gibson Biddle on LinkedIn | Twitter GibsonBiddle.com 
The theme of this week’s Product Thinking Podcast is culture, and Melissa Perri’s guest is Gibson Biddle, author of the “Ask Gib” product newsletter. Gibson is dedicated to teaching product strategy and culture both in and outside of the classroom. He joins Melissa to discuss the importance of having a good organizational culture, and how that affects strategy. Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Gibson talk about in this episode: The product leader’s job is to delight customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways (DHM). [3:18] How Netflix developed their high-level strategy for personalization. [8:47] Gibson’s experience with managing the product team as VP of Product Management at Netflix. Every product leader who worked for him was expected to have clear, defined strategies for their teams. [12:39] The failure of Project Griffin. [20:37] Building a culture where everyone is on the same page about making the best choices for the business is difficult, but not impossible. One key practice is context over control; ensure that everyone understands the context that the business is operating in. [25:54] “At the end of the day, people are not there forever but the culture is; the culture describes the [company’s] values and the values describe the skills and behaviors of everyone in the building,” Gibson tells Melissa. “At our quarterly meetings, we would discuss strategy, but we would also learn to form good judgment. This is what the culture is about; helping individuals make great decisions about products.” [29:41] "Culture is all about who you hire… who you promote- every time someone was promoted to director or VP there was a celebration because it was about them being a culture carrier, them living the Netflix culture. And [when you would] let people go, they might demonstrate amazing results, but they were living outside of Netflix's values,” Gibson shares. [38:46] Strategy is important when starting a product organization, but it’s ok if half of it fails. It’s a process and a bunch of hypotheses that you need to learn from. [43:46] Resources Gibson Biddle on LinkedIn | Twitter GibsonBiddle.com 

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