Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shares the management books that inspire him

  • Reed Hastings is the cofounder and co-CEO of Netflix, which has seen extraordinary growth during the pandemic as individuals search for indoor entertainment.
  • The streaming company added nearly as many new subscribers in the first half of this year as it did in all of 2019.
  • Hastings spoke with Insider’s Global Editor-in-Chief Nich Carlson on the podcast Starting Up about his new book, how he runs Netflix, and the books that inspired him.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


While some associate Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings with ushering in a new era of video entertainment, others know him for building one of the world’s most innovative companies with unusual corporate policies. These strategies may be controversial, but they also seem to work; Netflix, founded in 1997, has reached a $227 billion market cap since going public in 2002.

On a recent episode of the podcast Starting Up, Hastings told Insider’s Global Editor-in-Chief Nich Carlson about his new book “No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention,” which he co-wrote with author Erin Meyer. The book dives into the policies that made the company unique. For example, Netflix’s “Keeper Test” urges managers to frequently evaluate whether they should fire or keep employees. 

“If you’re going to be the coach of the team that wins the Olympics, you better have incredible players at every position or you’re not going to win the gold medal,” Hastings told Carlson. “We’re trying to win the championship of film and television…and to do that we have to have an Olympic caliber team.”

While Hastings runs a wildly successful company — Netflix added nearly as many new subscribers in the first half of this year as it did in all of 2019 — he’s also galvanized by other business leaders. He outlined the four management books that inspired him to co-write “No Rules Rules” and inform his management decisions.


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