What Netflix Public Communications Tell Us About Education Best Practice Adoption


I tweeted about this yesterday: on its investor relations website, Netflix basically tells the world the broad outlines of its strategy.

The “Netflix Longterm View Page” provides: an analysis of the overall market; what the future will hold; in what areas Netflix will compete; how it will compete; what markets it will enter; and its margin structure.

In short, if you want to create a Netflix competitor, the basic playbook is right there for you to copy.

Clearly, Netflix does not think it will win because of its overarching strategy.

The strategy is necessary but not sufficient.

Rather, my guess is that Netflix thinks it will win because it will execute better than any of its competitors (as well as capitalize on its current market position, given the high barriers to entry in its business).

All this is to say: if it were possible to simply adopt all of Netflix’s “best practices,” you could become a billionaire within a few years.

Of course, you won’t be able to do this. Netflix is an organization, not a set of practices. And organizations are very difficult to replicate.

And yet so much of education reform is based on best practice adoption, not organizational building.

This is foolish.

Of course, organizations can learn some things from each other. And we should support this transfer of knowledge.

But, ultimately, it is great organizations, and not a menu of great practices, that will provide us the best chance to give children the education they deserve.

This is why I believe we should relinquish power to educators; let them form non-profits to operate schools; and scale the best of these organizations to serve students across the country.

3 thoughts on “What Netflix Public Communications Tell Us About Education Best Practice Adoption

  1. Cozzi, John

    Excellent. You just completely captured why we invest in the companies we invest in and why I focus specifically on KIPP NJ. It’s all that matters.

  2. Ed Jones

    Yes! This is why I destroyed my career to focus on changing high school. More school models won’t help.

    Changing the basic organizational tenet of high school will.


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