Conquest’s Second Law, Netflix Edition

Back when he was blogging, the Oilfield Expat wrote a piece on the management of Netflix in the early years (it’s worth reading the whole thing). His post was based on an article describing the techniques employed by the CEO Reed Hastings, according to the lady who was their chief talent officer between 1998 and 2012. Underneath, commenter dearieme added this remark:

I dare say that if netflix survives long enough to become a “mature” corporation it will become just as bad.

Well, Reed Hastings is still the CEO but this didn’t fill me with confidence:

Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are teaming up with Netflix to produce films and TV shows.

Netflix say the former US President and First Lady have “entered into a multi-year agreement” with the service.

It says the “films and series” will “potentially” include “scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features.”

“Barack and I have always believed in the power of storytelling to inspire us,” said Michelle Obama.

Presumably there is a shortage of seasoned professional TV producers forcing Netflix to recruit former politicians and their wives. Or, it’s simply a way for wealthy liberals to bankroll the Obamas’ lifestyle to which they’re now accustomed:

This is third-world stuff, and I think it’s safe to say sensible management practices have left Netflix, along with the smart money. Give it a year or so and they’ll have gone full SJW.

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17 thoughts on “Conquest’s Second Law, Netflix Edition

  1. “Well, Reed Hastings is still the CEO but this didn’t fill me with confidence:”

    Sez you followed up instantly underneath with an advert for “5 Herbs that can help Dementia”. You or him?

    Obummer urgently needs jail time. Trump should be working to see he and Killery get such.

    You can’t win a defensive war.

  2. Conquest’s Laws could also use a codicil:

    1. The Left seeks traitors. The Right seeks converts.

    2. The Left view their opponents as motivated by malice and evil. The Right sees their opponents as motivated by stupidity.

    3. To the Left, intentions trump outcomes. To the right, outcomes trump intentions.

  3. Same story with Harry Potter, a huge amount of the publishers earnings were just given to an array of politicians and luvvies as non-refundable advances on books that nobody in their right mind would want to read.

  4. Netfux is getting worse day by day, and with it more and more tripe on it is rapidly becoming unwatchable.

    I originally subscribed thinking I would get to see some old movies as well as some newer releases I had missed at the time, plus the odd TV series that was intelligently scripted. Okay, that didn’t work out as I hoped, but the news that the Obumbles are going to have an influence is hilarious.

    I therefore ‘look forward’ to many badly scripted shows about the struggles of young illegal immigrants into the States to find their voice, impose their will on society and generally piss on a couple of centuries of tradition and heritage as represented by the hated white people.

    But even more than that I look forward to the off switch in order to avoid wasting more of my time.

  5. Okay, there’s this gossip blog called Crazy Days and Nights. They specialise in “blind items” (i.e. “This A-list actor was off his tits on shoe polish last night.”). Sometimes they veer into outlandish conspiracy theories, which is where it gets entertaining.

    Anyway, one of their anonymous contributors – a “Mr. Hedge” – is purportedly one Gabe Hoffman, a hedge fund manager who produced a documentary about Hollywood paedos called “An Open Secret”.

    Mr. Hedge’s blind items run the gamut, but he has two bugbears: Elon Musk and Netflix. He’s written a bunch of items suggesting that Netflix is an elaborate con.

    Obviously, you will want to take all of that with a rather large grain of salt.

    Anyway, point being: if the Netflix bigwigs are playing a con, then investing in the Obamas makes sense. When the shit hits the fan, it’ll be good to have some powerful politicians on your side.

    P.S. There’s also an argument that Netflix is only profitable because they’re shunting their costs onto ISPs. I don’t know if that’s right – it’s all too complicated for me – but maybe our gracious host or some of his cleverer commenters know their onions and can figure it out.

  6. Okay, there’s this gossip blog called Crazy Days and Nights.

    Blimey, there really isn’t much to do around your way, is there?!

  7. “There’s also an argument that Netflix is only profitable because they’re shunting their costs onto ISPs.”

    Karl Denninger bangs on about this all the time. Its not so much shifting the costs onto the ISPs, but onto all other broadband users.

    The whole ‘net neutrality’ thing was basically a way of allowing the likes of Netflix to offload the cost of providing the network capacity required for its services onto the consumers who don’t use their product. If the cost of providing the capacity for Netflix was incorporated into the monthly payment, then no-one would buy Netflix. But net neutrality means the ISPs have to provide that capacity to Netflix but can’t charge them extra for providing it, so everyone else has to pay more for their internet to compensate.

    https://www.etc-md.com/archives/5014

  8. If you assume Netflix is acting rationally the transaction takes on a much more uncomfortable tone.

    Netflix is a questionable business under traditional valuation assumptions, but the same can be said of many companies these days. I think that investors highly overvalue network effects.

  9. I dumped Netflix ages ago. It’s like twelve decent movies, and fifty bad ones. And that’s it. Oh, and a million modern American TV series. Which may be good, or bad, I don’t know, and I don’t have the time or inclination to find out.

  10. I’m with Hector Drummond.

    Two years ago I was browsing Netflix and realized I had seen everything I wanted to in their library and that all new releases were dreck, stupid dreck or stupid communist dreck.

    I canceled and have been getting ever more urgent emails asking me to reactivate. I could unsubscribe to those but they give me a schadenboner.

  11. Blimey, there really isn’t much to do around your way, is there?!

    Hey, it can be fun figuring out who they’re talking about. It’s like a crossword puzzle.

    I’m not making it sound better, am I?

  12. Apparently Netflix is deep in debt, with about $20 billion in debt and liabilities:
    http://www.thefader.com/2017/07/31/netflix-20-billion-debt

    Although this article reckons it isn’t a problem:
    https://www.polygon.com/2017/8/15/16151944/netflix-disney-debt

    Maybe it isn’t, but the Obama news makes me suspicious. Various commentators have noted that recently, when newspapers and other media sources are well on the way downhill financially, they start turning aggressively left in order to hold onto a core of customers who can keep them going for a few more years.

  13. Hector Drummond, I think they turn aggressively left because the entrenched leftists intend to, and succeed in, gutting the corporation of its remaining assets and credit for the benefit of their leftist brethren.

    This is to advance their cause and provide themselves with safe refuge when the corporation dies. It also pleases them to steal from the shareholders and creditors.

    It’s a Mafia “bust out”.

  14. To be fair Netflix also produced two very powerful anti-communist films: First They Killed My Father and Beasts of No Nation. They’ve certainly been spitting content and I’ve sampled a bit thanks to the missus:

    Altered Carbon: Meh. Lots of boobs. Didn’t care for the premise. Top notch production value.

    Sense8: Just awful. Purple haired fever dream.

    13 Reasons Why: Criminally bad messaging for depressed teens. This one pissed me off something fierce.

    Arrested Development: while not as good as pre-Netflix, it’s grown on me.

    Luke Cage: it was ok, but I’m sick of comic book crap.

    Castlevania/Godzilla: I love these, but not everyone’s cup of tea.

    Any standup special: terrible. I’ve stopped giving them a chance.

    Lost In Space: Fun, light-hearted, exciting, and apolitical though I’ve only seen a few episodes. Here’s hoping it doesn’t go full SJW.

    Narcos: Incredible show due to the acting. Really top notch.

  15. Here’s hoping it doesn’t go full SJW.

    I’m not sure which Lost In Space you were watching, the one I saw was full-on Reba with the hyper-competent wife/dumbass husband motif. Add in the mixed-race adopted genius daughter from a previous dalliance and the sex-swapping of the traditionally male Dr. Smith and I’d say we’re down that rabbit hole already.

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