Oral History of Netflix
Founding stories of companies are fascinating. But 90% of the time, those stories are very well crafted ones. They try to exploit the human tendency of listening to a narrative. Even though a successful company is founded by many random instances, we all like to hear our heroes burning the midnight oil on their way to success.
Nassim Taleb debunks many of these stories as a narrative fallacy. We know Jeff Bezos is one of the smartest men around. When Brad Stone wanted to write a biography about Jeff Bezos, Jeff asks Brad on how he will avoid narrative fallacy.
My ideal founding story is like this: The founder(s) says their version of the story, the biographer reads between lines, digs deep and does kickass research and presents the story to us. This might not be the most accurate version, but it will be much more accurate than the originally crafted version.
It is for this exact reason, the best book in 2018 for me, was the Valley of Genius. It is an oral history of Silicon Valley. It is a book that is basically a cut-copied-pasted quotes/interviews of many people done in an interesting manner. It nearly borders on the area of gossip, but we just have to trust the author to weed and vet the stories.
Today I came across the history of Netflix in a podcast show, Acquired (https://www.acquired.fm). It's very well researched almost-narrative-fallacy-proof content. It's in two parts. If you like Netflix and are interested in its history, it is very well worth your time. Do listen and share your thoughts.