You Can’t Win Against The Internet

I’ve done my fair share of Netflix bashing over the last few months. Of course their price hike upset me. And then there were reports that they were limiting the number of streams you could have going at any one time. For those with small children, you know that multiple streams are a gift from the Lords of Cobal themselves. Luckily those reports proved to be incorrect.

Maybe the real reason I’m mad at them is because I can’t find the last DVD they sent me. I mean, seriously, how many places can a two year old hide something??!!

I was pretty surprised to see an email this morning from the CEO of Netflix. Yep, Reed Hastings himself was apologizing for their string of recent snafus. His email linked to a more in-depth blog post where he tried to explain their rationale behind the price hike. He spoke about how their DVD service was going to be split off into its own brand and how they were now going to start offering games. He said the websites would be separate with each having their own separate charges based on their service. He tried to make everything sound great.

I guarantee that he and every set of eyes at Netflix, that reviewed the post before he published it, thought they were good. Then the internet got a hold of it.

Ever read the comments on the White House Facebook page? Ever step into the Blizzard forums? Whenever I get the courage to read those pages or posts, my heart cries for humanity.

I started reading through the comments on Reed Hasting’s blog post and realized that Netflix isn’t going to win. Businesses cannot possibly win against the internet, once it turns on you.

Jane Wells talks about how a misunderstood tweet lead to a lot of unnecessary heartache. TJ Sullivan talks about how communication is the key circumvent a storm.

But I’ve been in the position where I’ve had something, that I truly believed to be good and necessary, completely blow up in my face – all over the internet.

Until you reach an executive or leadership level in a business or organization, you cannot possibly begin to understand the complexities and politics of trying to do what you think is best for the organization. You can dot all the “i’s”, cross all the “t’s”, and even make some really tough decisions, but you will be criticized and second guessed each and every step of the way.  And its absolutely crazy now the smallest thing can get blown so way out of proportion on the internet.

That’s the leadership world we live in today. Worry about the internal, worry about the external, and worry about the internet. Sometimes they are all one in the same.

Good luck Netflix. I hope you can weather this storm. And, if you could, please hurry up with streaming The Wonder Years?!

Photo found via Flickr.


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