Netflix’s technology and hiring practices

In the article “Netflix, Reed Hastings Survive Missteps to Join Silicon Valley's Elite”, Ashlee Vance profiles Netflix and its CEO Hastings for Businessweek. The article mentions a few interesting tidbits about the company’s technology and hiring practices:
  • Netflix data comprises a third of the incoming data in North American homes.
  • Their infrastructure is based on Amazon Web Services.
  • In off-peak hours, Netflix’s systems are repurposed to analyze data. The results are used to pre-cache data and to determine the likelihood of success of a show that Netflix might finance.
  • As an employer, Netflix pays well:
    Managers routinely survey salary trends in Silicon Valley and pay their employees 10 percent to 20 percent more than the going rate for a given skill. Fired employees also get ultragenerous severance packages; the idea is to remove guilt as an obstacle to management parting ways with subpar performers.
    And they prefer to have older employees:
    Netflix also tends to employ older people than its peers. “We hire fully formed adults,” says Cockcroft. “We let them do five years at Google before taking them on.”