Netflix has mastered a two-step process of choosing which potential dramas and comedy programs will be a hit with its subscribers. The company and its executives do not use Walk-Away Joe’s (oh, that’s what I call “consultants”). Their two-step process involves a) data paints, and b) a leap of faith.

It’s a fascinating process described by Data Scientist Sebastian Wernicke who gave a Ted talk on this subject.  He compares the successful Netflix process with the unsuccessful Amazon model. What he discovered bodes well for producers like me who produce primarily from “gut instinct” or “intuition” or whatever you want to call it.  One data-driven news consultant told me that using your gut to make producing decision is for “losers.” I actually had one call me that last year – it’s detailed in my most recent book.  Wernicke counters that taking a leap of faith aka taking a risk is how Netflix keeps comin’ up with the hits.



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