#8 The GLEe Model

A long-term phased approach to crafting a product vision.

I confess. One of my guilty pleasures on Netflix is “Glee.”
  • Teams see and understand the projects, but not how they fit together.
  • Investors complain that there’s not a big enough product vision.
  • The product team feels too focused on the short term.
  • think big,
  • think long-term, and
  • describe a phased, step-by-step approach to building a product that “dents the universe.”

Netflix Product Vision

1. Get big on DVDs

Lilyhammer, Netflix’s first original series, launched in 2012.
Today, Netflix is available worldwide, with the notable exception of China.
  • As Netflix got big on DVDs, personalization powered the merchandising of high-quality, high-margin titles.
  • In the early days of streaming, when Netflix had limited content, personalization helped members zero in on the small number of titles that were “just right” for them.
  • As Netflix expanded globally, personalization helped connect members with movies they loved, regardless of nationality.
  • Today, with original content, personalization helps Netflix to right-size its content investments. Based on the knowledge of its 185M members’ tastes, Netflix can reasonably forecast that 20M members will watch “Bojack Horseman” while 100M members will likely stream “Stranger Things.” Well-informed forecasts let Netflix invest its $20B in content intelligently. At a ballpark level, they spent $500M on “Stranger Things” and $100M on “Bojack.” The ability to forecast streaming hours based on member tastes enables Netflix to build lots of great niche content, as well as an occasional worldwide hit.

Product Strategy Exercise (#10)

To outline the GLEe model for your product and company, ask yourself three questions:

Product Vision

  1. Get Big on:
  2. Lead:
  3. Expand:



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