What’s the strength of incumbents? Industry experience and knowing how business gets done. But sometimes, these strengths can be weaknesses. Incumbents frequently try to meet existing and new challenges with familiar solutions. Mike Kail talks about how at Netflix, startups bring fresh approaches and the importance of having a partner relationship with a startup. 

Partnering with Startups

We get to see a lot of early technology here, and I think a bunch of stuff that we’re working on really needs a new way of thinking, so that’s why it’s fun to talk to the start-ups instead of the incumbents, because they take a fresh approach to architecture.

So if you talk about how do you secure a cloud environment, you can’t deploy a firewall of finance for example. There is no perimeter and there is no ingress or egress, so you have to take a completely new approach.

We definitely have a fairly huge appetite for working start-ups. And much like interviewing and employees, I interview start-ups based on (a) technology and then (b) in a team that we can really partner with. So getting out of the vendor relationship and really moving into the partner world.