Valuable contributions | Seth’s Blog

We actually don’t really know.

Netflix just released their first-ever detailed analysis of how many hours of engagement the top 15,000+ most watched shows on the network received over a six month period. Here’s the file.

Who won?

That question is actually the lesson here. The fact is, most organizations are pretty clueless about where real value lies. We’re all playing Moneyball, all the time.

The obvious answer: more hours watched = more value created is pretty easily dismissed. In fact, a lonely couch potato with no friends who watches for eighty hours a week is probably costing Netflix more than they’re paying.

A show that’s popular but easily replaced by another show that could find the good luck to be popular is a shiny trap.

Perhaps value is created by the creator of a show that is the one show that gets someone to keep paying their Netflix bill, even if they only watch an hour a week.

Perhaps it’s a show that a group finds worth talking about, so each hour of viewing translates into new customers for the network.

Maybe it’s a show that earns them a reputation as creator-friendly, so it brings them the next generation of story tellers.

Or it might be the show that costs not very much to license from abroad, but generates plenty of impact for a difficult to reach portion of the audience…

At the local car rental place, the most valuable employee might be the one who made sure, at the last moment, that the car didn’t smell like cigarettes, or found a defect that might have led to a breakdown. It’s easy to show that saving a good customer is worth far more than pushing for a fancy ad that only attracts some bargain-seeking short-term customers.

Whether you’re running a political campaign, a non-profit fundraiser or a network, it’s almost certain that your team is confused about where the value really lies.

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