Remember when I dumped Netflix?

Netflix stocks plummet after they’re forced to admit they’re not growing anymore. What have they learned? ‘be more like hulu, they’re still growing, so maybe we just need to offer ads like they do.’

Or, they could listen. They say they’ve lost thousands of subscribers. Well, I, for one, told them why I was leaving. They didn’t just lose my subscription; they probably also ignored my advice.

There are obviously Paramount, HBO, Disney, etc., to explain away the lack of growth. But how would Netflix treat me, if I were in charge? I suspect I would be held fully accountable, even if I didn’t personally start the fire. My experience is in a different industry, but I think it’s relevant.

Middle management in Corporations can see market changes result in emotional abuse from upper management. I learned this first hand working with Staples. They imposed a solution for lack of growth: Train the copy center managers to MINE our communities for new customers! We had weekly conference calls where we were literally being yelled at by corporate and just, berated, and our store was doing well! Meanwhile, profitable customers we had already earned would be tracked, the largest ones stolen away by Corporate! They would compete with us, their own store, by specifically targeting our best customers, offering percentage discounts the store is not allowed to offer, win them over to online only… and then remove them from our contribution to the store, thus dragging down our profit!

I looked at the community that I lived in, in RURAL OREGON, and figured in a year we’ll be targeting home school teachers only because there’d be no other economy left to draw from here. 100% of the market only gets you so far, you eventually HAVE to stop growing. But if we wait until then, there’s nothing left. (Thanks to the governor of my state at the beginning of the pandemic, I was able to walk away from that job with dignity. I’m buying time with a younger corporation now, where life is much better, but I’m sick of seeing people compelled to work in the first place. There was never any reason for worker productivity to exponentially outpace wages. Computers were supposed to make things easier for all of us, not just more profitable because employees can now do more work simultaneously.) “Wealth redistribution” was introduced into legislation while shouting that the other side was about to come and steal everyone’s wealth and redistribute it. At least that hasn’t changed much.

I didn’t mention any of that, when I walked away from Netflix. Instead,

I gave my reason for leaving. I don’t care if we’re streaming Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon, it doesn’t matter. Most of it is junk food anyway, I don’t think anyone is too picky about these things. It’s not as important as it’s made out to be. I’ve moved away from things, we all have. I know it’s true for GenX, our whole lives have been littered with ‘things’ that came and went. (Word processors, VCR’s, enough memes to plaster great walls of the internet.) As for Netflix, it has a special place in my heart. It was supposed to forever replace Blockbuster, but it really let me down. I didn’t lose interest, either; I was finally driven away by the interface.

I don’t know if Netflix pioneered this “feature,” but I would have to put my hand out to cover the screen. I can’t read a movie description WHILE the movie is just playing --no! STOP! I can’t be trying to not see and hear the movie playing while I’m trying to read a description. I haven’t even decided yet, and it should still be my decision, right? Did they ever offer an option to turn that off? Of course not.

I saw this behavior earlier, in consumer electronics, and it’s not any funnier now. This BS has been in play for as long as I’ve been alive, it’s why GenX doesn’t get mentioned: they don’t expect us to have any rights, let alone original thought, by the end of this. Just “instant gratification.” When we were a minority, still growing up, they weren’t afraid to say it all out loud. People remember it was the cold war, but seriously? I didn’t know what cold war meant, it had been going on even before I was born. New World Order didn’t sound very appealing, though. Now, with new generations, we can finally outvote the boomers? Great, I’m sick of broken promises from old politicians, using their power to trash the reputations of perfectly good words in the English language. And, yes, we had video games to ourselves for a while. But, I digress.

I didn’t expect Netflix to read what I wrote to them, and it wasn’t the first time I’d used the tools they provide, to send them similar feedback. If you don’t offer the right choices for consumers, consumers will make other choices instead, in a free world, anyway. Netflix just thought they would grow forever; they all think that. Thankfully, in this case, two can play; eight can, too; in fact, that makes it all the better for consumers. Is Netflix actually struggling? Sure, but not in a human sense. Unlike humans, plants, fungus, or fish, corporations don’t have feelings. Let them all crash if they want to, who cares? Let 'em go! But, no, they’re not in dire straights by any means, even if they end up abusing their employees in the process. Again, they don’t have feelings.

And, it’s totally their own fault that they’re losing customers. They should have just started a collective in the first place. What they think about us, is true for them. They need to be governed. They need to be regulated. We need to profit from them. Or else they need to go away.

-Gad Zook-