Netflix® is clearly a superpower. How do I know this? It is not because of its exponential growth in subscribers or in the smiles on the faces of the shareholders. I know this because Netflix has met the Superpower criteria; it can be used for evil. Unfortunately, this “used for evil” metric was proven out by my own child. 

I came home one day in 2014 from a long day at the office. I was a single mom of two elementary-school children and CEO of a tech firm. There is no welcome in the world like the welcome of a child. I walked into the house at the end of my office work day and the beginning of my single-mom-work day. I dropped my backpack on the laundry room counter and almost instantly was met by Violet-the-dog’s excited barking, and the sound of tiny feet and claws scrambling to take the corner at full speed. I was then hit by my two tiny torpedoes. I picked up Thing 1 and Thing 2 for hugs and walked into the kitchen.  (oh… I remember the days when I could pick them both up…sigh.) Thing One scampered out and Thing 2 sat on the kitchen counter talking to me with an adorable lisp while I made dinner. Violet-the-dog sat happily underfoot hoping for scraps to be dropped in the making of the meal. 

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The conversation started with familiarity… “So, how was your day?” This was not just a rote question. This youngest child of mine is a force of nature. Small but mighty would be an apt description. 

I looked back from digging in the refrigerator for something I could throw into a quick/healthy meal and the look on the tiny warrior’s face stopped me cold. They were wearing a self-satisfied smirk on their face that set off my Mommy-meter. 

“What did you do? Was it the mean girl again?” I took my phone out of my pocket to see if I had missed a dreaded call from the school principle. 

The ferocious five-year old looked at me and crossed their arms over their chest and puffed up even prouder. We had been having problems with a particular mean girl at school, and clearly in a nod to me needing to be a better parent, as often as not ended up with “small but mighty” jumping up to punch the much bigger mean girl. Mean girl made fun of tiny warrior’s lisp, the fact Thing 2 was a head shorter than most of the class, their “fashion” insisting on different socks, non-matching shoes, many layers of clothes. Mean girl was just mean.  

“No Mama, I used my words. But I took care of HER…. once (pronounced WON-TH) . AND. FOR. ALL. 

Me repeating… “Words only? You didn’t punch her? What did you SAY?” 

Tiny warrior: “Thee (she) was being mean again and I tol’ her she better stop or my mama was gonna turn off her Netflix.… (pronounced NET-fli-TH)”.

I slapped a hand over my mouth in an attempt to hide the smile and the chortle that bubbled out into a throat clearing. I wiped off the amusement and with mock seriousness looked down. “You know I can’t do that, right? I can’t turn off anybody’s Netflix. ” 

Tiny warrior with biggest smirk that could fit on a small face:  “Yeth Mama… but th-ee(yes mama, but she) doesn’t know that!! And she asked her dad to watch Netflix on his phone and it didn’t work. I think it was the power of my mind!! She came back to school today and promised she would be nice to me if you turn back on her Netflix.” Tiny warrior then took both hands and wiped off the palms against each other as if to say… and THAT IS THAT.

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So while a clever child has figured out early on that Netflix is a superpower, and how to use it to come out on top…

I stand here today running one of the fastest growing tech companies in the country because a few good men used their superpower for good.

 I remember the meeting I was summoned to at Netflix HQ … it might as well have been Olympus… where David Simpson and I charged boldly forward to try to convince the digital media giant that they should take a chance on this tiny tech company to carry Netflix into hotel rooms around the world. I remember where I was sitting in that room. I may have been the only woman at the table, but I was not alone. I had the support from our friends at Marriott who facilitated the meeting, our partners at Broadcom who vouched for our technical ability, as well as my partners in crime back at our offices who made the technology work and had every finger and toe crossed about this critical meeting.

The Netflix team made the choice that day to give us a chance, the rest is our company history.

I thank you, my team thanks you, and apparently my tiny warrior thanks you… the mean girl…maybe wishes you had made a different choice. Happy International Women’s Day!

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If you just happen to be staying in one of our hotels, push the Netflix button and log in. Netflix’s film Nomad just won a Golden Globe for best picture directed and produced by Chloe Zhao (only the second female filmmaker to take the prize in 78 years) and is up for an Oscar for both best picture as well as best director.  Another positive example of Netflix using inclusion and diversity as a Superpower. Congrats @Chloe Zhao!

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Copyright 2021 Vanessa Ogle All Rights Reserved