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Ideas. Insights. Inspiration.

Credit Where Due

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos did something on his Instagram page two weeks ago that some people might find highly unusual.

He publicly praised a competitor.

Linking to an article praising the Netflix phenomena"Squid Game", Bezos wrote:

"Reed Hastings and @TedSarandos and the team at @Netflix get it right so often. Their internationalization strategy isn't easy, and they're making it work. Impressive and inspiring. (And I can't wait to watch the show.)"

Amazon Prime Video competes directly with Netflix. And while Amazon actually has more television shows and far more movies than Netflix, Netflix is the clear winner when it comes to creating and effectively distributing international content:

  • Norsemen, which premiered in 2016 and lasted three full seasons, is Norweigian.

  • Dark, which debuted in 2017 and also ran for three years, is German.

  • Spain's La Casa de Papel is better known as "Money Heist" in North America, but only the title was changed. First introduced in 2017, fans around the world are eagerly awaiting the second part of the fifth and final season to premiere in December 2021.

  • Lupin, the French series introduced in early 2021, was just renewed for a third season.

To be clear, these shows aren't just produced in countries outside of North America. They're produced in their native languages, with subtitles and dubbing provided for North American audiences. And yet every one of them has managed to be successful on a global scale, to varying degrees.

The Korean Squid Game isn't the first international sensation from Netflix, it's just the latest.

And rather than try to minimize the huge success of the show, Bezos chose to celebrate it.

Successful people and successful companies aren't afraid of the competition.

They learn to recognize it, appreciate it, understand it, and most importantly, learn from it.

That's how they get better.

Going so far as to publicly praise a competitor, as Bezos did, isn't required.

But ignore, diminish, or refuse to acknowledge the good things your competition is doing at your own peril.

P.S. If you haven't already binged Squid Game, I highly recommend it! The premise is somewhat disturbing and the gore is plentiful, but if you can get past that it's both a compelling story about the power of relationships and a scathing criticism of capitalist society.

Also, I'm absolutely one of those fans eagerly awaiting the final season of Money Heist: it's a phenomenal show I recommend to everybody who asks me what they should watch next.


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