Lessons in Strategy and Customer Communication from Netflix's Failed Social Strategy and Oisa Ramen's Adaptation to the Coronavirus Crisis


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Sep 04, 2023

3 min read


Lessons in Strategy and Customer Communication from Netflix's Failed Social Strategy and Oisa Ramen's Adaptation to the Coronavirus Crisis


In the ever-evolving world of business, it is crucial to learn from both successes and failures. By examining the failed social strategy of Netflix and the adaptability of Oisa Ramen in the face of the coronavirus crisis, we can uncover valuable insights and actionable advice for businesses in various industries. This article aims to connect the common points between these two cases and provide unique ideas for navigating challenges and making informed decisions.

Netflix's Failed Social Strategy:

Netflix, a renowned streaming platform, once embarked on a social strategy with the goal of delighting customers in unique and margin-enhancing ways. However, the strategy failed to gain traction and improve customer retention. The question that arises is, why did Netflix persist with this strategy for so long?

One reason for Netflix's persistence is the biases that cloud human judgment. It is challenging to quit when the CEO is passionate about an idea, and small successes can make it even harder to let go of ineffective features. In this case, Netflix's assumption was that the failure lay in execution rather than the idea itself. It is crucial for companies to temper their pride in ownership and objectively evaluate the merit of their projects.

Finding Common Ground:

While the contexts of Netflix's failed social strategy and Oisa Ramen's adaptation to the coronavirus crisis may seem different, there are common points to be identified. Both cases highlight the importance of remaining objective and setting clear objectives.

Netflix, driven by passion and hope, failed to establish clear objectives for their social strategy. In contrast, Oisa Ramen, a restaurant in Boston, demonstrated adaptability by quickly pivoting to offering takeout options in response to the pandemic. They took the time to reevaluate their circumstances, discounting executive-level support and conventional wisdom. By setting clear goals and evaluating their pride of ownership, Oisa Ramen was able to make informed decisions.

Unique Insights:

In addition to the common points, there are unique insights to be gained from these cases. Netflix's failure teaches us the importance of not letting past investments inform future investments. Instead, businesses should ask themselves, "Given what we know today, how much should we invest going forward?" Small wins can cloud judgment, and it is essential to recognize when a proxy metric will never be significant enough to matter.

On the other hand, Oisa Ramen's adaptability during the coronavirus crisis highlights the difficulty of inventing the future. It is crucial for businesses to recognize the challenges they face and be willing to adapt and innovate in response. When engaged in a project, it is easy for personal biases to cloud a disciplined evaluation of its merit. Taking a step back and reevaluating the situation can lead to better decision-making.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Establish Clear Objectives: Guard against youthful enthusiasm by setting clear goals for your projects. This helps to remain objective and evaluate their merit, irrespective of executive-level support or conventional wisdom.
  • 2. Temper Pride in Ownership: Avoid falling into the trap of small successes clouding judgment. Be willing to let go of ineffective features or strategies and objectively assess their potential impact on your business.
  • 3. Reevaluate Investments: Continuously ask yourself, "What should we invest in today, regardless of past investment decisions?" This mindset helps to avoid being influenced by sunk costs and promotes a forward-looking approach.


By analyzing Netflix's failed social strategy and Oisa Ramen's adaptability during the coronavirus crisis, we have gained valuable insights into strategy, decision-making, and customer communication. The importance of remaining objective, setting clear objectives, and being willing to adapt cannot be overstated. By incorporating these actionable advice into their business practices, companies can navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

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