Binge Behaviorism


Binge eating: The Golden Corral (all-you-can-eat buffet)

Binge drinking: college Freshmen, the Super Big Gulp (7-Eleven’s 1.2 litres/41 fl oz)

Binge weight loss: The Biggest Loser (contestants on TV show)

Binge fat loss: liposuction

Binge watching: House of Cards (courtesy of Netflix)

A beautiful coup Netflix has accomplished.  It created a differentiator for itself in order to enter an industry that has a steep barrier to entry (i.e. Media & Entertainment, e.g. HBO & Showtime), and managed to nab an Oscar nomination in the process.

Teradata’s “data analytics” software technology provides Netflix with consumer profiles of what type of end-user is interested in which types of movies.  This, incontrovertibly, led to its $100 million investment in the production of House of Cards (HoC), a calculated gamble that is paying off in spades.  Netflix is providing for their consumers exactly what their tastes have indicated.*

Netflix has 1) eliminated the middleman by not using Cable, 2) they eliminated the annoying window of time for your rental, 3) they reduced the cost by offering a flat fee for ALL products (e.g. not scaled like Amazon movies); and, 4) partnered with two core actors (i.e. Kevin Spacey; Robin Wright) who can carry the show. 

In essence, Netflix has redefined home entertainment.  Their straight-to-streaming productions has viewers binge watching an entire season in a matter of days.  Netflix’s second season of HoC was streamed in its entirety by roughly one million people over Valentine’s Day weekend, 2014. This unprecedented business tactic appeals to the American “on-demand, I-want-it-now!” cultural preference.  Netflix has taken the narrow-minded “It’s never been done that way!” mentality, and has turned it upside-down on its head with a big, fat, “Who cares? WE will do it that way!”


Binge Working

Could it be a developmental pattern of American behavior that has escalated from the 1940’s to 2014?  This is particularly evident in the behavior of “binge working.” The workweek has gone from 40 hours in five days, to 60+ hours in six daysThis shift in office workplace habits has created terms such as “workaholic” and “work-life balance” (as a counter-reaction).

What happened to moderation?  What are the predictions for a mass culture that does not practice restraint?  How is it that other cultures have policies that allow wine at lunch, e.g. France, while the USA struggles with Alcoholics Anonymous?  What will become of those states, e.g. Colorado, that offer permissive laws on substances, such as marijuana, to a population which has difficulty knowing when to say, “No, I’ve had enough”?  What are the steps leading to a “Nanny State” that panders to a dependent populace?

What really matters? Perhaps it’s being connected with people you love while sharing a story that provokes thought and evokes emotion.

Pass the popcorn.

Jogger/Rower Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator.


* Netflix’s Analytic Thought-Leader Kurt Brown is providing a free webinar called “Analytics in the Clouds,” on March 18, 2014.  He will address how Netflix uses analytics in the cloud to drive its business. To learn more or register, please CLICK HERE.

©Rossina Gil, 2014


About Rossina

Thought Partner & Corporate Primatologist

Posted on March 6, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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