In the tech world, we usually see Apple as the most secretive company around. But it turns out Netflix might be just as paranoid, and just as fascinating. This expose will make you see DVD-rental-by-mail in a totally new light.
I love Netflix, and I understand why they need to keep their secrets locked up tight: They're one of the few true innovators in the tech world and they've had to contend with some nasty copycatting. But they go a little over-the-top with their secrecy: Every warehouse is totally anonymous, hidden, and unbranded; the Tribune reporter who filed this story isn't allowed to divulge even the slightest hint as to where the warehouse he visited is.
Some more interesting tidbits: It doesn't matter when you mail out your DVDs, since they're filed all at once, in the wee hours of the morning (think 3.00am to 7.00am). Netflix employees (officially called "associates") have forced calisthenics every 65 minutes. And coolest of all, they have a machine that scans 30,000 DVD envelope barcodes per hour, sending out an email to Netflix subscribers immediately saying Netflix has received their DVD back. It's a really fascinating read, go check it out. [Chicago Tribune]