At the core of product innovation at Netflix is consumer science; Netflix constantly tests and iterates on new ideas for every aspect of the streaming service. This experiment-oriented culture uses data from actual customer usage of the product to quickly understand which ideas are great.
At the 2012 O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON), Rochelle King and Matt Marenghi described the consumer science process in detail. They demonstrated how it can apply to everything from a new UI concept to a new back-end algorithm. They also discussed how the company culture and the product development approach inter-relate, and shared how this customer focus drives decision-making at every level of the company. They also discussed some of the limitations of consumer science, and how to make decisions where science can’t easily shine a light.