An Insight a Day

On Changing Your Mind

Marc Randolph, the co-founder of Netflix, on changing your mind. Lightly edited, emphasis mine.

A few years ago, I decided I would try to change my mind about something at least once a month – and that turned out to be way too easy.


I needed to approach my beliefs the way I did when I was debating in high school. I had to prepare myself to be able to articulate and defend a certain side of an argument, but I had to do so without knowing until right before the debate which side I would need to argue for.

The more I did this, the more I realized how shallow so many of my opinions were, and that this way of thinking could not only be applied to big topics [...] but to smaller and equally heated topics.


It’s been liberating, because I no longer spend my time building the case for why I’m right. I now spend most of my cycles trying to figure out why they think they are.

It has changed my perspective on almost every topic I’ve looked at. But what has surprised me most about the exercise is that in almost every instance, changing my mind didn’t mean flipping from one side to the other, but simply meant moving closer to the center. It meant acknowledging that these were complicated and nuanced answers that didn’t have any right answer. Or more frequently, would require partially unsatisfactory outcomes for both sides to agree on, accept, and move on.

Marc Randolph

This is something I need to work on as well, and perhaps we all do.