Considering how many primetime cable networks passed on this, one can’t help marvel at the speed of its upward trajectory over the past few years. One can only imagine how hard those network execs are kicking themselves right now, and they should have seen it coming. Over the course of a decade, Netflix went from a DVD rental service to a game-changer in the world of network television. How did they managed to pull off such a feat? Two words: original content. In the case of House of Cards, quality original content.

When you get an award-winning director like David Fincher and an Oscar-winning actor like Kevin Spacey together, then throw in some quality writing for good measure, it almost makes you wonder how anyone passed on House of Cards to begin with. Everything about it reads “quality original content,” and if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the marketing world, it’s that people tend gravitate to quality content. Just as no one wants to read a tired blog post on a tired topic, no one wants to tune into a rehashed show from a network that could do better. Yes, there are always exceptions to the rule, but as networks like HBO and AMC keep raising the bar with shows like True Detective and Breaking Bad, creating quality original content is your best chance at stealing viewers away from the competition.

If there’s a lesson to be learned from the success of House of Cards, it’s that Frank Underwood can’t be trusted. If there’s two lessons to be learned, it’s that when you make a quality product and market it correctly, people will take notice.

Also, doesn’t hurt to “accidentally” release your highly-anticipated product two weeks early.

Why do think House of Cards is such a big success?