The trick is not to make a show, but to make a good show. Quoting from the NY Times Netflix article:
It already knew that a healthy share had streamed the work of Mr. Fincher, the director of “The Social Network,” from beginning to end. And films featuring Mr. Spacey had always done well, as had the British version of “House of Cards.” With those three circles of interest, Netflix was able to find a Venn diagram intersection that suggested that buying the series would be a very good bet on original programming.
How does Netflix know all this from its 33 million subscribers? Big Data of course.