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We wrote this book to help but as we said above a

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Unformatted text preview: ire. It also requires the discipline to make the design of the company more important than any one short-term business goal. And it requires a great deal of freedom from outside pressure—being self-funded was key. And having a founder who was confident enough to build this kind of place is rare, indeed. Another reason that it’s hard to run a company this way is that it requires vigilance. It’s a one-way trip if the core values change, and maintaining them requires the full commitment of everyone— especially those who’ve been here the longest. For “senior” people at most companies, accumulating more power and/or money over time happens by adopting a more hierarchical culture. ================================================== – 49 – 6 Epilogue V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEE S What Is Valve Not Good At? The design of the company has some downsides. We usually think they’re worth the cost, but it’s worth noting that there are a number of things we wish we were better at: • Helping new people find their way. We wrote this book to help, but as we said above, a book can only go so far. • Mentoring people. Not just helping new people figure things out, but proactively helping people to grow in areas where they need help is something we’re organizationally not great at. Peer reviews help, but they can only go so far. • Disseminating information internally. • Finding and hiring people in completely new disciplines (e.g., economists! industrial designers!). • Making predictions longer than a few months out. • We miss out on hiring talented people who prefer to work within a more traditional structure. Again, this comes with the territory and isn’t something we should change, but it’s worth recognizing as a self-imposed limitation. – 52 – E P I L O GU E What Happens When All This Stuff Doesn’t Work? Sometimes, the philosophy and methods outlined in this book don’t match perfectly with how things are going day to day. But we’re confident that even when problems persist for a while, Valve roots them out. As you see it, are there areas of the company in which the ideals in this book are realized more fully than others? What should we do about that? Are those differences a good thing? What would you change? This handbook describes the goals we believe in. If you find yourself in a group or project that you feel isn’t meeting these goals, be an agent of change. Help bring the group around. Talk about these goals with the team and/or others. – 53 – V ALVE: H ANDBO O K FO R NEW EMP LO YEE S Where Will You Take Us? Valve will be a different company a few years from now because you are going to change it for the better. We can’t wait to see where you take us. The products, features, and experiences that you decide to create for customers are the things that will define us. Whether it’s a new game, a feature in Steam, a way to save customers money, a painting that teaches us what’s beautiful, somethin...
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