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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.
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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
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
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This document was uploaded on 03/03/2014.
- Fall '14