May 02, 2012 0 Comments.

The Valve Handbook

The new handbook that the video game development company Valve makes every new hire read.  Fascinating stuff.

– Company has no organizational chart…or assigned seating. Every desk has wheels so that you can pow-wow in different areas.

– Company has no assigned projects.  Every worker comes up with projects and then recruits others to work on it with him/her.  Best projects garner more recruits and so the best ideas float to the top and get shipped.

– Many truisms turn out to be wrong. Its always best to test.

– Do what needs to be done.  What a terrifying thing for management to tell their people.  (Giving people the ability to fail so that they can have the ability to do what is most important.)

Knowing what to do when no one is there to tell you what it is = fearlessness, confidence, and knowledge.

Hierarchy and Structure will eventually seek to serve itself rather than the thing it was created for (hiring people to fit its shape, hiring subordinates)

The three questions you ask when evaluating whether someone is on your team or not
– would I want this person to be my boss
– would I learn a significant amount from him or her?
– what if this person went to work for our competition?

Being a T shaped individual (wide expanse of knowledge in many areas, deep expertise in a few), requires you to be the best at something, and for you to be good at things that are not natural to you

Feeling pressured to complete something shows that you aren’t using your time correctly.

Man, it would be crazy to work at a company like Valve.  Someday, I’m going to poke my head into that office in their and just soak it in, it sounds like a really cool place.

Leave a Reply