A utopian approach to media creation

27Aug12

This isn’t a new news item by any means, but in April of this year, the new employee handbook for Valve Software was posted on the internet as a pdf. Valve is one of the most innovative game companies on the internet, the creators of the Steam network, the Half Life, Counterstrike, and Portal franchises. Their handbook paints an image of a company that embodies the multi user free form development style that Flew is talking about in the section on Convergent Media.Web 2.0, though the barriers to entry are “be hired by valve.” As a company, they have a non-hierarchical internal structure where people are free to work on their own projects and what projects get resources within the company are determined by the ability of the people involved in the project to convince other workers that they want to work on that project as well. It is the Open Source movement writ small with selection for ability to work that way built into hiring practices.

Boing Boing on the subject: http://boingboing.net/2012/04/22/valve-employee-manual-describe.html

The handbook itself:
http://newcdn.flamehaus.com/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf

and several employee interpretations of the org chart for Valve:

http://craphound.com/images/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf-pages.png.jpg

Michael Phillips

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