• CodeInvasion@sh.itjust.works
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      1 month ago

      Valve is a unique company with no traditional hierarchy. In business school, I read a very interesting Harvard Business Review article on the subject. Unfortunately it’s locked behind a paywall, but this is Google AI’s summary of the article which I confirm to be true from what I remember:

      According to a Harvard Business Review article from 2013, Valve, the gaming company that created Half Life and Portal, has a unique organizational structure that includes a flat management system called “Flatland”. This structure eliminates traditional hierarchies and bosses, allowing employees to choose their own projects and have autonomy. Other features of Valve’s structure include:

      • Self-allocated time: Employees have complete control over how they allocate their time
      • No managers: There is no managerial oversight
      • Fluid structure: Desks have wheels so employees can easily move between teams, or “cabals”
      • Peer-based performance reviews: Employees evaluate each other’s performance and stack rank them
      • Hiring: Valve has a unique hiring process that supports recruiting people with a variety of skills
      • Ragdoll X@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Kinda sounds like how worker cooperatives work tbh, but with Gabe still technically being the owner.

        I remember reading a news piece a while back about how the founder of a food company made sure to transfer ownership to the employees before leaving. While we’re talking about worst-case scenarios, let’s also hope for the best and hope that Gabe has a similar plan.

        • andxz@lemmy.world
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          1 month ago

          Him being a pretty smart guy overall surely has at least some sort of continuity planned.

          • nilloc
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            1 month ago

            It would be best to convert it to full employee ownership if it isn’t yet. As long as a steady stream of good employees keeps revolving in it should be a stable company that provides for its employees and customers.

      • Ech@lemm.ee
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        1 month ago

        PeopleMakeGames has a two part series on Valve that’s pretty interesting. The second part (here) dives into the structure of the company. It does have a bit of an angle, fwiw, so if you’d prefer something more objective, it might not be a great watch. Personally I think the issues they bring up are valid, but figured I’d mention it.

      • menemen@lemmy.ml
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        1 month ago

        A little unsure about the “peer based performance review”, sounds like bullying might somehow have to be kept in check. Otherwise this sounds awesome.

        • JJROKCZ@lemmy.world
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          1 month ago

          Lots of companies have peer based employee reviews, cliques have the capability to cause harm in these firms but normally the peers reviewing you are rotated each review period to minimalise that and any bad actors can normally seen by management’s review of the peer reviews.

            • JJROKCZ@lemmy.world
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              1 month ago

              I don’t believe Valves claim of perfectly flat structure, Gabe is the owner, he if no one else is management and has the power. I’m willing to bet there’s a second level of reviewers for peers, if nothing else then it’s a second separate set of peers reviewing the first set’s reviews to watch for this problem.

        • rwhitisissle@lemmy.ml
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          1 month ago

          Fun fact: Former employees of Valve have said that is actually a huge problem in the organization and that its organizational structure seems to encourage bullying and high-school style “cliquishness” by design.

          • daltotron@lemmy.world
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            1 month ago

            I mean it’s not as though that’s not a problem in normal companies. It’s just that normal companies can sort of use the guise of structure or professionalism to harangue whatever employees the clique ends up disliking. The cliques are baked in, in a normal company.

            • rwhitisissle@lemmy.ml
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              1 month ago

              It can be a problem at other companies, but even worse than average at Valve by virtue of corporate structure. Both of these things can be true.

      • Takumidesh@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Stack ranking is toxic and removes individuality from a given employees expectations in my opinion.

        People should be qualified to give proper unbiased reviews. Just because someone is an excellent engineer does not mean they are good at understanding other people’s expectations and work outputs.

        I worked at a company that had no ‘managers’ just the owner, and everyone else. I hated that I had no real way to settle disputes and every single disagreement has to ultimately be resolved by the literal one person who was in charge.

        I think there is merit to flat structures, but I don’t think the extreme is always the way to go.

      • Adalast@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        This, and as long as the company is legally structured to prevent restructuring things will be fine.

    • bolexforsoup@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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      1 month ago

      Do you know everybody who works there and what their ambitions are?

      Also, nothing is impossible when you can deploy thepower of acquisition lol i’m less worried about them internally polluting themselves and more about externally being destroyed. We’ve seen this over and over again.

      • efstajas@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Apparently 50%+ of the company belongs to Gabe himself, presumably he would pass it on to some very trusted. That makes a hostile takeover pretty unlikely.

        • xavier666@lemm.ee
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          1 month ago

          I really hope he is secretly investing in cloning so we can get Gaben (2) joining Valve soon. Or atleast invest some money in uploading his consciousness into a giant metal head 🗿

        • Sanguine@lemmy.world
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          1 month ago

          He could just turn it into a nonprofit at some point with some specific rules in place about how certain things are handled within the company.

    • helenslunch@feddit.nl
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      1 month ago

      Doesn’t really matter if none of those people have authority on the direction of the company, which they don’t.

      • xantoxis@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Yeah the scenario we’re being asked to consider is what if someone else gets control of the company, so whatever power employees nominally have now, they won’t if he dies without deeding the company to a collective.

    • InputZero@lemmy.ml
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      1 month ago

      Realistically, it’s only a matter of time until Steam becomes as enshittificated as any other services. There is profit to be made from Steam selling advertising space and customer data. They can either choose to capitalize on the profits that are in front of them, or allow another company to and take that capital from them. For a business it’s not a matter of what’s right and wrong anymore but consume or be consumed. If Steam isn’t willing to do that someone else will be willing to play the long game and do it. Then it’ll be only a matter of time until Steam gets acquired by another company and then it’s game over.