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Valve: Handbook for New Employees

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  225 ratings  ·  32 reviews
In 1996, we set out to make great games, but we knew back then that we had to first create a place that was designed to foster that greatness. A place where incredibly talented individuals are empowered to put their best work into the hands of millions of people, with very little in their way.

This book is an abbreviated encapsulation of our guiding principles. As Valve con
ebook, First edition, 72 pages
Published March 2012 by Valve Press
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Oct 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Here's the thing: this is not a book, in the normal sense, but it should be studied carefully, nonetheless. This is, from what has been suggested around the internet, the basic guide that's given to new hires at Valve, a well established and successful entertainment (i.e., games) software company (though, they are apparently about to break out of just being a software company). It describes the somewhat unique structure Valve uses for its company hierarchy, direction and community. I won't give ...more
Vova Mihura
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's not a book in a normal sense but a parallel reality for a white collar.
Christian Jespersen
Aug 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It seems so obvious, yet the thinking of this book, is rarely seen.

Employees are a company's most valuable asset, and also has the highest potential of adding more value to the company, it the company invests and nourish their employees.

An employee should do what gives most value to the company, not necessarily what is on their to do list.

If you work somewhere and you find yourself working with tasks you don't feel is what you can do best, the company you work at, is blocking you from working
Robson Castilho
Dec 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
It's not a real book afterall. It's a guide Valve has made to new employees to help them know some key values and its organizational structure.

It shows a very fascinating mode of running a company (some people may think it's impracticable).
A must-read for everyone who wants to make the difference!
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the internet. This is an employee handbook and it has over 20 reviews (in 2017, when I wrote this). That is so amazing. Thank you, the internet, you brightened my day.
Uladzislau Paulovich
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
It's a great description of Valve's values and internal organization. Main takeaways:

* Valve has a completely flat organization.
* They practice radical responsibility - only you decide how to prioritize what to work on.
* Overtime is discouraged.
* For performance evaluation they have annual peer reviews and stack ranking for choosing appropriate compensation. Metrics for ranking: Technical Ability, Productivity, Group Contribution, Company Contribution.
* The company encourages learning from other
Michael Scott
Valve's Handbook for New Employees is a wonderful company work statement in an extremely competitive industry (computers, software design and engineering, entertainment software, computer and video games). Valve is a leader of the PC gaming industry, with its own excellent games (Half-Life, Portal), great support for modders (Counter-Strike) and the indie community, and innovations in the gaming industry as a whole (esp. distribution channels such as Steam for PC games). With this booklet, Valve ...more
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating corporate organizational structure.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Suprising attitude to employee policy, that even works in that large company. Short lecture that broads one's horizons.
Maurício Gardini
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is not a book, but a guide to new employees (As its name states). It shows that Valve has quite a peculiar and interesting corporate organizational structure.
Tadeas Petak
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations, amazingly written. My favourite titbits:

- Your desk has wheels — you vote on projects by using those wheels, i.e. join what you will.
- 'Don’t believe that anyone holds authority over the decision you’re trying to make. They don’t; but they probably have valuable experience to draw from, or infor-mation/data that you don’t have, or insight that’s new. When considering the outcome, don’t believe that anyone but you is the “stakeholder”. You’re it.'
- 'We’ve found it vitall
Loc Nguyen
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A good short book to brainstorm about designing organizations around hiring the best people.

Valve builds an internal structure that nurtures strong individual freedom and forces projects to compete over contributors - thus creating a natural mechanism for valuing both projects (whichever have more contributors) and contributors (whoever has more project invitation).

Valve also measures contributors's values according to four dimensions. "Which dimensions" is not as relevant as "how to implement
Helfren Filex
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: gaming
A guide how to on how to work at Valve which is very interesting considering how the culture has created the success of gaming store- Steam and the legacy from the game Half Life to the latest development of the biggest prize pool of game- Dota 2.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Best employee manual ever. Every HR group should seriously take a good look at how Valve was able to simplify things and get rid of the white elephant in employee engagement.
Ibnu Triyono
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book will show you how valve work. It might surprise you.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019_read
A humble intro to a near-perfect but a real work environment, and hiring comes again as the most important value somebody can add to a company.
Stefka Koseva
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Good book and really well explained pro and cons of the company culture. I'd used it for example for making similar one for the company I am working for. It is useful not only for Valve's employees, but also for future start up founders.
Ahmad Mokhtar
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An HRM gem to say the least.

This approach works well with passionate workers. At the same time, even for corporates that prefer vertical structure, some vital principles apply.
Tamas Kalman
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Too good to be true - truly Utopian, except it's real. I hope this flat model will spread out and replacing the old fashioned, super inefficient and miserable post-feudal-industrial corporate hierarchies worldwide. I'd highly recommend to read this book with The New KingMakers. The New Kingmakers ...more
Great concepts. Wheels to move - not just for the sake of moving but to co-locate with those you're teaming with (versus the isolation and loneliness I'm hearing some people are experiencing with my workplaces new age workspaces). Being in a constant state of choosing what you work on (which includes asking yourself where you can bring the most value to the customer and telling people who you are, what you do and what you care about) or recruiting others to work on your bright idea. Like it.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Stumbled upon this very randomly and even though the book is meant for new employees of Valve, it's a good read for anyone who has been playing games by Valve. I have been a fan since Half Life till DOTA 2 and it was nice to know how they do what they do inside Valve. The book is a fun out-take rather than being a word-to-word manual. A good read for any Valve fan.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: n_non-fiction
I've read it few years ago and remember very little. But key concept is fabulous: be "T"-shaper! Valve encourages (or expects of?) their employees to be very good in one area and also have good understanding in variety of other things. This background helps when perceiving and generating ideas, and individual can make company's culture richer.
Kaan Akşit
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A booklet about how a dream co pany is governed. The things written in this book might seem very irrational. But with an all stars team, a company using the rules in this book would end up in a great efficiency.
Rey Hernández Sedelmeier
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Quick introduction to Valve's culture. This quick read will show you a very different way of managing a company, or I would say how a company manages itself. Useful read for people seeking to improve their company culture or wanting to explore new ways of managing a company.
Cyber Killer
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book describes quite nicely what a dream job for many software engineers and other IT folk (like myself) would be.
André Gomes
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Indeed it is a very different way of running a company. Very Interesting.
Jia Yuan
Sep 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
IMHO, it feels like Sun Tzu Art of War for Game Industry Employees/Dummy Companies...

You can actually get the book for free in Internet too!
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014

Great book that I enjoyed a lot in the time. Described alternative model of operations for the software company.

Vladimir Chupakhin
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
amazing book about how anarcho-syndicalism can work! )
without jokes, this is the book every software developer should read!
Vitaliy Zasadnyy
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this book if you're looking for fresh ideas on team organization structure
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