The Nightmare of Valve’s self-organizing “utopia”

Ong Kar Jin
Oct 27, 2018 · 10 min read

Welcome to Flatland.

Imagine a company where everyone is equal and managers don’t exist. A place where employees sit where they want, choose what to work on and decide each other’s pay. Then, once a year, everyone goes on holiday together.

You have just imagined Valve.

— BBC, Valve: How going boss-free empowered the games-maker

In Edwin Abbott’s 1884 novella Flatland, he describes a two dimensional world lived in by squares, circles and other geometric shapes. Yet for…