I'm not surprised. They don't really seem interested in getting shit done anymore - unless making money off other developers via Steam counts. Don't get me wrong, I use Steam. The prices are great. But Valve just seems like they're stagnating internally.
"hidden layer of power" -Translation- "The apparently flat structure appeared like a juice power void where I could insert my fat butt and run my motor mouth, but I was too dumb to realize that any big established company has people with more pull than others". Newsflash: In the real world you gotta get with the program.
disclaimer: I don't work for Valve, but I have my own experiences as a professional and I got a very distinct sense of the type of person she might be - Just my opinion though of course. But just from the negative reaction I experienced I can imagine she might provoke similar reactions in colleagues. I know it all too well: "Oh look at me! I'm an orphan in the storm! I need attention so bad! IF YOU DO NOT GIVE IT TO ME YOU WILL DIE!"
All that most of us want is Half Life 3, I mean seriously how fkn hard is it for them to understand? Put ALL other projects aside and do HL3, Trust me it will sell if it's anything like the first two games! WAKE UP VALVE.........
When you are starving you make good things, when you become a fat cat fakker you loose your direction and don't care much for the minions no more. Hey sounds like typical western society!!! You are all guilty of feeding the trolls!!!!
While I wouldn't be shocked to learn that this woman didn't have the social skills and clout to get all the cooperation she needed, I also find it very easy to believe that there are very serious management issues at Valve. All it takes is one attempt at contacting customer service to see that this company doesn't have its priorities straight.
Well it's Valve saying "We have no management, everything's fair and about getting things done." That isn't how human beings work. They form social structures themselves, whether or not one is given. High school structures are just that, young people forming basic groupings on simple and easily identified traits. When Valve doesn't give an adult business structure, their employees are left to form their own. When people are given a deciding power, even a minor one, it proves to be corrupting. Someone has to be in charge, and someone in charge is going to always be biased. The problem is when that bias affects the bottom line. Whether or not she's an abrasive person, she is leading a team which has a project that the company is putting it's resources into. If you don't give them the proper resources, it's going to fail and be a net loss for EVERYONE. Good leaders do not let the project fail simply because they don't get along with you. Valve is primarily a software company, if they want to diversify into hardware they are going to have to open their mindsets from what they're used to. If you want to work on hardware you need new staff, machinists and hardware engineers. You cannot put software experts on hardware projects and expect results. This issue reminds me, whatever happened to Valve's "console box"? It wasn't even mentioned for E3 or at all this summer, hype died down shortly after this story broke. I think their hardware plans have fallen apart completely, and if so it's due to a juvenile power structure formed by people who don't want to break the current status quo.
Sounds like maybe she didn't have the skills to create a good productive team. The first thing to have done in that environment of cliquee groups is sweet talk your way into the leader of each one and find out what interests them the most. Then use at least one of their ideas or concepts in parts of your prototype design so that the "team leaders" feel they have a personal hand in the design. It doesn't matter if it gets dropped in the end for whatever reason since it likely wouldn't be your call at that point.
I'm not very surprised about this. Everyone heralds Valve for its "flat" working structure, but I always found it entirely perplexing. That just makes it a good place to interview at--you are told there's no real management power structure, and everyone has an equal say/input. But that's terribad for the exact reasons exposed in this piece (which I found very interesting).
You end up having to deal with personality cliques, people working on things that benefit themselves vs. the company as a whole.
A flat, seemingly equal structure might sound like a great idea, and I don't discount Valve's great success so-far, but it suffers a lot because a lot of time time average people/workers won't take the risks that generate great things.
This is what happens when people with no business experience make money and think that somehow correlates to business smarts. Running people is not the same as one dude thinking up dota, or a few people developing a game, but I guarantee they're surrounded by yes-men, and who can argue when you're making money? Just ask THQ and EA.
...where I could insert my fat butt and run my motor mouth, but I was too dumb to realize that any big established company has people with more pull than others". Newsflash: In the real world you gotta get with the program.
Firstly... Fat butt? Motor mouth? Dafuq?
Anyways... apparently she's been the industry doing EE for 15 years, so your questionable ability to relate the "real world" is unnecessary.
I love when I have to explain to people that Valve is no longer a developer, they are a retail outlet, they sell products built by other people. I remember back in the day when they rolled out the Half-Life 2 and the Source engine and I was like where are they going to be 10 years form now, well, the answer to that is not very far.
At this point if Valve ever releases another Half-Life, they might as well do it on the Unreal Engine or CryEngine.