WSJ compares Valve and Gore

I remember when I took my tour of Valve I made the same comparison.

Like many tech companies, Valve Corp., a videogame maker in Bellevue, Wash., boasts high-end espresso, free massages and laundry service at its offices.

One thing it doesn't have: bosses.

Valve, whose website says the company has been "boss free" since its founding in 1996, also has no managers or assigned projects. Instead, its 300 employees recruit colleagues to work on projects they think are worthwhile. The company prizes mobility so much that workers' desks are mounted on wheels, allowing them to scoot around to form work areas as they choose.

Welcome to the bossless company, where the hierarchy is flat, pay is often determined by peers, and the workday is directed by employees themselves.

So, how does anyone get things done?

"It absolutely is less-efficient upfront," says Terri Kelly, chief executive of W.L. Gore, the Newark, Del., maker of Gore-Tex and other materials. Her title is one of the few at the company....

Portal 2

We're looking to upgrade the Magistra's MacBook to 10.5 because 10.4 cannot run the recently announced Steam games for Mac. As part of the announcement, Portal was free for a couple of weeks, so I decided to boot up Portal and play it again. Portal was indeed a masterpiece, and the Magistra loved it. It is one of the few FPS games she has ever played.

Turns out Valve updated Portal with new goodies, including a new scene in the ending, and added in some hints for Portal 2 via a new achievement, Transmission Achieved. There were radios scattered around in Portal that all played this upbeat little ditty, but now there are many more, and if you take the radios to special places in each level, it plays a message, sometimes in Morse code, sometimes via fax protocol, and so on. From all this, people decoded a BBS number, and using a login/password that was encoded in the Portal 2 announcement, you could login and download more documents from Aperature Science.

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