Valve owns its intellectual property. This is far from the norm, in our industry or at most entertainment contentproducing companies. We didn’t always own it all. But thanks to some legal wrangling with our first publisher after Half-Life shipped, we now do. This has freed us to make our own decisions about our products.
translation: after we loopholed our way and screwed over Vivendi/Sierra who were pressuring us to release a product sometime in the same decade we had contracted to.
Why do I need to pick my own projects? We’ve heard that other companies have people allocate a percentage of their time to self-directed projects. At Valve,that percentage is 100. Since Valve is flat, people don’t join projects because they’re told to. Instead, you’ll decide what to work onafter asking yourself the right questions (more on that later). Employees vote on projects with their feet (or desk wheels). Strong projects are ones in which people can see demonstrated value; they staff up easily. This means there are any number of internal recruiting efforts constantly under way.