I was delighted to find that the Nerdist (Chris Hardwick) posted an hour-long interview with Gabe Newell of Valve Software on his eponymous podcast.


(Warning: includes some explicit language)

If you’re not familiar with Valve, they’re an interesting company for a number of reasons.

  • They have a long history of putting out innovative games. Both “long history” and “innovative games” are rarities in the industry.
  • They’ve been very successful at embracing user-generated content; several of the properties they currently publish (CounterStrike, Team Fortress) started out as hobby projects by enthusiasts in the gaming community.
  • They have a history of innovation outside of their core competency (games). Their Steam network allows users to buy games, receive patches, communicate, and so forth, but it also allows small publishers to publish their own titles at minimal cost. This has led to a flowering of small independent titles.
  • Their organizational structure. Valve is a self-organizing company. There aren’t titles or hierarchy. Teams form organically and work on interesting things.

If you are familiar with Valve, this will be like listening to Willie Wonka talk about the Chocolate Factory for an hour. For gaming fans, there’s another hour with Gabe that focuses on games.


(Warning: includes some explicit language)