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Patrick Hoefler
Works at Know-Center
Attends Graz University of Technology
Lives in Vienna, Austria
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Patrick Hoefler

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Welcome to Flatland

In March, Valve – the company that gave us Half-Life, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Portal, and Steam – finished its "Handbook for New Employees". Yesterday, the PDF version was leaked (published?) onto the interwebs. I just finished reading it in its entirety, from the title page to the glossary, and it's jaw-droppingly amazing.

Some highlights:

* Valve's internal company structure is completely flat. There is no hierarchy. There's no management at all! (Mind you, they currently employ around 300 people, and their revenue is estimated at more than 1 billion USD.) There are no appointed team leaders, product managers, or anything like it. Cave Johnson would not agree.

* All desks have wheels. If you'd like to relocate, unplug your computer, push your desk to the desired location, and plug it in again. That's it. They even have a page on their intranet that lets you look up where your colleagues are currently plugged in. If they're not working from home, that is.

* Compensation is determined by your peers and their assessment of your skill level, output, group contribution, and product contribution. How cool is that? Just think about it: If you're a mean, selfish bastard, you automatically get paid less! I still need to bend my head around this one.

To summarize, Valve's corporate philosophy is absolutely inspiring. There's a lot that other companies could learn from them, and in my opinion, sooner would be better.

And now, please go and read Valve's employee handbook. You won't regret it.

Update: Valve has published the official version of its employee handbook at http://media.steampowered.com/apps/valve/Valve_NewEmployeeHandbook.pdf
Valve is one of the best game companies in the world. Titles like Half Life, Portal and Team Fortress have contributed to a legacy of games as art and dedication to delivering great ...
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It's just 56 pages, the illustrations are very entertaining, and it's really quite the page-turner – something you would not expect from an employee handbook :)
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Brain Teaser
Raymond Johnson originally shared:
 
I found this on my office chalkboard this morning, thanks to +Ryan Grover. Attempt to reason through it if you must. #mathed
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He is referring to a question that never existed in the first place, the rest is just smoke and mirrors.
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Simplicity
Mona Nomura originally shared:
 
#truth
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Thanks, but Albert said it, not me – I'm just reiterating ;)
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Raising the Bar

/via +Eric Coffman
Vynce Montgomery originally shared:
 
infographics you can understand
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was soll man dazu sagen ...
 ·  Translate
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He Truly Was One Influential Man

Rest in Peace, Steve!
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Ethereal
Joseph Lee originally shared:
 
Emerald Sea
A stunning video of the Aurora Australis taken by the crew of Expedition 29 on the ISS on September 17, 2011 as they pass from south of Madagascar to just north of Australia over the Indian ocean. Hope you all enjoy the show, I think +Ron Garan would approve ;)
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Want Your Posts on Google+ (or Elsewhere) to Have a Higher Impact? Use Pictures!

While working on Circles of Influence (coi.hoefler.st) I just noticed something: 9 of the 10 most popular posts of the last 24 hours come with a picture! Of course it's no secret, but at least it's a nice reminder: If you want more people to look at your post, put a picture on it!
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Patrick Hoefler

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The Self-Driving Car

Can't wait to get me one of those! :)
Larry Page originally shared:
 
I loved Wired's article on self driving cars. This technology has been a passion of mine for years because it will help save lives, help lots of people who have difficulty driving, and reduce congestion on our roads. In 2006, Stanford's driverless car (named Stanley!) won a DARPA challenge, and $2M in prize money, when it successfully drove solo for hours through the desert. I was lucky enough to watch that race, and not the previous year, where none of the cars had been able to finish -- quite a fast technological improvement. Fast forward to today -- Google's self-driving cars have now clocked up over 200K miles, and they can easily navigate the freeway in rush hour at highway speeds. According to the article nearly 370,000 people lost their lives on American roads between 2001 and 2009--93% due to human error. Using technology to improve safety on our roads will make the world a better place.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ff_autonomouscars/all/1
Robotic vehicles, from Google to Mercedes, have arrived. So what form and purpose will these cars have when we finally let go of the wheel?
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Words to Live By

/via +Jeri Ryan
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Words of Wisdom
Christian Oestlien originally shared:
 
The +Dalai Lama sums it up.
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The Holstee Manifesto - Live Your Dream
shop.holstee.com/pages/about
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beautiful
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Floppy DJ
Scott Beale originally shared:
 
Floppy Disk Dive Duo Playing The Imperial March From Star Wars
http://laughingsquid.com/floppy-disk-dive-duo-playing-the-imperial-march-from-star-wars/
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Education
  • Graz University of Technology
    Computer Science, 2007 - present
  • FH Joanneum
    Information Management, 2001 - 2005
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Patrick Höfler
Story
Tagline
Web Expert. PhD Student. Geek.
Work
Occupation
Finishing my PhD studies on easy-to-use Linked Data interfaces
Employment
  • Know-Center
    Researcher, 2012 - present
  • Know-Center
    Technical Executive Assistant, 2007 - 2011
  • Graz University of Technology
    Scientific Project Staff Member, 2010 - 2011
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Vienna, Austria
Previously
Graz, Austria - Floing, Austria - Weiz, Austria
Patrick Hoefler's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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