Huh. Valve is just like academia.
this is only true if anyone who buys either a Vive or a Rift has sufficient funds to afford getting both
People don't have to buy both they just have to be more likely to buy either due to the presence of competition.
Was Valve not growing fast enough for you?
That being said, yes, I agree that FB has been a tad arrogant with oculus. And, if you look at sales, karma is catching up to them.
Growth at Valve is a little funny. It's like an oil-rich nation. Gaining more citizens is not really desirable since the wealth will just get spread more thinly, and there is no way that new employees will be able to make more money than Steam already does with a very limited number of employees. I know the company is trying new things, and making honest investments in new areas, but it's hard to shake the bottom line.
I wonder if all the revenue is making Valve soft since it tends to hide many problems that scrappier companies are forced to confront and solve or perish.
Valve makes ridiculous amounts of money, has no board, Gabe Newell can do whatever he wants with the company. I think he's really taken a retired seat. Steam's social platform is lacking, the technology behind it all is old (Just look a the steam API), and they aren't investing into anything. Even customer support is majorly lacking. The second Amazon starts selling games, its game over. They can advertise their client and services through twitch, and connect games and players back to twitch and the Curse client. Thats the triangle of doom to competitors, where you control the product, the platform and the community. They have it all in the bag, and it was so blindingly obvious.
I have probably refunded 10 games in the past year or so for various reasons. I've gotten sales and deals unimaginable before the days of steam. I can't imagine any other company letting me get away with such things. Arguably, we have the EU to thank for that, but Valve has zero obligation to allow this policy for US customers like me, but did so anyway.
> I think he's really taken a retired seat.
From my reading of recent VR history, he's fairly hands on with it. I did read an interview where he claims he purposely puts himself in the backseat because he didn't want to become "King of Valve" where his personal taste and ideas trump everyone else's. He something of the anti-Jobs.
>Valve makes ridiculous amounts of money, has no board, Gabe Newell can do whatever he wants with the company.
Privately held companies have different pros and cons than publicly held ones. I can't imagine Valve being a better company as a public entity. Think of all the investor-minded decisions (must hit certain milestones, projections, etc) that have doomed gaming companies in the past. Valve is largely immune to that, but as you say, comes with the price of being fairly slow moving compared to their peers.
I agree with your main point of steam's slow movement, but the other thing is that steam is a very large incumbent with pretty high switching costs. I don't see them going away because a different platform offers twitch integration, because I can already stream twitch with my steam library that has hundreds of games in it. And if twitch limited that somehow, I think the pull of the user's library would overpower the pull of one individual streaming platform. It costs a lot more to switch the library after all.
Valve is a great game company. They've done great, hugely important things. Their work on Vive has been extremely innovative and it seems to be paying off in terms of sales versus Oculus.
I think the best solution is to build structures that greatly reward effective management. Having a good manager is a tremendous benefit to both the company and the manager's reports. Of course, this is easier said than done, but the return on investment spent in this area is really quite high.
The idea of a 'flat' organization is laudable, but in practice it is usually a massive failure.
I don't think that excuse holds much water; leaving your employer with their code is often theft on its own right, but to then implement it again while plausibly using the stolen code as a reference? Oof.
> "leaving your employer with their code"
From how I understood it, he didn't necessarily copy the code to his personal hard drive, only the emails.
> "he rewrote the technology ... from scratch"
It's a lot tougher to argue that there is a misappropriation of IP if it's a clean room implementation. Code IS the intellectual property here (often, this is even explicitly stated in the standard PIIA agreement).
Now, Zenimax's only recourse is possible trade secret misappropriation, which is much harder to establish in court, given the lack of tangible evidence in the form of copied code.
That said, the State of California is particularly protective of workers' rights in this latter scenario, non-compete agreements are actually banned here.
> he testified that he didn't use this code
I read that as implying that the emails included code. As a developer, my emails have included code; and it's not so surprising that his emails would have included code when he was working with an external party.
> if it's a clean room implementation
It cannot be a clean room implementation if the same individual is involved in the creation of both instances.
As for clean room implementations, that is true, except in California.
Here, it does not really hold in court at all:
You can leave one company to join another doing more or less the same thing (because non-competition clauses are banned here), as long as you do not copy the code itself.
It sounds like you and your uncle post are both programmers trying to look at things too much from a logically moral perspective, rather than actually how the courts view these things, since you aren't very familiar with the latter.
The quote from ZeniMax in the article is "With the start of the trial of our case in Federal District Court in Dallas [...]"
Carmack lives and works in Texas. In fact I think (though I don't have a citation for it) Carmack's choice to stay in Texas is the reason Oculus has a Dallas office. Of course Oculus and Facebook headquarters are in California. ZeniMax headquarters (according to Wikipedia) are in Maryland.
That is why Samsung built an ice skating rink in front of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas -- to lobby the judges who heavily favor patent holders -- literally thousands of patent infringement suits are filed in this particular court because of this.
I don't think it's unlikely that among the thousands of emails Carmack downloaded on his last day, that some of those which involved working with an external developer would have included such attachments.
Lots of people do this when leaving a job, even when they are not supposed to. It is your correspondence for the last X number of years, you want a personal copy.
Carmack would have a greater incentive to copy the emails since he clearly was blurring the lines between personal work and private work while working for id which was inherited by zenimax when they bought id.
(To both.) See my cousin post.
As for clean room, there are attempts to reverse engineer that will fail, and then there are attempts that exclude everyone who was exposed to the original IP, which might have a chance of surviving at trial.
Anything post-acquisition is not really the beginning anymore methinks. I don't disagree with your assertion that it is a ridiculous series of unfortunate events.
Pretty much sums up my opinion as well :)
An interesting piece of history is that it was confirmed in the biography Masters of Doom that he started iD software with Romero using company hardware while he was employed by Softdisk, and they had to come to an agreement to continue developing software for them (including Keen games) for a bit after they left in order to appease Softdisk into not suing them into oblivion.
Apparently, old habits die hard.
"It is pretty common when you announce a big deal or do something that all kinds of people just kind of come out of the woodwork and claim that they just own some portion of the deal," Zuckerberg said.