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This is the best description of how Valve's "flat" structure works in practice:

>Some of Geldreich's comments are similar to comments Ellsworth made after being let go by Valve. "...There is actually a hidden layer of powerful management structure in the company and it felt a lot like high school," Ellsworth said in 2013. "There are popular kids that have acquired power in the company, then there's the trouble makers, and everyone in between."

>Geldreich similarly describes 'barons' who are in with the executive arm of the company in question, and a culture in which employees must curry favor with influential 'sponsors' to enjoy stability.

>At self-organizing firms you might be placed into a huge open office and given massive monitors. This is to normalize all communications and for more effective surveillance. Everything will be monitored either directly by a corporate arm employee, one of their barons or friends.July 16, 2018

Rest: https://www.pcgamer.com/ex-valve-employee-describes-ruthless...

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