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Valve is worth approximately $8,500,000.00 per employee (wikipedia.org)
30 points by mbesto on Sept 11, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 14 comments



> "Valve makes approximately $8,500,000.00 per employee"

Total equity =/= Annual profit

I assume you did:

    2.5 billion total equity / 293 employees
    =~ 8.5 million / employee
A more appropriate statement would be "Valve is worth approximately $8,500,000.00 per employee"


Yup, sorry, caught my error. Thought that number was 2.5bil in revenue. Just changed it.


Valve is privately held. It was bootstrapped. The co-founders seem to be against the idea of selling, indicating that there probably haven't been any serious, negotiated offers (and if there were they are private). There hasn't been any actual concrete valuation done in years (that is public).

Putting a value on Valve is a complete shot in the dark, that $2.5B is just what some analyst hit when he threw a dart at the wall.



They offered "well over" $1 billion, but yeah: good link.


Its all hear-say and even according to the link no formal offer was made so its highly unlikely any DD was done. Still a complete hand-wave at the possible value of Valve.


#1 - An estimated market cap of a private company is not accurate value.

#2 - The number of employees is those who attended the beach party from an employee guide from earlier in the year = there are more employee now.

The math here is completely arbitrary cause both the numbers used in the division are probably incorrect or just assumptions. Also keeping in mind that wikipedia isn't the best source for reference.


This is something I've been thinking about a bit recently. When I look at a lot of profitable businesses like tech startups , investment firms etc they can have very high turnovers without actually employing many people.

Apple is one of the biggest companies by market cap. They claim to create around 512,000 jobs (http://www.apple.com/about/job-creation/).

However many of those jobs are in their retail stores which their business could at least in theory do without. Also many are in manufacturing where there will increasingly be automation.

I hear a lot from politicians that we need to get people spending so that they can create jobs. However a fair amount of the economic activity that I do is via either clicking on google ads or buying games from Steam. A lot of these games are written by very small teams. So I could quite easily spend a lot of money without really creating any jobs at all.


I think you mean that Valve's current equity per employee is $8.5 million. Equity is neither revenue nor profit.


And on top of that, the source for the current estimated equity is a NY Times article referencing an analyst:

"Although Valve’s finances are private, Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, estimates that the company could be worth around $2.5 billion today."

So in truth, we don't know the company equity at all.


Sorry, I pulled the trigger on this too fast and changed the title according (used to say make 8.5mil per employee). I thought they were doing $2.5billion in revenue. It's estimated to be worth 2.5 billion, which is $8.5mil per employee. That's still extremely impressive for a company that effectively sells IP.


I think they are doing some really interesting things behind their curtain - I listen to hardware podcasts a lot and the word is that they are snapping up hardware gurus/hackers left and right... Not sure what the end result will be, but my interest is piqued.


Kind of an interesting benchmark. For comparison (market cap/employees):

apple: 10.32m

facebook: 10.46m

exxon: 5.04m

microsoft: 2.75m

goldman sachs: 1.8m

walmart: $113,218


instagram: 62.2m (assuming FB is at $19.41 and 12 employees)




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