It’s official — the Valve Employee Handbook is official. BusinessWeek interviewed Gabe and he confirmed it:
I’d mentioned the handbook on a podcast and one of the listeners contacted us and said ‘Hey, can I get a copy?’ So [designer] Greg Coomer sent him a copy and all of a sudden it got posted online.
But the most interesting bit comes at the end:
BW: In the handbook, there’s a random reference to ponies. What’s with the ponies?
GN: Oh, if you leave your phone at your desk someone will use it to send an email that says “I like ponies.” Some people will make more and more elaborate photos of ponies that people might like. There are some incredibly entertaining characters who work here.
Of course, then everybody found out that I actually like the TV show My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic so I never hear the end of it.
Uhhh.. Okay then! Read the whole thing.