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The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work

The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work [Kindle Edition]

Scott Berkun
5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)

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"Sometimes you find a book which you simply can't not read. The Year Without Pants was one of them." (The BookBag, October 2013)

Those looking for observations about the changing nature of the workplace won't be disappointed, but equally this is far from being just a passionless futurist text; Berkun infuses the whole book with real humour and gives an excellent personal account of the inner working of one of the world's most unorthodox enterprises." (Elite Business, November 2013)
"Well worth a look" (Mob 76 Outlook, November 2013)


A behind-the-scenes look at the firm behind and the unique work culture that contributes to its phenomenal success

50 million websites, or twenty percent of the entire web, use WordPress software. The force behind is a convention-defying company called Automattic, Inc., whose 120 employees work from anywhere in the world they wish, barely use email, and launch improvements to their products dozens of times a day. With a fraction of the resources of Google, Amazon, or Facebook, they have a similar impact on the future of the Internet. How is this possible? What's different about how they work, and what can other companies learn from their methods?

To find out, former Microsoft veteran Scott Berkun worked as a manager at, leading a team of young programmers developing new ideas. The Year Without Pants shares the secrets of's phenomenal success from the inside. Berkun's story reveals insights on creativity, productivity, and leadership from the kind of workplace that might be in everyone's future.

  • Offers a fast-paced and entertaining insider's account of how an amazing, powerful organization achieves impressive results
  • Includes vital lessons about work culture and managing creativity
  • Written by author and popular blogger Scott Berkun (

The Year Without Pants shares what every organization can learn from the world-changing ideas for the future of work at the heart of Automattic's success.


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5.0 von 5 Sternen Typisch Berkun 11. November 2013
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Das Buch hält, was es verspricht: Einblick in Entwicklungsprozesse von (selbstorganisiert), die Arbeitsweise von Scot Berkun (zielstrebig) und Homeoffice (zweischneidig)
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.5 von 5 Sternen  150 Rezensionen
36 von 37 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Ignore the title, but read the book 24. August 2013
Von Tim Kastelle - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
If you want to understand how management really works, then this is an important book to read. Scott Berkun ditched his consultant/writer hat and went back on to the management frontline for a little over a year with, and this book reports on what he learned. Berkun is a terrific writer, and I find him worth reading even on topics that I find inherently less interesting. However, there is nothing uninteresting about this - he goes right to the heart of what makes good managers.

For me, there are three big ideas in this book:

1. You can only evaluate management in the context of culture. Here is a quote from the book that outlines this issue: "I'm certain that to learn from a place, you have to study how its culture functions. A great fallacy born from the failure to study culture is the assumption that you can take a practice from one culture and simply jam it into another and expect similar results. Much of what bad managers do is assume their job is simply to find new things to jam and new places to jam them into, without ever believing they need to understand how the system--the system of people known as culture--works." This explains the title of the book - it references an inside joke within his team. I can see why he would use this as a title, but I'm not sure it reflects the content or quality of the book. However, within the WordPress,com culture, it makes perfect sense...

2. Experimentation is an essential management skill. Berkun experiments throughout his time at This is a central skill for innovating, and it is not practiced widely enough. He has great insights into the roles that data and judgement play in managing, and how experimenting and learning can contribute to both.

3. How do you manage if everyone is a volunteer? One of the interesting features of is that it originated in a open source programming project. Everyone that works on such a project is a volunteer, and this requires a much different management style than the more traditional command and control approach. Berkun's time at was part of a big experiment - introducing work teams and hierarchy into an open source style culture. The outcomes tell us a lot about how to manage effectively.

Scott Berkun has a great business mind, and he is a very engaging writer. This is an important piece of work, and if you are interested in what good management looks like and how it might be changing,you should read this book.
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Time travel guide into the 21st Century workplace 11. September 2013
Von Birgit Pauli Haack - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Berkun's new book not only takes readers behind the scenes at Automattic, the company that champions and its open-source software WordPress, he also hands readers examples what's wrong with your life and how to get out of the bureaucratic software release cycle and endless department heads meetings that are more about turf wars and arbitrary key performance indicators - and almost never about the customers whose problems you are supposed to solve.

Berkun starts out where Daniel Pink left us with his book, "Drive". Pink boiled productivity and motivation down to three things: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

If you, as a team leader, are able to provide and sustain those three things for your employees, you increase your chances to reach high productivity and excellence. What Pink couldn't tell you is how that actually works.

This is the point at which Berkun's book picks you up.

With great data, anecdotes and structured knowledge, Berkun takes readers on his journey from a 90s software development company to a 21st Century software company. He describes philosophy and methods in precise examples to help readers understand what works and what doesn't work.

In a software company, management/leadership's purpose is, among other things, to keep the knuckle headed stuff off the programmers' desks and out of their minds so they can create, test and release brilliant work. Of course, that kind of approach takes self-motivated, autonomous, passionate people who keep an eye on what's good in the world. Sounds like heaven, right? Well, almost.

Consider this: WordPress has over 150 employees, 50 teams in 80 countries and no central office. Let me repeat: no central office.

Working in a distributed environment where all communication is public about the product, including decisions about the product, bug reports and customer service tickets, not only keeps low the personality wars in emails but also keeps everyone in the loop.

The distributed, autonomous, self-motivated and most of the time insulated programmer, or designer, who often in the past has failed while learning new technologies, is given time to learn and adapt to new team members.

Berkun looks at each part of the WordPress organization and analyzes, in precise language, the up and downside of a process - or the lack thereof. He lets you in on the struggle to bring team members together when they are used to working alone. He takes you on his journey from corporate management junkie to leader of a team of mature members. The broad experience of a 90s software developer at Microsoft and other Fortune 500 companies made Scott Berkun the best time travel guide into the 21st Century workplace, if you're bold enough to take that journey. .
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen The future of work, covered well 16. September 2013
Von Robert W. Scoble - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I've been following Automattic for a long time and knew it was a different place to work when I visited one of its employees in Cork, Ireland and he turned to me and asked "so, what's Matt Mullenweg like?" Turned out he had been hired over the Internet and would meet his boss the next week.

Scott takes us into this unique culture and gives tons of insight into why it works so well and why it's best-known product, Wordpress, has changed the world.

Lots of entrepreneurs tell me their biggest success was building a fast-moving culture and Scott shows how to use technology to enable this culture as well as the pros and cons of running a business over the Internet. Must read.
17 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A must read for anyone who studies distributed teams 18. September 2013
Von Christian Lema - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Even if you didn't know who Scott was (which I did), or what WordPress is (which I do), this book would still be a must read. First and foremost, it's an entertaining read that draws you in and keeps you hooked. If it takes you more than two or three sittings, I'll be impressed. Second, regardless of whether you're wearing pants or not, it's a fantastic look into how a distributed culture is created. That's worth the price of the book alone. Lastly, every chapter has a key, important observation about work, life, and culture. It's worth a second read just to capture those - because they're so easily skipped as you read an entertaining storyline. But they're there. Like I said, a must read.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Keep Your Pants On? 25. November 2013
Von Susan R. Meyer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I really wanted to like this book. I can't imagine life without WordPress. I'm a solo practitioner who also works on virtual teams. I lead a virtual professional association and am always thinking about how to solidify and improve virtual collaborations. I care deeply about the future of work. But, alas, Berkun's book somehow left me flat. Despite the "credentials" above, it's likely that I'm the wrong audience, so I urge you to look at other reviews and read a sample before passing on this book.
I did learn why email is so much less effective than open continuous online communication, like forums or open blogs. I did feel Berkun's pain around trying to coordinate time zones for actual virtual meetings. Overall, though, this just left me flat.
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