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The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work von [Berkun, Scott]
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The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work Kindle Edition

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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)

"...the book is gripping." (Loyalty Magazine, January 2014)

"...the fact that this book has a genuine story and a timeframe makes for a good pace and a good read." (B2B Marketing, April 2014)

"...there are lots of lessons about how to make good decisions and get along with others in the workplace." (Able Magazine, June 2014)

"...offers sage advice for managers looking to overhaul their corporate culture." (Communication Director, June 2014)

"'s without a doubt, one of my favourite, most useful and enjoyable reads of all time." (What Goes Around, July 2014)


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.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 6123 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 277 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 1118660633
  • Verlag: Jossey-Bass; Auflage: 1 (20. August 2013)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Aktiviert
  • Screenreader: Unterstützt
  • Verbesserter Schriftsatz: Aktiviert
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen 1 Kundenrezension
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #220.124 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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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)
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) (Kann Kundenrezensionen aus dem "Early Reviewer Rewards"-Programm beinhalten) 4.4 von 5 Sternen 170 Rezensionen
49 von 50 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.
15 von 15 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. .
4.0 von 5 Sternen Nice stories about what it's like to work in a remote company 27. Juli 2017
Von Kelly Schuknecht - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
In May 2017 I celebrated my 10 year anniversary of working remotely! When I first started working from home, people typically called that type of work arrangement "virtual" or "work at home" (WAH). In 2013 Jason Fried published the book Remote, which really popularized that term ("remote") and brought it to the forefront of communication among companies where people work from home (or are "distributed"). As a remote worker, I am often very interested in other distributed companies and how they do things, so when I heard about "The Year Without Pants," a book about how Automattic runs an entire company with 120 employees completely distributed all over the world, it piqued my interest.

My book club selected this book for the month of June and I thought it might be fun to share some of the discussion we had (as a group of remote workers) about the book. We met recently and I asked some questions to get the conversation going. We had a great discussion!

Below are a few of the questions I asked and our responses:

* What do you think was the purpose of this book?

- Sharing insight into a world that's different from the norm
- Comparing remote work to traditional work
- Sharing unorthodox management
- Discussing team (and project) management in a remote environment

* Was there a specific passage or quote that left an impression on you?

- "This is one big problem with working remotely: no one believes you have a job at all." (pg. 11)
- "No technique, no matter how good, can turn stupid coworkers into smart ones. And no method can magically make employees trust each other or their boss if they have good reason not to. The best approach, perhaps the only approach, is an honest examination of culture." (pg. 29)

* After reading this book, what did it make you want to learn more about?

- Job postings at Automattic! 😊

* What did the book leave unanswered for you?

- How Automattic handles things like finance and paperwork.

We also got into a side-discussion about what makes someone good at working remotely and here were some of the thoughts folks shared about the type of person who would be a good fit:

* doesn't need face-to-face interaction
* open to technology
* willing to learn from others
* good communication skills
* used to doing work (and not just being somewhere during specific hours)
* has clear goals
* takes ownership/responsibility

Everyone seemed to have really enjoyed the book. One person specifically said she liked the "storytelling" aspect of it. The author, Scott Berkun, provides insight into remote work (good and bad) through his own personal experiences working at Automattic for about a year. We all did joke, though, that Berkun sure did seem to travel to a lot of work retreats in that time period!

Personally, I thought "The Year Without Pants" was cute. If you're interested in, or curious about, remote work and/or want to learn more about Automattic (or Wordpress), I recommend it!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
2.0 von 5 Sternen A book with a clever title fell short of my expectations 30. Mai 2015
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The read was "okay". I originally bought this book, because it came up in multiple conversations so I said to myself "why not see what everyone is talking about". I enjoyed the first few chapters and blasted through them, however half way through the book I was just done. I wanted to gain an understanding of what they did to become successful and if they ran into any hurdles along with having suggestions for other companies. It just fell short.

Not to mention the author was at the company for a very short term, I felt as though he was not genuine in his own work. It seemed as though he needed to worked for a company who had a recognizable name [WordPress] to gain credibility. This fell short of my own expectations; I wanted to walk away with something useful and I just didn't get it.
5.0 von 5 Sternen If you are managing projects, what new things are you trying? 11. Oktober 2013
Von Ravindra Gangadat - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work by Scott Berkun is an excellent book about what Scott learned as an old dog in a futuristic workplace. Scott promised to provide a first person narrative of an author who returns back to his old roots as a team lead. Can he apply what he has written in his books? Will this experiment work? Can a former employee of a fortune 500 organization work remotely in a distributed team? What is it like to work for Automattic?

Scott accomplished his goals for this book by explaining to us via storytelling how the culture of Automattic worked. Automattic is the company behind the WordPress platform which was founded by Mark Mullenweg. I was surprised to discover that more than 20% of the internet traffic go through WordPress sites. Scott shared many anecdotes and visually stimulating stories that allowed us to imagine what it felt like to be an automattician - employees at Automattic. Scott shared his frustrations that he faced when working with a distributed remote team. For instance, sometimes Automattician's not using the right communication tool for particular situations. For example, a five minute sketch can communicate a UI design better than a long P2 post or IRC chat session. But, he also explained the secret sauce that made Automattic work; they do a great job of hiring that it compensates for the other issues.

My favorite parts of the book were the experiments that Scott ran. He provided lots of ideas that I will plan to use on future projects. This is the main lesson that I took from his book - managers need to run more experiments. As members of a team, we need to continue to try new things in order to learn. My only gripe with this book is that I wished Scott would've spent more time on how to feed what he learned from his experiments back into Automattic. Why wasn't he more forceful with Mullenweg (founder of Automattic) in applying some of the low hanging fruit changes?

My favorite story in the book was when Scott worked with Noel to move the signup button to the left for Wordpress. They made a change within 10 minutes that impacted millions and increased WordPress signup rate by 10%. Scott and Noel were discussing their pet peeves and Noel took the initiative to do something about the signup button. Scott was concerned about the short attention span of Wordpress employees and noticed that ideas that demanded deep thinking were overlooked in favor of ones that were easy to respond to. When Noel pushed out that change, it reminded Scott of how open the playing field was at Automattic and at the same time how few were willing to grab the ball and run with it.

Scott is uniquely qualified to write about the future of work because of his background. He worked at Microsoft during the browser wars: which was a time when Microsoft was forced to be more agile in order to catch Netscape. Scott worked as a program manager for internet explorer and lead a number of teams. He wrote a book called Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management which I read twice. Based on the stories Scott told about his stay at Automattic, I was surprised to discover that he followed the ideas in his previous books. In chapter 22 of The Year Without Pants, Scott pulled a large number of techniques out of Making Things Happen in order to have his team think about how all of the features of WordPress should fit together. He helped them create a project plan for the future. It was his last big experiment at WordPress.

The last sentence of the book leaves the reader the following question: How willing are we to make the trade? This was about long-term commitments demand versus short-term sacrifices. From my work experience and discussions with friends in other industries, it seems that most of the time we are not making the right trade, i.e. we primarily focus on short term gains.

I highly recommend this book to everyone especially managers of teams. Let's take Scott's advice and run more experiments!
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