Great handbook, I read it last night for an academic essay. Its a nice balance between useful information, light hearted comedy, and ultimately really helps new employees understand the culture of Valve.
If you want to know what its like to work there for a bit longer check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGg0OmtslUI&spfreload=10
For a sobering perspective on this you have the Glassdoor reviews of working at Valve.
I've read almost all of it. I really like how they think about the company's structure and employee input into the project they develop.
I only hear about these kind of holocratic systems used in companies that are extremely well off in financial terms. Valve, Buffer, etc. But which is cause and which is effect? Does this type of structure enable high productivity or is it a luxury a company can afford when it's doing well?
Most of the holocratic companies I'm aware of started out that way, so I'm not sure they went holocratic as a result of their success. To me it seems harder to switch from a traditional hierarchical company structure to a holocratic one after the fact - though there are exceptions of course, like Zappos.
What other companies are there?
As a manager I'm super interested but Valve seems to have failed on one very important point which is compensation. the Glassdoor.com reviews are very critical of that aspect.
There's a pretty enticing list here: http://holacracy.org/faq/what-companies-are-using-holacracy
There's a lot to learn from in here. Even though I don't work at a holocracy, I've taken a lot of value from the way they talk about hiring being the most important thing they do. It's true!