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The Year Without Pants

WordPress.com and the Future of Work
Narrated by: Chris Kayser
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (34 ratings)

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Summary

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

50 million websites, or 20 percent of the entire web, use WordPress software. The force behind WordPress.com 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 WordPress.com, leading a team of young programmers developing new ideas. The Year Without Pants shares the secrets of WordPress.com'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 (scottberkun.com)

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.

©2013 Scott Berkun (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Working remotely and the future of work

Great story about a wonderful company that is fully distributed, and how they work.

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Interesting insight into how they work remotely

I run a distributed team as well so I love hearing about how others do it, what works and what doesn't. But especially the story behind it all (rather than just a factual do this don't do that book). I felt like I knew the team in this book a little after reading, despite never having met.

Recommended read for people that want to make their teams better to work in.

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Disappointing

Would you try another book written by Scott Berkun or narrated by Chris Kayser?

If they were written in a similar style to this? Then no

What will your next listen be?

MoneyBall

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Year Without Pants?

I would have cut all the meaningless drawl and scene setting from in between the genuinely useful information about working styles, company ideology and team structure. He goes on and on about useless information like details about the furniture in the room or something mildly amusing about a team night out or character quirk... None of these are of any interest or the least bit funny.

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  • Todd
  • 05-02-15

Great book and strategy

Narrator wasn't that great. The book is fantastic. The story of automattic and its methodology of working is a great case study in collaboration and the future of working with disbursed teams across the globe.

2 people found this helpful

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  • B. Anderson
  • 23-11-13

Boring and over the top

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Perhaps people who don't work in the software industry might enjoy this but to those of us who do, his overly excited descriptions of mostly typical activities and people in smaller software companies are a bore.

Would you ever listen to anything by Scott Berkun again?

Probably not.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Chris Kayser?

Anyone who didn't read in such a monotoned and mono-paced voice.
He also should have learned how to pronounce common computer terms such as Linux. Its pronounced lynn-ux, not line-ux. I cringed every time I heard this. There were others as well.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Year Without Pants?

Remove all of the isn't-this-guy amazing worshiping of people. Remove the weren't-we-so-cool attitude. Too much hype of not much specialness.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin Williams
  • 09-05-20

Great book especially now that companies have to change how they work

This book is really well done. It is especially relevant in these times. I heard great ideas about how to engage remote teams and the mindset required to succeed as a team

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  • Zacchaeus Nifong
  • 23-07-19

A Digital Nomad's Delight

It's hard to out into words the enormous gratitude I feel after reading this book. Sometimes, I would just sit and stare at the lightening while listening/reading it, imagining how my digital marketing experience will play out over the next 10 years. This book is a treasure. It's a bible for any working remotely, or in an office. Start-up owners drool; entrepreneurs delight.

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  • kirschi
  • 01-07-19

WFH? This one is a must for you

So much has been said about leading teams and being a leader. Both in general and in software development teams in particular.
What makes this book special is that this team worked (almost) solely as a dispersed team, each member at a different location, sometimes country and frequently timezone.
In that sense, this book really hurt my head thinking: how to make your team successful even when you are meeting in person only occasionally.
The book highlights the successes (it would be silly if it didn’t...) and also the failures and obstacles, making it a good guide to what you might expect when leading a dispersed or distributed team.
In terms of performance, the pace was not working for me. But when I played it at x1.25 normal playtime it was ok. The narrator clearly has little familiarity with IT and some of the terminology was spelt wrong. All these glitches did not impair my experience of the book and the value I extracted from it.

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  • Margaret
  • 28-01-19

Better to skim in text..audiobook very dull...WordPress culture sounds interesting

There are a few interesting points on corporate culture and management philosophy, but they are delivered in a long winded monotone and self involved tone, which is very dull in an audiobook. Even delivered at 1.5-2x it was hard to finish.

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  • SereznoKot
  • 08-05-18

Good for learning about Automattic culture

Useful book if you want to learn about Automattic culture and practices of an effective distributed team.

But the book might have been a lot shorter and the reader's voice is a bit boring

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  • Clayton
  • 03-07-17

a great book on the future of work

loved the details, stories, ideals, and really everything about this book. specifically the leadership lessons in such a decentrallized org were very interesting.

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  • Jessica
  • 20-08-16

Good Book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Although I believe the narration was paced well with the content, I believe my listening experience would have been a 4 or 5 if the narration used varied tones or alternate voices for the characters to just provide variation with the listening experience. The tone was kind of dry.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved the ways Berkun provides a funny and detailed insight look at life inside Automattic. Berkun focused on his interpersonal relationships with colleagues as well as work related duties that allowed him and his team to bond and make the company better and relations stronger.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes, the narration matched the pace of the story. The details, actions, and style the story was written matches perfectly with the way the narration was given.

What character would you cut from The Year Without Pants?

I would not cut any character from this book, I believe each character is unique and play a vital role in the story. Every character had their own part in making the business successful and showed the connections and disconnections within working remotely.

Any additional comments?

This book will be a good read for anyone that may want to look to start a remote business as it gives a lot of insightful information on building a business from the group up. It gives detailed examples of business needs, wants, success and failures.

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  • Shontia
  • 13-08-16

Thinking outside of the box

If you could sum up The Year Without Pants in three words, what would they be?

A good read

What other book might you compare The Year Without Pants to and why?

Not really sure

Have you listened to any of Chris Kayser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Neutral feeling

Any additional comments?

It was a good book that will make you think outside the box to learn ways to incorporate knowledge and dedication to company while offering your personal insight on ways that a company can improve.