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Publisher's 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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    84
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  • Todd
  • Leesburg, VA, United States
  • 02-05-15

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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • B. Anderson
  • Bainbridge Island, WA United States
  • 11-23-13

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. <br/>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.

8 of 12 people found this review helpful

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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.

  • Overall
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  • Story

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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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.

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I use this to fall asleep

Narration was ok. Strange pronunciations of some words and states far too many "slashes".

Book itself is probably 90% fluff. There are so many frustrating descriptions of boring events. There's about 15 minutes describing 5 engineers playing shuffle board in detail. While this gives context, it's just so boring and cringe you.

There are gems of knowledge in this book and the author is smart. I'd like someone to edit this down to a 60 minute audiobook.

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Great book, full of many thought provoking points

Would you consider the audio edition of The Year Without Pants to be better than the print version?

audible business books are great and in some cased I buy the kindle version for reference. this is a good book!!

  • Overall

Nothing mind blowing if already virtual - but good

Good story about a well-run company, but nothing mind blowing if you are already deep into building a virtual company. Worth a listen though to plant a few seeds of additional ideas you might be able to use.

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Loved the book, hated the narration

Even at 1.25x it was ponderously slow. Berkun is a great public speaker, he should narrate his own books!

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  • Rad
  • 01-08-17

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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  • Tristan
  • 06-03-14

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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  • Jeames
  • 10-04-16

Great insight into distributed companies

Would you listen to The Year Without Pants again? Why?

Yes, the book provides many lessons that can be revisited

What three words best describe Chris Kayser’s voice?

Bland, slow and robotic

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I found it was split up nicely to allow me to listen to segments at a time.

Any additional comments?

Listen at 1.5x for a much better experience, the recording is very slow and without much in the way of emotion.

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  • Stacey
  • 03-30-16

Great story, very boring narration

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

This review score totally comes down to the narration. The words are clearly enunciated and it's easy to understand however the narration is completely devoid of any appropriate emotion or inflections. I thought that maybe a computer was reading the story or that the narrator wasn't even paying attention to the content of the story.<br/><br/>I couldn't finish the book even though I wanted to - please release another version of this with a more enthusiastic narrator. I think I'll stick to reading this one myself.