Gabe Newell, co-founder and president of Valve, has spent the last 10 months stuck in New Zealand. The only thing is he doesn’t feel stuck at all, and it’s not hard to see why.
Back in March, Gabe was on tour in New Zealand, specifically hanging with the people from Weta Workshop, because his life is dope, and he does dope shit. When COVID started rearing its ugly head he was given 48 hours to make a snap decision: return to Seattle or wait it out in New Zealand.
Since then he has become something of a local celebrity. He pops onto their morning news every now and then, organised a music festival, and is pretty much a one-man press machine, dishing out praise for New Zealand.
Alongside his frequent references to Kiwi hospitality and the insane natural beauty that we all know and love from the islands, Gabe talks about how he sees something special in New Zealand:
“It’s like there’s a new element, called not-stupidium, and New Zealand is the world’s largest producer of this resource.”
High praise indeed. But with even a cursory glance at the US, you can see where he’s coming from. Talking not just about the good times he’s having, Gabe opened up about the potential of moving members of the team from Valve over.
The biggest push was with how New Zealand being an open, functional country is “absolutely, insanely valuable — like, any high-tech company would say our people are going to be a lot more productive in New Zealand than they are going to be in Ireland or Los Angeles or lots of other places.”