What it’s like here

Overview

Faith, Hope and Patience is a collection of companies that operate on the internet since October 2000. Our three core products are:

abbywinters.com (NSFW)

One of the largest, most highly rated, longest standing, unique, and high quality erotic websites in the world. abbywinters.com was started in October 2000 to provide an alternative to tacky, mass-produced porn – while being an exemplary and ethical leader in the industry.

We show that erotica can be produced while having integrity and being responsible, sensible, healthy and happy; we have excelled at every aspect, due to the unique and dedicated team of people we employ.

GMBill.com

A boutique internet billing facilitator, working with Clients to help them process credit cards. A very competitive industry, GMBill.com competes by being small, and working closely with new merchants, helping them achieve better rates, and providing a suite of features that tightly integrates billing processes with the pay-site itself.

Vision, Mission, and Goals

Vision

Changing the game.

Mission

Motivated by principles of social responsibility, we deliver provocative media by embracing imagination, creativity and emerging technologies. Our models, customers and business partners are inspired by our fervid passion.

Goals

We are always working towards our goals of Sexy, Frictionless and Profitable. Every process in the business is designed to ensure every piece of work we deliver  displays these attributes. These three goals are considered equal, meaning profitability may be sacrificed for sexiness or frictionless, for example.

Sexy: Producing media that is provocative. Employing game-changing technologies. Developing elegant software, that’s reliable, robust, scaleable and easily maintainable.

Frictionless: Creating and refining systems that remove doubt and confusion, ensure quality, are reliable, scaleable, Just Work, and are fun to use.

Profitability: A modest profit is expected, most of which is funnelled back into the business to help it grow.

Approach

Linchpins (key man)

We’re fans of author Seth Godin, especially his book Linchpin. Traditionally, a “linchpin” is a fastener used to prevent a wheel from sliding off an axle. The word is also used figuratively to mean someone that holds the various elements of a complicated structure together. Godin describes good and bad linchpins in organisations. Linchpins are indispensable to the organisation, but in different ways:

A bad linchpin works hard, and knows a lot of crucial stuff in the business. They share their information when necessary, but mostly, people go to this person when they have a problem, and this person solves it. They solve many problems each day. They are indispensable to the business, because without them, the business would fail. If this person falls sick, wants a holiday or resigns, the business is in trouble.

A good linchpin documents what they know, refines those processes, updates the documentation. They make lesson plans, so what they know can be shared amongst others in the business, long after they depart. They work actively to push knowledge down and out, and are strong advocates for cross-training. They work to ensure as many people as possible know how to do (or can find how to do) most things in the business. They are indispensable to the business, because they continually add value.

Our businesses have an extremely strong focus on de-key-manning, making sure everyone’s role is well documented, and that other people know how to do their duties. This allows enormous flexibility, increases the potential sale price, allows all staff to enjoy a sense of freedom, enables us to react rapidly to changing needs, and lets staff focus on what they do best: creating new, high quality products for our customers.

Impact-based decisions

Each quarter the management team discuss and decide upon the most important things to do in the next quarter, the most high-leverage activities the staff can perform to advance our company. The team organises these as “OKR’s” (Objective, Key Results), a short list of what must be done, and what “being done” consists of.

These are placed publicly around our office, and all staff work towards completing these projects. All staff are assessed on how many OKR’s are met each quarter, and the overall company performance is largely made up of OKR results.

This method ensures we work on what is important, not only on what’s urgent.

Measurement

We’re highly focussed on measuring things, believing that we should make decisions from data, not “thoughts and feelings”. Some of our measurement tools include:

1 to 5 assessments: We have around 100 1-to-5 assessment scales in the business, for assessing the quality of specific types of work. The scale runs from Unacceptable, Poor, Acceptable, Excellent and Game Changing. 3 / Acceptable describes what exactly is acceptable for this piece of work. There is a culture of assessing your own work against these standards, before submitting it as complete.

Informative workspaces: Each department has an informative workspace, that communicates to everyone the status of projects, business-as-usual work, important reminders, OKR’s, cheat-sheets, funnies, and materials that help visitors and staff understand.

Burndowns: A specific tool that communicates work left to do, versus time left to do it in. It accurately shows if the project will be completed on schedule, extremely useful in web development (which often has very “woolly” dates).

Principles-of documents

Principles-of documents describe the fundamental underlying principles in an area of the business. Written by the Owner, they help staff understand the broad vision, goals and standards to be met in that area of the business.

Each document has around 10 Principles, a few paragraphs each. You can read some Principles in our Blog.

A Principles-of document may be for a department (eg, Post Production, Web Development), common to all staff (eg, Professionalism), or, for a specific type of task (eg, Creating Documentation). We have around 13 Principles-of documents currently, and we add a few more each year.

At each quarterly Performance Review, each employee is assessed by their peers, themselves, and their manager, against a 1-to-5 scale of established criteria for each Principle. This results in an open and constructive discussion about where people have performed well, and areas to improve.

Directly after a Performance Review, employees create OKR’s for areas they need to improve in, and their manager helps them reach these goals in short bi-monthly catch-up meetings. Not all staff are “subject” to all Principles-Of documents in Performance Reviews, but any may be read by anyone.

Clear expectations

Employees receive a detailed Position Description (“PD”) that covers their specific role in the company. Each PD has a list of specific duties to be performed, and a list of empirically measurable KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators), against which the employee is assessed at Performance Review time.

This means everyone knows what they need to be doing, with no grey areas. PD’s for all staff (including managers) are made available to all other staff.

Clear procedure documents

Most aspects of most tasks are written down in procedure documents. These are aimed at the user, are to the point, accurate, and up to date. Many come with a checklist as well, helping first-time users follow the documentation.

By having clear procedure, employees are empowered to focus their attention on areas they were employed to, rather than “reinvent the wheel” each time, or guess the best approach. Of course, there is plenty of room to improve procedure, and all employees are encouraged to remove unnecessary steps and

make work fun! Where necessary, company policy and procedure changes and grows with feedback from employees.

Clear milestones, targets and progress indicators

We have clearly defined company goals, a strategic plan for the entire company, and quarterly OKR’s (Objective, Key Results). These are all available to employees, ensuring a clear understanding of “where we are now” and “where we’re heading”.

We have many whiteboards scattered throughout the office, and one for each department showing their targets and current position – part of our “informative workspace” policy, helping everyone understand where the company is at, and where it needs to be.

High ethical standards

The adult industry traditionally has a bad reputation, but one of our founding cornerstones is to be highly ethical – and still produce stuff that’s sexy and alluring.

When faced with a situation where judgement is called for, we encourages all staff to do what’s right rather than what will make the most money, or be the most spectacular. By building on this solid foundation, we become bigger than the sum of our parts, and we enjoy enormous respect from our peers in the industries we operate.

Growing and dynamic

We’re growing, and embracing the changes and the problems reorganisation brings, while continuing to be agile, dynamic and passionate. We’re conscious of the stagnation that can occur at this age of the company, and working to ensure we’re well-tuned.

We don’t change needlessly, or follow fads, but do we try new techniques and approaches when they seem useful, carefully measure their effectiveness, and adopt them only if they are better (that is, the same quality, but more fun, more reliable, more interactive – or more automated – faster, cheaper, sexier, or with less friction).

Continuous improvement program

We have an in-grained continuous improvement program, where staff at all levels consciously work to hone their own skills and improve processes, producing products that are continually improving for our customers. We eschew mediocrity.

It’s enormously satisfying to see the changes effected in the company in every area – from cooling issues in the server room, to image quality of videos, security of credit card data, to clarity in advertising for models, and hundreds of other small changes each month to improve.

Financially secure

We enjoy a steady income from our products, ensuring our longevity. We have solid cash reserves. Shrewd management and experienced advisors assure our continuing success. Staff, contractors, taxes and suppliers are always paid on time. In a volatile industry, we have been going strong since the year 2000.

Forefront of digital media production

Through the use of leading-edge technology we are at the forefront of digital media production. The speed and quality with which we produce media is breathtaking.

Making this possible are flexible schedules, staff trained in efficient – but still interactive and personable – photography and videography, systems that allow fast transfer of data from in the-field capture devices to local servers, streamlined editing and encoding systems, automated media transfers and advanced scheduling systems.

Sustainable web development processes

We assess well on the Joel test (9/12), especially considering several of the items on that test are not applicable to web development. We follow the Agile (SCRUM) development methodology, all development work is done to clearly specified briefs, we track bugs, employ test driven design, do extensive testing, and keep our code ready to ship. We blog about our Principles of Web Development.

Committed to high quality

We are committed to high quality. For shoots, means technical standards such as image quality, lighting, sound, but also our aesthetic standards such as settings, locations, models, clothing, direction and activities, as well as the website design and functionality.

Software is tested thoroughly on multiple platforms before being released. We manage fraud in our billing practises using a diverse range of tools, that come together to result in one of the lowest “chargeback rates” in the billing or adult industries.

Put together, these aspects change the game for our customers. Our continuous improvement program sees staff work to better their own previous best, with the help of mentoring and regular training sessions (see below for more on our training and development practises).

Responsible marketing

All marketing we do is simple, honest, and straight-forward. We know our products, we know they are awesome, and we know the effect they have on people when we present the features and benefits. We don’t need to speak shrilly to get people to buy from us, and a huge majority of our sales from word of mouth referrals and repeat business.

Our advertising to reach new models is honest and straightforward (see models.abbywinters.com), and we never use “bait and switch” tactics to get models to appear in a shoot.

All models over 18

For the adult website, we have several systems in place to ensure we never shoot under-age models, including a copy of government-issued proof of age required before any shooting begins. Four people, on three separate occasions view and copy each model’s ID, before they appear in a scene.

Safe website for kids

We have no interest in selling our adult products to people under 18. We have several tools on the site in an effort to keep children away from seeing erotic content.

We notify all companies who maintain lists of websites unsuitable for children and advised them to “black list” us. On our front page, we advise parents to install blocking or filtering software on computers that children have access to, and link to some recommended products.

We have labelled all pages of our website with “RTA” tags (restricted to adults), which many web browsing programs observe. We insist our business partners use these measures as well – or we do not do business with them.

Excellent customer service

We place a high value or personable, responsive customer service, and our staff provide high quality, useful, accurate, and practical service to our customers. In fact, our staff are assessed on – amongst other things – how amusing their responses are!

Rather than just provide the most basic, fastest answers (though some customers can expect an answer in under three minutes to an emailed query!), our CS staff go a step further and provide background information that may help the user get more from the internet at large, rather than just as it specifically relates to our site.

This service, coupled with our content, ensures many of our customers come back again and again – and encourage others to join. abbywinters.com has a “retention rate” (people who stay subscribed) well above industry norms.

Excellent staff

All staff are employed because of their talent, and potential to grow and excel. With a focus on teams as well as individual excellence, staff are on the fast track to success. Newcomers are impressed by the environment of camaraderie and pursuit of excellence.

Poorly performing staff are exited swiftly.

Highly rated by peers

Our business units are universally highly rated by their peers (and competitors!), for their consistent delivery of technical and creative quality, and responsive service.

We enjoy great relationships with our local and international peers, and maintain great respect for all our competition. They have visited us and lectured our staff, and we have returned the favour, because we believe in a free flow of ideas can only improve the industry. We aim to level the playing field and grow together.

These relationships have allowed us to build platforms that unify mid-sized operators, such as the monotrem.es project.

On a recent trip to the US for several tradeshows, company representatives were constantly approached by industry leaders expressing respect and admiration for our business units.

Models respected at all times

A core part of one business unit, models, are respected, informed and well paid (in fact, we generally pay our models more than any other erotic producer in the world).

In our audition and interview process, we clearly inform models about the risks involved (some models’ families or employers have narrow views on what women should do, and we’ve heard stories of models from other companies losing their day job when they have been found out!), and actively encourage models to consider “worst case” scenarios before doing a shoot.

Then models contact us wishing their content be removed from the site, we work with them to come up with a solution that suits them and us (for example, making their content not visible in their home country).

We miss out on shooting some excellent candidates this way, but we also have a rock-solid contingent of models who are strong, empowered, happy and sexy – and remain advocates for us forever.

Award winning

The adult website, abbywinters.com won prestigious “Best adult website” each year award at various industry associations since 2007, and DVD’s we produce have won awards as well.

abbywinters.com consistently rates in the high 90’s percentile on adult review sites, and the reviewers rave about us. Our testimonials page has hundreds of quotes from reviewers and customers, but here’s a few:

  • “Abby Winters is literally the only porn site that I know of which has both very stimulating content and moral integrity.”
  • “And to think in your tour you show more titillation than a halfdozen regular sites do in their main members’ areas…”
  • “The vibe that runs throughout the site is remarkable.”
  • “Exploitation and degradation aren’t part of Abby’s vision and it shows. The models even look like they’re having fun. Now that’s high-concept!”

Excellent OHS systems

We are committed to the health and safety of staff, models, and the general public. Many staff have their level 1 first aid certificate, and there are designated safety officers. There is a culture of asking “Is this safe?” before performing any new task.

Injuries of staff or models are extremely rare, but just in case, we have detailed medical (medications, illnesses and allergies) information for each staffer and model (a copy stays at the office, and another goes out on the shoot), and pre-production planning for all shoots includes information on the nearest hospital Emergency department. Of course, a first aid kit goes out on every shoot, and there is a central one in the office as well.

Any models who engage in sexual activity with another model are tested for STD’s, and required to present their negative results on paper to staff and their shoot partner before the shoot proceeds.

All staff are trained and aware of safety considerations for every task they perform, and anything with an element of risk is assessed and reviewed by peers before continuing.

Quality of equipment

We use high quality, the most suitable, most well-engineered, most robust and most reliable equipment available. This includes video and stills camera equipment, as well as computers, software, accessories, tools, headphones, furniture – the works.

This equipment not only helps us produce high-quality products, but is a joy to use every day. Staff who use equipment are consulted before new purchases are made, to ensure satisfaction. Where possible, we trial equipment before purchasing, to be certain it matches our needs. We maintain loyal relationships with our exclusive suppliers to ensure expedient and high quality support.

In-house support staff

While there is a culture of “pitching in” to help, we employ support staff, who are available to all employees for assistance.

Our IT Geek is standing by to fix any IT issues (hardware or software, network, accessories, etc), and performs regular maintenance on workstations and servers to ensure they are running reliably. They are also responsible for our daily backup program, so there’s always peace of mind.

We have a contract cleaning crew who visit our office each week and leave our workplace spotless.

Leading edge technology

From the company’s inception (March 2000), we have been committed to creating and using the most advanced technology available, and the company is a leader in its industries.

One of the more significant aspects of the company’s development of high-end technology is that we train young professionals in the creative and media fields to develop high level proficiency with these sophisticated tools very early in their careers.

In addition, some of the technology used is developed in-house, entirely by our staff, and offers both replicable and marketable models of leading-edge technology development that can benefit other companies in a range of industries.

Leading-edge technologies in use

Below we discuss some of the leading-edge technology being used in the operation.

  • Full-time Technical staff employed include an IT Geek, and several web-application programmers.
  • In addition to this, we employ a full-time systems administrator for the “big iron” (a cluster of 65 web servers hosting customer-facing websites).
  • Most applications are the latest full versions, and kept updated when new point releases are made available by vendors.
  • Technical, administrative, and media-production staff work locally, remotely from shoot locations, at home, while traveling internationally using wireless and cabled secure and robust remote-access systems. Some of this networking is performed via the internet, other aspects are enabled via private networks.
  • All paper documents are scanned and stored digitally locally and off-site. This assures swift disaster recovery, and the advantages of instant document retrieval by any staffer, regardless of their geographic location.
  • Production staff use Google maps to identify potential shooting locations. Location scouting staff can use smart phones units to locate and review suitability of these areas, and shooting staff again use GPS units to accurately locate these areas. Using 3D mapping and weather tracking, we can calculate optimal shooting times (for example, by accurately predicting sunset in a specific region).
  • Of course, staff use email to communicate with suppliers, models, customers, and other off-site staff. We use Gmail’s system for all email. We have banned fax machines since 2007.
  • All media – photography and HD videography – is being shot and edited with the most sophisticated and reliable digital image-capture equipment.
  • Data generated by these digital formats is enormous. We currently perform around 15 shoots a week, totalling 9,000 14Mb still images (125Gb of stills data), and 20 hours of HD video (1.5 terabytes of raw video data).
  • Media content management systems and software have been authored completely in-house, using AJAX and JavaScript programming languages. This software runs on in-house managed, robust enterprise-level Linux servers.
  • The coding team continues to perform maintenance and develop increased useful-ness of these web-based applications. The content management systems are more sophisticated than commercially available products.
  • Once edited, all media is peer-reviewed as part of the quality control process, and then transferred to off-site storage to queue for release on the commercial website.
  • Data transfers from base office to offsite locations is via a dedicated 100M/100M synchronous fibre link to the internet.
  • The company website is hosted in several geographically diverse secure data centres. The data centres have triple-redundant power, and eight separate internet feeds connected directly to backbone suppliers.
  • The sites is hosted across 65 robust Linux servers. The sites deliver around 6Tb of data per day.
  • We developed a Content Management System that runs abbywinters.com. It makes extensive use of modern technologies, including JavaScript, XSLT, PHP, and uses the model-view-controller framework. This allows customers an experience that is fun, fast, and highly interactive – while still secure and flexible.
  • We have developed in-house a sophisticated, dedicated, robust web application to manage the relationships with models from their introductory stage right through the 41-step process to finishing the work with us, and finding other work opportunities.
  • We developed a sophisticated in-house company billing system (GMBill), also widely marketable, for managing internet billing for multiple websites and other sales and distribution of digital media. This system is deftly capable of handling millions of dollars’ worth of business by an unlimited number of companies. Designed to be scaleable, it is currently running at around 2% of its capacity, processing around 4,000 transactions per week. There is an aggressive program in place to grow this side of the business.
  • Funds collected are distributed to multiple financial institutions (banks, payment gateways, payment distributors) nationally and internationally using a reliable, automatic direct communication system developed by us (building on an existing framework).
  • There are multiple security concerns with the high number of digital media items, internet data transfers, and person-to-person communications. Using commonly available open technologies, we have developed a highly secure and sophisticated company-wide system for managing encrypted transfers of all data between staff, systems, and customers.

Staff and management agree this is an exciting time!

Culture

Principles of Professionalism

Upon employment, all staff sign the company-wide Principles of Professionalism. This covers areas like pride in our work, ethics, commitment to personal excellence and responsibility, honesty, mutual respect and collaboration, communication, privacy, and creativity.

Staff embrace these values while working, and even into their personal lives. Professionalism does not mean suit-and tie, strict and inflexible adherence to rules, and calling the boss “Mister”! It means we’re committed to focusing on making the best possible product, to have a good time doing it, and treating work- mates with respect.

Relaxed dress code

The dress code is very casual – staffers can wear whatever they like to work (so long as it includes shoes that are safe!). Makeup is not required for women (in fact, part of the “abbywinters paradigm” is that our models never wear makeup).

Employees are encouraged to express themselves as they see fit, so long as our Principles of Professionalism are followed.

10am start time

We open at 10am, allowing staff to miss morning rush-hour traffic, and sleep in (or, run errands or exercise). We close for business at 6.30pm, and are not open on weekends.

First-name basis with all staff

Employees are on a first-name basis with their co-workers, manager, and the Owner. Everyone is encouraged to express themselves, resulting in a fun, productive environment.

Respect for individuals and their differences

All employees respect each other for their abilities – and their differences. We employ staff with a range of cultural, religious and lifestyle beliefs, from a range of countries.

LGBT friendly

We are LGBT-friendly. It’s simply never an issue (ironically, we feel we should mention it here, because we know at some workplaces, this can be cause for concern).

Open communication

We encourage open communication between staff, managers, and the Owner. We have regular staff meetings where all staff contribute, and managers encourage open, frank, honest discussion of issues and our strategic plan.

Young mixed-gender team

The average age of the team at is 31, and a roughly equal mix of men and women. Despite their youth, they are committed to working to produce the most amazing stuff possible.

Team-based work

Team-based work is encouraged, and many staff naturally form and lead their own teams. In most roles, individual work is required as well, giving everyone fair doses of both. Employees find this very satisfying.

Strong communication between departments is demanded, and managers know that as the company grows, there will be a natural tendency for it to compartmentalise. Managers demand that all employees communicate strongly between departments, and this practise is paying back tenfold. Employees from other departments attend departmental meetings, and staff meetings allow all staff to catch up and share their experiences.

Embracing change

Because things are changing so fast, we have taught ourselves to embrace change and hold on to the rollercoaster! We know that our skills, abilities, attitude and professionalism will enable us, no matter the destination. Leadership at is visionary and inspiring, with an exciting, robust and flexible plan for the future.

While we’re currently at the forefront of new media, if we do not continuously improve we’re at risk of being beaten by other contenders (we know the competition, and they are really good at what they do!).

By future-proofing our core activities, we’re able to focus on building a solid foundation and framework for the next 12 to 24 months, and work towards clear milestones.

Leadership

Experienced managers

Managers are selected from the finest in their field, and have enormous experience. This means they not only have great stories to tell, experience to draw from, but can mentor their staff in exciting ways.

Our managers have formidable reputations in their industries, that allows them to make connections to benefit staff. Managers are supported by open and robust systems for management, performance reviews, to ensure balance, and reducing friction.

People are the most important asset!

We know that all the coolest gear and ideas in the world is a drop in the ocean compared to how valuable people are.

New employees welcomed warmly

Because we’re growing and changing, there are often a new faces around; we ensure all new employees are greeted warmly. Each new staffer has a designated buddy to ease their way into the social structure and culture of the company.

Sophisticated processes are in place to “roll up” new employees, to ensure from day one, everything Just Works. Each employee goes through a comprehensive one-month induction plan, so once complete, they can contribute meaningfully to the company’s goals.

A recent inductee had this offer:

“I thoroughly enjoyed having so much to learn on such a tight, yet considered, schedule (and consequently receiving good feedback). The process is thorough, well structured, and appropriately paced. Never have I undergone an induction like it (on the occasion I have undergone inductions, they are usually only a day in length, yet somehow much more tedious and draining).

Something you do makes the induction process exciting, perhaps because it is broken into discrete achievable segments, and in concert illuminates an inductees path into a company with demonstrably good practices, healthy culture, and most especially dynamic fixtures waiting to be engaged and developed by the inductee in the future.
Instead of going through the motions, I felt as if I was being equipped with an AW BV toolkit (item by item); with which I would shortly be tuning a unique and cutting edge machine.”

Personal accountability

We make employees accountable, and managers to help employees achieve. So instead of handing all the tough decisions to your manager, we believe in empowering you to make those decisions (or at the very least, perform an AOR, Analysis, Options, and Recommendation), and present them to your manager. Most times, your manager will simply sign off on your Recommendation.

We do this in all departments, by having our Principles-of documents, training in the role, procedure documents that explain the “why” as well as the “how”, and clear assessment systems, allowing employees to objectively self-assess a piece of work.

People care

Employment allows work-life balance

While working with us is fast paced, involving, and intense, your job allows you to maintain a healthy work-life balance. No employees are required to work more than a 40- hour week, and flexible working arrangements are available for staff in many roles.

Employment allows you to use talent and skills

We only employ the best people – we have been known to take up to a whole year to find the right person! That means you’ll be working with passionate, competent, skilled people – your peers!

If you’re successful in your application for work with us, you’ll be expected to use your talent, life experience, skills, knowledge and ability extensively, both to perform your role, and help others in your team perform theirs.

Equal opportunity employer

We are an equal opportunity employer – not just gender, but race, age, religion, and disability.

Graceful exits

We know that a life-long career at one company is not for everyone, and we support staff’s decisions to move on to greater projects (in fact, at Performance Reviews, managers actively encourage employees to pursue their own career, even if we cannot support their aspirations internally).

Managers are open to discussions about exit strategies, and help staff plan their own career, regardless if it’s within our company or not. Exits are viewed positively, and with the support of the department and whole company.

Growth and development

While working with us, you’ll have a lot of opportunity for growth and development. We see training as a key part of this.

At your first Performance Review (after you have had time to settle in to your role), you’ll work with your manager to develop a detailed training plan for you for the next 12 months. This will be based on where you want to go personally, and what the business needs. Sessions will be a combination of formal in-house, allocated time to self-learn, and external training sessions, possibly at our expense.

The Performance Review system has many built in tools to make the process easy and painless, while also being supportive and meaningful. It quantifies performance fairly, and provides clear paths to increased responsibility and salary (should that be part of the employee’s 12 month plan; salary reviews are performed each 12 months).

While training in your specific area of work is likely to take up most of your training quota, we may also organise more generic training programs, like public speaking, time management, leadership, and writing. We aim to guide all employees in a long growth and opportunity term career, often in different roles, both inside and outside of the company.

Opportunity to make a difference

In your role, you’ll not only have the opportunity to make a difference, you’re required to! Each Position Description is crafted to ensure your work directly affects our product and other staff. You will never be left wondering if anyone knows or cares what you do – you’ll get frequent feedback, and be able to clearly see the difference you’re making day to day.

Recruiting from within

Where possible, we recruit from within, choosing to promote current employees,  and some roles have a natural progression in place from inception. As we are constantly growing, workloads increase and some roles “fork” (workload increases so much that one person cannot perform all the duties, so we develop two separate positions and divide the duties between the two people) meaning the incumbent can choose which branch they’d prefer to pursue, while we recruit a new person to fill the other role.

Employees are free to apply to any role advertised, and are treated with the same respect and candidacy as any other applicant (and obviously, their previous experience and performance in the company is taken into consideration).

Opportunity to learn new things

While working, employees are exposed to many aspects of business that they might not have the opportunity to witness working elsewhere. While there are natural synergies between the production (shooting) and post production (editing) departments, few employees in those areas are familiar with – for example – developing web sites and web applications, and the unique challenges faced by them getting the media produced internally onto a website.

Some departments are large – like Production – and include recruiting and auditioning, scheduling and booking, and shooting. These “sub-departments” allow many opportunities for cross-skilling (or even permanent role-switching).

An additional layer is working in a successful, growing business and the commercial realities presented by this. From video editors being involved with layout of a new post-production facility, to model recruiters working with the accounting department analysing spending on advertising to track the most effective channels, and everywhere in between, there’s lots of opportunity to learn new things.

Frank, open and honest

Feedback is provided via the regular review sessions, but also in a day-to-day fashion, you’ll enjoy feedback from peers, managers, and other departments on the work you do. Feedback is always offered in a constructive way, with a view to improving the product and having fun while doing it.

Input is encouraged

Input from all staff is encouraged, regardless of their position in the company, or the topic. In fact, many of our core values and product features have come from employees. You’ll see your ideas implemented and enjoyed by staff and customers which is incredibly satisfying.

Your input is solicited, encouraged, appreciated, valued, and ultimately affects the success of company.

Exposure

The work you do receives a lot of exposure, and people all over the world are directly affected by your labour. You’ll be making people feel happy, sexy and empowered!

Challenging work

Work should be challenging, but in the right ways! Like any job, there will be boring parts, but these are well balanced by new, challenging, satisfying work. The speed of growth and constant improvement program means there’s no chance to be bored! You’ll be challenged regularly with problems to solve, while receiving support from the company, your department, your team, and your manager.

Meaningful work

Feeling your role in the company is important is a high priority for us.

We understand the deeper dimensions of work, the meaning of work and the many ways it can nourish us – spiritually, psychologically, emotionally, physically, as well as financially. You’ll feel purpose and passion for your work and we know that your work is more than a job, it is a calling. For most people, it’s important that your principles and values are aligned with your work. We’ve produced this document to help you ascertain if that’s the case.

We enriches employees and our community, and we work to ensure your actions and work environment are life sustaining rather than life draining.

Productive environment

We work to ensure the environment is conducive to productivity. While some of the office space is open plan, the design and layout help diffuse background noise like conversations and phone calls. Additionally, there is a high priority on keeping the workplace quiet, with isolated areas where more enthusiastic meetings can occur.

We provide high-quality, comfortable headphones to listen to music while working. These are designed for full-day use, and have excellent sound quality.

Work environment

We take pride in the spaces employees spend their time. They are designed for comfort and sustained productive work, are clean and functional. We have many windows, and all open to allow fresh air to circulate. A hydronic heating system keeps us toasty warm in winter.

Kitchen

Our kitchen is ready for staff to create or just re-heat and eat meals in a communal environment. Fridge, freezer, sandwich maker, toaster, microwave, and instant boiling water.

Tea and coffee making facilities are also provided, but we’re located two minutes’ walk to some excellent eateries around Leidsestraat.

Compensation and benefits

Smoke free

We are smoke-free inside.

Close to public transport

We are located in the city centre, and excellent public transport from trams, trains, and busses. Several tram lines pass within seconds’ walk of our front door.

Liberal employment conditions

Our Employment Conditions Agreement include all the usual clauses:

  • Holidays – 5 paid weeks per year
  • Public holidays – 12 per year
  • Performance review each 6 months
  • Salary review each 12 months

Holidays

We offer all full-time employees five weeks holidays. One week of these are taken over Christmas and New Year, and the remaining four weeks are available for staff to use when it suits them.

Charitable donations

We have a strong sense of social responsibility, and acts to improve the quality of life on local, state, national and international stages. We donate €1000 per month to charities. These are wide ranging, but generally not political nor religious. Some recent examples include:

  • Cystic Fibrosis Australia: Promoting research to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis
  • United Nations Development Fund for Women: Provides assistance to innovative programmes to foster women’s empowerment and gender equality
  • Free Software Foundation: Preserving, protecting, and promoting the freedom to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute computer software.

Green power

We ensures 100% of its power usage is from renewable sources like wind or hydro.

Owner: Garion Hall

Fastidiously meticulous and brilliantly informal, Garion is the charismatic co-leader. He’s led the company from contented anonymity to a world-wide phenomenon, one that is growing rapidly in popularity and fame, subverting the dominant paradigm and challenging the very definition of ‘mainstream porn’.

Garion had been friends with Abby Winters since long before they started of the website together in 2000 – they met doing lighting for theatre shows, travelling around Australia. Now Creative Director, he’s been the effective head of the company and main driver for the website since 2002 when Abby stepped down, and now is enjoying working closely with his GM peer. It’s the studied lighting technique and imaginative artistic eye that Abby developed during their travels that’s led to the characteristic “abby look”: images flooded with sunlight and saturated with textures, buoyed by accentuated curves and brimming with smiles. You can spot an abbywinters image a mile away! Garion has rigorously continued Abby’s tradition of precise, considered technique and a vision that is both sexy and natural.

These days, however, Garion spends little time finessing lighting. Instead, he’s developing processes to ensure the quality is maintained and improved, and the “abbywinters paradigm” is sustained and refined. With herculean endurance, Garion keeps tabs on and generates ideas in all areas of the company, from themes in videos to website design, HR initiatives to affiliate programs, stills selection to marketing. “This company is my heart and soul. There from the beginning, I have watched it grow with the fondness and excitement of a parent. Abby and I had an idea of changing the industry from an artificial parody of love to a true representation of intimacy, from a dark cave with seedy desires and malevolent connotations to a sun-filled playground with integrity and morals.

“So far, so good.”

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