Instead of hiring full-timers, LoveMachine farms assignments to freelancers, who bid on tasks such as fixing a software bug or designing a new feature. What makes it work, says co-founder Philip Rosedale, is the company's willingness to break some traditional workplace taboos:

Taboo 1:

Don't publish internal communications. Workers collaborate in an online chat room on LoveMachine's website. Anyone can read all of the conversations going back to 2009. The company even publishes a link to the dialogue on its homepage.

Taboo 2:

Don't tattle on lazy co-workers. The company's online system tracks and publishes the progress of each work assignment. Anyone can see how much work each person is taking on and which jobs have been completed.

Taboo 3:

Don't reveal salaries. When a contractor requests a payment, LoveMachine's system automatically creates a public record. Every contractor can see how much each person—including the founders—has been paid for his or her work.