On Thursday, November 8, Basecamp 3 went down for almost five hours. It was the worst outage to hit the company in a decade and a stress test of Basecamp’s practices around internal communication, customer support, and calm work. Today’s episode goes inside the company on November 8 to see how the outage unfolded.
After yet another round of revelations about Facebook’s use of customer data, Basecamp has decided to become 100% Facebook-free. We’ve actually been off Facebook proper for a while, but on Wednesday we decided to remove the company from Instagram and WhatsApp as well. This is a conversation with Basecamp’s CTO, David Heinemeier Hansson, about making that decision and why he thinks you should follow in Basecamp’s footsteps.
On the last episode of Rework, we talked about the dangers of using violent language in a business context. We’ve had to grapple with other kinds of problematic language at Basecamp as well. In this mini bonus episode, Shaun talks to programmer Jeremy Daer about shedding harmful terms for database relationships that persist in the industry.
Business rhetoric is rife with the language of war—there’s constant talk of conquering markets and dominating the competition. These tropes indicate a dangerous way of thinking that can have real consequences, intended or not, on human behavior. In this episode, two professors share their research on the impact of violent rhetoric on business ethics, and a member of Basecamp’s Support team talks about communication techniques that get us out of the mentality that everything is a zero-sum game.
Sometimes It's Crazy At Work
In October, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson released their new book, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. The book featured their writing, as well as cover art and interior illustrations from a couple designers at Basecamp. The launch initially seemed like a great success—but then things went awry. In this episode, we look at the work that went into the book and the problems with the release, and attempt to find some lessons in the aftermath.
The Worst Performance Review
Annual, semi-annual, quarterly, 360…no matter what form they take, performance reviews can be anxiety-inducing workplace rituals. In today’s episode, we talk to the head of HR at an HR software company (meta!) and a Basecamp designer about why helpful feedback is so difficult to give and receive—and what can be done to improve the process.
Rework Mailbag 3
It’s time for another episode where Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer your questions! In this one, they discuss how to apply calm company principles to client work and classrooms, and talk about healthy ways for business partners to disagree.
The Myth of the Overnight Sensation
Before the viral unicorn poop video, before the appearances on Shark Tank and Dr. Oz and Howard Stern—Bobby Edwards was showing his invention at conventions and sending it to alternative health bloggers in hopes of getting coverage. The invention? Squatty Potty, a plastic stool that puts you in a squatting position to poop better. Today Squatty Potty brings in over $30 million in annual revenue, but the quirky company’s ascent to viral fame was far from assured. In today’s episode, CEO Bobby Edwards talks about the years of work that went into marketing the Squatty Potty before it got national attention.
It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work - Part 2
This is the second of a two-part interview with David Heinemeier Hansson about his and Jason Fried’s new book, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. In this episode, David talks about taking a calm approach to writing and marketing the book. Also, Wailin gets him to say #blessed (kind of) and has some anxiety about late-stage capitalism. We all get through it together!
It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work - Part 1
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have a new book out called It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work, which pushes back against the toxic culture of overwork and unhealthy ambitions that’s driving much of the modern workplace. In this episode, Wailin sits down with David to talk about the book’s genesis, its intended audience, and the role of responsible software design in fostering calm work environments.