A Dose of Empathy
Equilibria, a company that makes CBD products for women, has a team of dedicated dosage specialists who do one-on-one consultations with customers. During the pandemic, this team has taken on an unprecedented amount of customer support—bearing witness to the heightened stress and anxiety that their customers are feeling around job security, caregiving, and family life. Equilibria’s Marcy Capron Vermillion and Maia Reed come on Rework to talk about helping this team maintain their own stores of emotional energy.
The Humble Fungus
A career climbing the ladder in tech and software left Jesse Noller feeling disillusioned and isolated. He found connection, community, and purpose in a different kind of complex distributed system—mushrooms. Today he’s the proprietor of a spore-to-table business called The Humble Fungus. (Content warning: This episode mentions suicide.)
Basecamp recently set out to do a carbon accounting, looking at the company’s emissions, as well as meaningful ways to offset and mitigate those impacts. Jane Yang and Elizabeth Gramm, the two Basecampers who took on this daunting and nuanced project, come on the show to discuss not just the work itself, but how they’ve been processing the fear, skepticism, grief, and hope that come with trying to address the climate crisis.
Send A Little Delight
Comfort and joy were in short supply this year, but we’re doing our best to end 2020 on a cozy note. Merissa of Basecamp support talks about surprising customers with gifts throughout the year, whether it’s to thank them for their fandom or apologize for a disappointing experience. Then Wailin shares a few items from her 2020 gift guide, and Joan of Basecamp customer support reviews a scented candle. Wishing all of our listeners a restful holiday season, and we’ll see you in 2021!
A Dumpster Fire of a Year
HEY launch, App Store, we can’t take it anymore
Antitrust, masks a must, let’s go eat the upper crust
Comfy pants, TikTok dance, POTUS rants, protest chants
COVID cruise can’t disembark, David’s back in Denmark
We didn’t start the fire—well, in this case we did.
HEY for Work
Basecamp is winding down a busy year with one more thing: the rollout of its HEY email service for the workplace. Co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson talk about privacy, marketing, onboarding, and the other considerations that went into making HEY for Work. They also reflect on the roller coaster ride of the last year.
Support and Console-ation
In the last several years, a group of Basecamp customer support representatives has developed an expertise around “on-call support,” or tackling some of the thornier technical issues that require diving into the code base of our applications. This team of self-taught specialists grew out of curiosity, creativity, and an approach to programming that emphasizes fixing over building.
Shape Up with Clients
Since releasing Shape Up, the book by Basecamp’s Ryan Singer about our approach to product development, we’ve heard from other companies who’ve also adopted this methodology. David Nichols is the co-founder and CEO of Loupe, a company that helps design machines for clients in sectors from aerospace to packaging. He comes on Rework to talk about using Shape Up principles with clients who come from a world of complex contracts and project overruns.
Shape Up: The Print Edition
In 2019, Basecamp released Shape Up, a digital book by head of product strategy Ryan Singer about our approach to product development. Since then, Ryan has added sections in response to reader feedback and released a print edition. Ryan comes back on Rework to talk about connecting with other business owners using Shape Up, and how he approached the editing, design, and distribution of the physical book without going through traditional publishing channels.
Take Some Time Off (We Mean It!)
Unlimited paid time off is a common perk in the tech industry, but as one company discovered, an open-ended vacation policy led to confusion and even burnout. Dan Jimenez of Chatbooks comes on Rework to talk about how they shifted from unlimited to mandatory PTO, and how they’re recalibrating expectations for work, productivity, and rest during a turbulent time.