The Email That Changed My Life
Basecamp probably wouldn’t exist today if not for an email that David Heinemeier Hansson sent Jason Fried in 2001. That correspondence was the beginning of a partnership that produced Basecamp, several books, and most recently HEY, the company’s new email service. This episode is our love letter to email. Hear from David and Jason, as well as other artists, writers, and founders about the emails that changed their lives.
Basecamp released its new email service, HEY, on June 15. It was supposed to be a calm, controlled product launch, but what followed was a period that CEO Jason Fried described as “chaotic, enthralling, (and) horrible.” Basecamp got into a public fight with Apple over the HEY iOS app and the customer support team made emergency hires to help with an unprecedented caseload—all during a turbulent time for the world at large. This is the story of those two weeks, in the voices of the people who fixed bugs, answered customer emails, fended off security threats, and pulled off one of the most audacious undertakings in company history.
Q and HEY, Part 2
Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson held a recent livestream session where they answered questions about HEY, the company’s new email service. You can listen to Part 1 or watch the entire livestream on YouTube.
Q and HEY, Part 1
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson held a livestream session where they answered audience questions about Hey, Basecamp’s new email service. In Part One, they discuss feature requests, customer support, and plans for hiring. The full Q&A can be viewed on YouTube.
Manos: The Hands of Hey
Basecamp’s marketing designer, Adam Stoddard, talks about how Hey’s visual brand came to be. He discusses influences from Pixar to Charles and Ray Eames to The Raveonettes, and reflects on what it’s like to work as a department of one on such an all-encompassing project.
An Email Account is Born
To show off the features of HEY, Basecamp’s new email service, we needed a fully featured and realistic demo account. That meant writing dozens of fictional emails—a task that fell to Merissa of Basecamp’s customer support team. She comes on Rework to talk about her epistolary opus.
Basecamp design lead Jonas Downey was one of the first people to experiment with what would eventually become Hey, Basecamp’s newly launched email service. Jonas comes on Rework to talk about building software for humans, preserving a sense of fun weirdness as a new product evolves, and managing a big launch during a tumultuous time.
Hey, What's Going On?
Basecamp has launched Hey, a new email platform with a strong point of view. It’s also one of the stupidest things Basecamp has ever attempted. Co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson talk about the philosophy around time, attention, and privacy that forms the backbone of Hey, why Inbox Zero is a tyrannical scam, and what Hey does differently.
The Spy Who Emailed Me
On June 15, Basecamp launches a new email service called Hey. One of its features is that it blocks tracking pixels that report back to the sender when and how you read an email. In this episode, Basecamp’s marketing team talks about their difficult search for an email newsletter provider that doesn’t track subscribers. And Nabiha Syed, president of the new investigative journalism outlet The Markup, talks about their commitment to data minimization—including zero tracking, not even open rates, on their newsletters—and how that affects their relationship with readers.
The Bookshop Around the Corner
Andy Hunter launched Bookshop.org in January as a platform to help independent bookstores take and fulfill online orders. Shortly afterward, the pandemic forced small businesses to close their physical doors and Bookshop.org found itself trying to manage three years of growth in three months. Andy comes on the show for a deep dive into how his business works, monopoly power in the book industry, and what steps Bookshop is taking to make sure growth and success don’t compromise their mission.