You Never Forget George Pappageorge
Basecamp CEO Jason Fried is back in the studio with an update on the company’s Chicago headquarters. Basecamp will be leaving its office this summer after a 10-year run, and Jason is looking at a number of options—including a space that will bring him full circle with one of his original 37signals partners.
Less Business, More d20s
Matthew Vincent, a member of Basecamp’s Ops team, spoke at Nomad City 2019 about life as a remote worker. Close your eyes and pretend you’re in the Canary Islands as you listen to this audio version of Matthew’s talk.
Welcome back! We’re kicking off the new year with an episode full of practical advice about onboarding new employees. Ashley Bowe from Basecamp’s customer support team talks about how they welcome and train new colleagues, and leadership coach Karen Catlin of Better Allies shares advice and examples of what companies can do to build more inclusive cultures.
Are The Kids Alright?
In this anxious era of bullying, teen depression, and school shootings, tech companies are selling software to schools and parents that make big promises about keeping kids secure by monitoring what they say and write online. But these apps demand disturbing trade-offs in the name of safety. In this episode, we dive into the normative, privacy, and transparency implications of this software for both schools and families, and examine how the rush to fix societal problems with technology can amplify harm to young people while enriching companies that stand to profit from increased surveillance.
Get out your Bunsen burner! It’s time to do some experiments. In this episode, we talk to two businesses that aren’t afraid to try new things. First, the three founders of The Mad Optimist, a soap company in Indiana, talk about letting customers choose what they pay for their products. Then Natalie Nagele, the co-founder and CEO of software company Wildbit, talks about an ongoing experiment with four-day work weeks and what she’s discovered about productivity, happiness, and deep work.
Venture Capital and Control with Dave Teare
Dave Teare is the co-founder and official “heart and soul” of 1Password, which recently raised $200 million in its first round of venture capital. Basecamp is a longtime happy customer of 1Password and also a longtime critic of venture capital, so the funding announcement led to some back-and-forth on Twitter between Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson and Dave Teare. In this episode, DHH and Dave get on the phone to hash out their feelings about venture capital and what this funding round means for 1Password’s future.
Calm in the Political Storm
Workplace cultures in politics and tech share many similarities: Overwork is glorified; long hours are the norm; employees are expected to respond to communication instantly, no matter the day or time; and those that opt out are seen as lacking hustle or ceding ground to competitors. Marty Santalucia, a political consultant in Pennsylvania, wanted to do things differently. In this episode, he talks about applying calm work principles to an industry that’s known for the opposite dynamic.
Basecamp: This Time it's Personal
Basecamp has a long history of experimenting with “freemium” models and recently launched its most generous free plan yet: Basecamp Personal. Co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson talk about the debate and data analysis that went into the launch, what makes this a little scary, and why it’s healthy for a business to experiment.
Spending in the Clouds
Basecamp has cut back its reliance on Amazon and Google, but there’s one area where it’s tough to find alternatives to Big Tech: cloud services. Even so, there are ways to cut spending on this $3 million annual expense while keeping the company’s apps running smoothly. In this episode, Blake Stoddard on Basecamp’s Ops team talks about how he volunteered to look for savings on cloud services and really delivered—to the tune of over a half-million dollars.
Breaking the Black Box
Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson sparked a national controversy this week when he posted a series of livid tweets about how his wife received a much lower credit limit than he did on their Apple Cards, despite applying with the same financial information. What began as a rant against opaque algorithms turned into a regulatory investigation and more. In this episode, Dr. Ruha Benjamin of Princeton University and entrepreneur Mara Zepeda, co-founder of the XXcelerate Fund and Zebras Unite, talk about how the tech and financial sectors perpetuate systemic inequalities and how to start repairing the damage—or building something more equitable and inclusive from the ground up.