Every year for the past decade, Mert Iseri has chosen a new skill to learn. This annual challenge has taken him from a magicians’ club to chess tournaments where he’s competed against eight-year-olds. In this episode, Mert talks about chasing the joy of being challenged just the right amount and what he’s learned from being an enthusiastic beginner.
The Road Out Of Startupland
Sahil Lavingia once believed his startup was headed for unicorn status, but his journey through Silicon Valley—the viral launch on Hacker News, $8 million in venture capital, the glowing press—led to a very different outcome. In this episode, Sahil reflects on life outside the literal and figurative confines of Silicon Valley, and the satisfaction he gets from building a sustainable business.
Mr. DHH Goes to Washington
Basecamp co-founder and Chief Technology Officer David Heinemeier Hansson has been ranting on Twitter about monopolistic practices in Big Tech for a while, and he recently got an unexpected opportunity to air his grievances about Google, Apple, and Facebook in front of a congressional subcommittee. In this episode, David debriefs on his experience and Basecamp’s data analyst, Jane Yang, talks about her work helping David prepare for his appearance.
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.