Shape Up Roundtable
Basecamp’s new book, Shape Up by Ryan Singer, explores the way designers and programmers at the company build and ship software. In this episode, Ryan, designer Conor Muirhead, and programmer Jeff Hardy go deep into Shape Up principles, talking about the parts of the process they find most useful and sharing real-life examples of both successes and setbacks.
Basecamp’s head of strategy, Ryan Singer, sits down to discuss his new book, Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters. The book is a culmination of Ryan’s 15+ years working at Basecamp and explains how small teams of designers and programmers can ship great work in six-week cycles. Ryan’s book is about product development and software, but many of its ideas around working with the right level of abstraction, embracing constraints, and making smart bets are applicable to other creative pursuits.
Hire When it Hurts
Basecamp is known for hiring infrequently, but it’s in the midst of adding five new employees to its roster—including the company’s first-ever director of marketing. Over 4,000 applications have come in for the open positions. In this episode, we go deep into how we knew it was time to hire, why we spend so much time writing job ads, and how teams of future co-workers evaluate candidates without using automated filtering software.
Six Hours of Phone Calls
In this episode, Basecamp marketing designer Adam Stoddard joins Jason Fried to talk about a marathon session of interviewing Search Engine Optimization consultants. Hear why they squeezed all the interviews into a six-hour block and what it’s like to shop for something you don’t really know anything about.
The Open Office
The open office has gone from the dominant workplace layout to cultural pariah, with these environments seeming to produce more interruptions than collaboration. But the open office itself isn’t entirely to blame for the distractions that plague office workers. In this episode, two tech workers share their experiences in open offices—with some surprising findings.
Long-Time Snacker, First-Time Caller
A curious snack food aficionado calls the home of Mr. Peanut.
We Love the Subs
In 2004, fast food company Quiznos launched a national advertising campaign featuring animated rodent-like creatures screech-singing an ode to the chain’s toasted sub sandwiches. The TV commercials were instantly polarizing and lodged themselves in many viewers’ brains like a recurring fever dream. In this episode, the people behind the campaign share the story of how the ads got made.
Open Source Beyond the Market
This is a lightly edited version of a keynote address Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson delivered at RailsConf 2019 about “open source, markets, debts, purpose, and no less than the meaning of life.” David also sits down with Shaun to talk briefly about how he approached this keynote differently than past talks.
How Buffer Meets Up
Even remote companies need actual face time every once in a while. That’s why Basecamp holds companywide, weeklong meet-ups in Chicago twice a year. Fellow remote tech company Buffer has 85 employees across the globe that get together once a year for an annual retreat, and they’ve visited countries from South Africa to Iceland. On this episode, Carolyn Kopprasch of Buffer talks about the kind of work that gets done during this time, helping introverts manage energy during an intense week, and her favorite parts of Retreat.
James Glazebrook at Support Driven Expo Europe 2019
In April, Basecamp Support team member James Glazebrook gave a talk at Support Driven Expo Europe about Everyone On Support. It’s an all-hands program where Basecamp employees rotate through a day of working in customer service. James noticed the system—while well-intentioned—wasn’t working properly, and set out to fix it. And that, as James himself might say, is pretty metal.