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.
The pandemic has caused enormous job losses and forced many companies to rethink the nature of work. In this episode, two Stanford students talk about the online resource they built to help fellow students whose summer internships were canceled, and Wildbit CEO Natalie Nagele returns to Rework to discuss the launch of People-First Jobs, a job board that connects seekers with human-centered companies.
Winston Sat At His Computer
A growing number of companies have turned to employee surveillance software to monitor their newly remote workforce. Basecamp, which has taken a hardline stance against surveillance of all kinds, decided to ban makers of this “tattleware” from integrating with our products. Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson comes on the show to talk about how a special “Moral Quandaries” team at the company made the decision and how surveillance systems poison the future of remote work.
Bubble Wrap & Prayers
The government may not consider comic book shops, indoor plant stores, and small boutiques “essential,” but these businesses are vital to the unique fabric of their neighborhoods and downtowns. Without foot traffic, they’re finding new ways to connect with customers and stay afloat, all while navigating supply chain disruptions and e-commerce logistics.
Living on Hope
We call up our friend and former colleague Esther Lee, who lives with her husband on a 35-foot sailboat named Hope in Jacksonville, Florida. Esther, an “idealist in hiding,” talks about how living smaller gives her more space to turn outward and care for others, especially now.
Endless Zoom meetings, being cut off from friends, the widespread cancellation of summer fun, ricocheting between boredom and anxiety—kids have it pretty rough! And it’s no picnic for their parents, either. In this episode, businesses built on offering in-person enrichment for children talk about how they’re adapting to reach families and staying resilient.
Basecampers Nathan Anderson and Joan Stewart talk about their love of baking bread and how to get started if you’re a newbie. As Joan says, you just have to believe.