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.
Big Brother at the Office
Between cameras, sensor-equipped ID badges, and keystroke-logging software, employers are keeping an ever-watchful eye on their workers, all in the name of security or increased productivity. Jason Meller has spent his career in computer security and witnessed what can happen when a corporation’s obsession with safety results in harmful surveillance of its employees. On this episode, he talks about navigating those ethical boundaries and why it’s important to have constant consent instead of constant surveillance.
Rework Mailbag 5
Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer listener questions in this short but jam-packed mailbag episode. Among other topics, they discuss whether they prefer reading physical books or the Kindle; talk about providing feedback to rejected job candidates; and imagine a world where Jason and DHH didn’t end up working together.
A Hosty Retreat
Basecamp has taken a clear stance against tracking on the web, so when we learned that our podcast hosting provider had introduced listener-targeted advertising, we decided to decamp to a different company. On today’s episode, Wailin talks to Lex Friedman, chief revenue officer of Rework’s old podcast host, about what they’re doing with targeted ads. Then she talks to Justin Jackson, co-founder of our new podcast host, about how he’s approached building his startup.
Basecamp’s new head of marketing, Andy Didorosi, talks about starting a bus company in his hometown of Detroit to help fill a gap in public transit; what he learned about building a business with a “buy one, give one” social mission; and why he left the company he founded to join Basecamp.
In the Market for a Marketer
As part of a mini hiring boom at Basecamp this year, CEO Jason Fried went looking for a position that had never existed before at the company: head of marketing. Over a thousand people applied for the role. In this episode, Jason explains how he narrowed a very competitive pool of candidates to find the right person.
In the spring of 2019, Danny Caine, the owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas, overheard a customer saying she could buy a new hardcover online for $15. Danny took to Twitter to explain the economics of independent bookstores and the thread went viral, putting the 32-year-old small business in the national spotlight. Danny comes on Rework to talk about why his activism and outspoken stance against Amazon haven’t just felt right, but been good for business too.
Open Source and Power with Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress and the founder of Automattic, joins Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson for a spirited debate about tech monopolies, power in open-source communities, and how to be good stewards of the modern web that they helped build.