Business rhetoric is rife with the language of war—there’s constant talk of conquering markets and dominating the competition. These tropes indicate a dangerous way of thinking that can have real consequences, intended or not, on human behavior. In this episode, two professors share their research on the impact of violent rhetoric on business ethics, and a member of Basecamp’s Support team talks about communication techniques that get us out of the mentality that everything is a zero-sum game.
Sometimes It's Crazy At Work
In October, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson released their new book, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. The book featured their writing, as well as cover art and interior illustrations from a couple designers at Basecamp. The launch initially seemed like a great success—but then things went awry. In this episode, we look at the work that went into the book and the problems with the release, and attempt to find some lessons in the aftermath.
The Worst Performance Review
Annual, semi-annual, quarterly, 360…no matter what form they take, performance reviews can be anxiety-inducing workplace rituals. In today’s episode, we talk to the head of HR at an HR software company (meta!) and a Basecamp designer about why helpful feedback is so difficult to give and receive—and what can be done to improve the process.
Rework Mailbag 3
It’s time for another episode where Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer your questions! In this one, they discuss how to apply calm company principles to client work and classrooms, and talk about healthy ways for business partners to disagree.
The Myth of the Overnight Sensation
Before the viral unicorn poop video, before the appearances on Shark Tank and Dr. Oz and Howard Stern—Bobby Edwards was showing his invention at conventions and sending it to alternative health bloggers in hopes of getting coverage. The invention? Squatty Potty, a plastic stool that puts you in a squatting position to poop better. Today Squatty Potty brings in over $30 million in annual revenue, but the quirky company’s ascent to viral fame was far from assured. In today’s episode, CEO Bobby Edwards talks about the years of work that went into marketing the Squatty Potty before it got national attention.
It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work - Part 2
This is the second of a two-part interview with David Heinemeier Hansson about his and Jason Fried’s new book, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. In this episode, David talks about taking a calm approach to writing and marketing the book. Also, Wailin gets him to say #blessed (kind of) and has some anxiety about late-stage capitalism. We all get through it together!
It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work - Part 1
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have a new book out called It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work, which pushes back against the toxic culture of overwork and unhealthy ambitions that’s driving much of the modern workplace. In this episode, Wailin sits down with David to talk about the book’s genesis, its intended audience, and the role of responsible software design in fostering calm work environments.
A lot of businesses start as side ventures or hobbies that grow into full-time pursuits. The trick is often in knowing when to quit a comfortable day job to start a new business. We sit down with one of our own at this crossroads. Noah Lorang headed Basecamp’s data team for the last eight years, and now he’s the sole proprietor of a woodworking shop that makes topographical maps. In this episode, Noah talks about how he made his hobby into a viable business, what Basecamp taught him about entrepreneurship, and what he gets from carving wooden maps that he doesn’t get from writing code. Thanks for all the camaraderie, data analysis, and puns, Noah! We’ll miss you.
The Bean Machine
*taps mic* Is this thing on? We’re back from sabbatical! In our first post-hiatus episode, Shaun heads to Denver to visit his sister, who left a catering job at a big restaurant chain to run a coffee shop out of a Volkswagen Bus that she bought on impulse off Craigslist. Erika Hildner shares what she’s learned as a first-time business owner about risk-taking, customer service, and using common sense.
Take a Break
Smell ya later! Shaun and Wailin are taking off the month of August. Before they left, they interviewed three business owners about sabbaticals. In this episode: Adeline Koh of Sabbatical Beauty shares the story of how she ended up starting a business while on leave from a different job; Jason Fried explains why Basecamp offers paid sabbaticals as an employee benefit; and Rachel Winard of Soapwalla talks about what it’s like to go on sabbatical when you’re the boss.