David Heinemeier Hansson

January 31, 2023

Just let me do my job

This is to everyone who've ever been frustrated with the inability to find time at work to do their actual job. To those who've had to nod and smile at the VP of Wasting Everyone's Fucking Time. To whoever is sick of playing calendar tetris just to win the prize of zoom gloom. To people who actually like what they do, and would be ever so happy, if they'd simply be allowed to do it. To anyone who've ever thought: JUST LET ME DO MY JOB!

The modern workplace has become an interruption factory. Constantly cutting the work day into fleeting work moments. Keeping everyone busy producing everything but progress. Whether it's pointless meetings, the endless conveyer belt and line-by-line thinking of chat-first collaboration, or the gaggle of check-ins, check-ups, drive-bys, and 1-1s that plague life at work in far too many companies. Enough! ENOUGH! E-N-O-U-G-H!

Half the people who feel zapped by work at the end of the week do so because they actually want to get the job done, but just can't seem to find the peace and calm to do so. Drained by the lack of momentum on moving things forward, not from an intrinsic incapacity for motivation. That's an absolute travesty. An own goal of anti-productivity and peak pointy-haired bossness. And it's utterly unnecessary. It does not have to be this way!

Work isn't always a picnic, but if you get to apply your skills to interesting problems for long, uninterrupted stretches of time, it can actually be rewarding and meaningful. Humans were made to do, not just to be. The height of happiness at work is finding that state of flow. But you'll be looking in vain unless you're mostly left alone, either individually or as a team, to seek it.

We've worked for over twenty years on tools and practices in service of this goal at 37signals. We've built Basecamp for businesses who appreciate the progress that comes from just letting people do their job. It's not that complicated, but it is surprisingly difficult to pull off with the mishmash of tools most businesses foist on their employees. Basecamp's mission since its launch nearly two decades ago has been to give you a little less than you think you might need, such that everyone on the team can actually figure out how to use it.

Now we're making this ethos into the key slogan for a five-million dollar marketing campaign in 2023: JUST LET ME DO MY JOB!

The campaign starts today with this fun commercial that'll run before videos around the internet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPmhvY0GCMQ

About David Heinemeier Hansson

Made Basecamp and HEY for the underdogs as co-owner and CTO of 37signals. Created Ruby on Rails. Wrote REWORK, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and REMOTE. Won at Le Mans as a racing driver. Fought the big tech monopolies as an antitrust advocate. Invested in Danish startups.