David Heinemeier Hansson

April 27, 2021

Mosaics of positions

If you learn enough about someone, you'll eventually be disappointed or dismayed. This is nature, this is normal. While some conservatives love to throw the word snowflake around as an insult, I take it as a compliment. The most interesting people I know really are unique, quirky, and even contradictory. To illustrate, I'm going to lis...
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April 26, 2021

Basecamp's new etiquette regarding societal politics at work

Jason announced a raft of changes we've made to Basecamp earlier today. By far the most controversial is a new etiquette around societal politics at work, and the stances we'll take as a company. So to expand on that, here's a segment from what I wrote internally on that topic, as part of the announcement to employees at Basecamp. As c...
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April 26, 2021

Don't promise, just ship

Despite telling ourselves and the world that software roadmaps are a bad idea for well over a decade, we still made the mistake with HEY and custom domains. I'm sympathetic to why we did that – given just the endless avalanche of requests! – but a mistake it was. The first problem with roadmaps, and other kinds of explicit or implicit ...
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April 23, 2021

HEY will soon let you recycle your emails

Gmail taught us to save every email forever so they'd have an endless data trove to mine for purchases, behaviors, and connections. Endless fields for machine learning to roam wild, sowed by the anxiety of WHAT IF I NEED IT ONE DAY. But saving every email you've ever gotten does not make any sense. Neither ecologically, practically, or...
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April 23, 2021

Legacy without nostalgia

It was Signal v Noise that connected Jason and I, back in 2001. A quick call for programming help, answered from four thousand miles away, lead to a twenty-years-and-counting partnership. It was on Signal v Noise where Jason and I first wrote most of the essays that became REWORK, which has since sold over half a million copies around ...
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April 21, 2021

Apple is an accomplice to fraud

Today's blockbuster story in The Verge about Apple's gross negligence in managing the App Store is wild. Wilder than wild, it's bananas. Absolutely bonkers. Go read it right now, then come back. Didn't I tell you? B-a-n-a-n-a-s. How on earth does a two-trillion-dollar company like Apple allow themselves to be exposed like this? That's ...
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April 20, 2021

What is a computer?

When Apple launched the iPhone in 2007, it was a milestone for the tech industry. They called it a phone, but the revolution was shrinking a general-purpose computer to fit in your pocket. That was the progress. But when Apple introduced the App Store the next year, it cemented the fundamental regression that had been present with the ...
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April 9, 2021

The App Store is broken because it wasn't designed to work

When Kosta Eleftheriou first started revealing scam upon scam in the App Store, I have to admit I didn't quite get it. How were all these multi-million dollar scams being allowed into the App Store in the first place? And why weren't they being expediently removed when scores of customers complained in their 1-star reviews? The answer ...
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April 5, 2021

Stop talking about product

Business people just can't stop referring to whatever their company makes as "the product". It's the great tell of whether someone's in it for the business or the beat. You hear it all the time. Car executives who talk about "producing compelling products" rather than "making good cars". Game executives who talk about "best-selling pro...
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March 31, 2021

It's hard to draw lessons from your own failures

Andrew Wilkinson's tale of how he blew $10,000,000 building a to-do list app perfectly illustrates the danger of trying to analyze your own failures. It's so easy to fall in love with one of those infinite alternate universes where you just did that one thing differently and everything worked out. Like "if only we had raised venture ca...
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