David Heinemeier Hansson

May 24, 2021

Who owns your iPhone?

You can spend up to $1,399 on an iPhone 12 Pro Max in the US, but even though the button to commit to this extravagant purchase says "buy", the transaction isn't really a sale in the traditional sense. Because even if you pay lavishly for this magnificent pocket computer, it's never truly yours. The Right To Repair You'd think that aft...
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May 21, 2021

Not just what you read but how

The concept of a media diet has gotten a lot of attention, and it's surely an important one. If you fill your mind with drivel, it'll soak your thoughts in kind. But how you choose to fill your mind matters too. Even if the sources are ace. For many years, I consumed media in a continuous, never-ending stream from morning till night. I...
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May 20, 2021

Speeding up HEY's The Feed

Modern emails are essentially HTML pages. Particularly newsletters, which are full of images, styles, and tables. Showing these HTML emails inside a web-based email client is not a trivial problem. Unlike a normal HTML page that has the whole browser to itself, these HTML emails have to be shown inside the navigational chrome of the em...
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May 20, 2021

After the storm

It's been three weeks since Jason and I announced the set of workplace policychanges that led to a public firestorm and a really difficult, stressful time for everyone at Basecamp. Since then, we've been regrouping, hiring new colleagues, and continued operating our services without a hitch. We have a great team in place, and everyone ...
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April 28, 2021

Let it all out

Casey's reporting for The Verge brought some of the dirty laundry that helped motivate our change of directionregarding societal politics at Basecamp onto the public record. It erased part of that fine line we try to toe between sharing as much of the inner workings at the company as possible while respecting the confidentiality of emp...
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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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