Jason Fried

January 19, 2022

Creativity requires optimism

Pessimism can spark an idea. Annoyance can drive ingenuity. Disappointment can redirect effort towards change. But creativity requires optimism. Creativity isn't about starting something. It's about making something. Making requires sustained effort, and sustained effort requires fuel. That fuel is optimism. When you run out, momentum ...
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January 6, 2022

Deployments: How we announce new features and updates internally at Basecamp

A few weeks ago I shared how we write Heartbeats at Basecamp. Heartbeats are written by team leads that summarize their team's work over the past 6-week cycle. They are published to Basecamp, and shared with everyone at Basecamp, so everyone knows what's happening across the company. The post was really well received, and people have b...
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January 5, 2022

Faith in eventually

Making something new takes patience. But it also takes faith. Faith that everything will work out in the end. During the development of most any product, there are always times when things aren’t quite right. Times when you feel like you may be going backwards a bit. Times where it’s almost there, but you can’t yet figure out why it is...
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January 4, 2022

Why the hell not?

Whenever I dive into something new, I try to find at least one “why the hell not?” moment. And when I can, I try to leave evidence of that moment in whatever it is that I’m building. When we launched our company (37signals) back in 1999, we launched a black and white, text-only site without a single piece of portfolio work to be found....
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December 30, 2021

Does it make you enjoy?

My friend and I have been discussing cars. He's thinking of buying his first fancy one. His dad had one years ago, and he's thought about buying a car like this — like his dad's — for years. He's stressed over it, he's agonized over it, and he's spent a few too many hours thinking about all the reasons why and why not. This morning he ...
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December 20, 2021

What's in a Heartbeat?

We're famous for having very few meetings at Basecamp. We generally think meetings are toxic. Yet, meetings do convey information, and we need to convey information, so what's our replacement? Writing. Long-form, complete-thought, considered writing. We write a lot at Basecamp. Since long-form writing is an asynchronous form of communi...
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November 19, 2021

Distracting? Is it?

In the course of designing user interfaces, and processing feedback about designs, one sometimes runs into a "That's distracting" comment about something specific in the design. You may even say it — or feel it — about something you're designing. What's distracting about it? Maybe something's too colorful. Maybe it's something regardin...
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November 10, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#10]

This is the tenth post in a new series I'm calling Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something. I'll post these periodically whenever I can fill up three slots — one for something interesting I recently listened to, one for something I read that I liked, and one for something I saw that caught my eye. Hope you enjoy these. — Heard S...
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October 30, 2021

Fewer options can create more optionality

Designing products is one of my favorite things to do — period. There's a lot to love. The twists and turns, the surprises, the creative explorations, the collaboration, and the moments when things really come together. But it's the practical choices, the tough decisions, and the tradeoffs that really make the work challenging and inte...
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October 20, 2021

How we acquired HEY.com

As more and more people discover our new email service, HEY.com, I continue to get questions about how we acquired the domain name. While I can't tell you how much it cost, I can share the story behind the acquisition process. Here goes: — Back on June 9, 2018, I cold emailed help@hey.com: “Hey there– Curious… Would you entertain an of...
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