Jason Fried

April 12, 2021

Staying Out of It

Over the past few years I've been practicing the subtle art of Staying Out of It. On any given day, there are dozens of discussions I could be part of. A deluge of decisions I could weigh in on. An overmuch of opinion on which I could opine. But I'm choosing to Stay Out of It. Not because I don't care, but because I don't need to be th...
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April 8, 2021

Why be an entrepreneur?

Earlier this week I caught up with a friend and fellow CEO over lunch. We're in entirely different industries, but, as we usually do, we talk a little shop. We've both been at the wheel for a while, and we've both built lasting businesses without outside capital. One of the topics we slid into was "Why be an entrepreneur?". Not why sor...
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April 6, 2021

How much is Basecamp worth? I don’t know and I don’t care.

A few years back I was speaking to a class at a local university and the topic of valuations came up. One student asked me what our valuation was. I gave her the honest answer: I haven’t a clue. Today I still don't. How is it possible that a successful software company today doesn’t know what it's worth? A valuation is what other peopl...
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April 1, 2021

Four letter words

When collaborating with others, watch out for these four letter words: • Need • Must • Can’t • Easy • Just • Only • Fast They are especially dangerous when you string them together. How many times have you said or heard something like this: “We really need it. If we don’t we can’t make the customer happy. Wouldn’t it be easy if we just...
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March 31, 2021

Excitement is a fleeting moment, not a steady state

As part of my involvement in the Edmund Hillary Fellowship, I've been conducting office hours sessions with a handful of New Zealand-based entrepreneurs. These are typically 1-hour calls focused on a specific struggle they're having. Questions typically revolve around remote work, marketing, differentiation, hiring, messaging, product ...
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March 25, 2021

Company history is a myth

Everything you've heard is fabricated, manipulated, or exaggerated. It probably didn't happen that way. The way things are, likely aren't. It wasn't because of this, it was because of that. The longer its been since it was said, the less likely it's still true. It didn't start there. The founding quote is misattributed. That's not why ...
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March 24, 2021

What I think, not what I thought

A core tenet of how we work at Basecamp is that we make it up as we go, 6-weeks at a time. No big plans beyond that. We have some big picture directional ideas of where we may be headed — like a sailor on an exploratory expedition, aiming for a distant shore — but we're tacking with the prevailing winds, and our whims, until we eventua...
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March 16, 2021

Why should I buy yours vs. theirs?

Sometimes I get asked a direct A vs. B sales question. Like... "Why should I buy HEY instead of Fastmail?" My honest answer: "I don't know. You should try both and see which one you like best. And once you've made your choice, I'd love to hear which one you picked and why." I'm not selling, I'm learning. I can surely point someone to m...
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March 15, 2021

How Coronavirus kids see the world

I've got two young kids. Because of the pandemic, a good portion of their outside experiences have been masked. I think this is ultimately to their advantage. Much of our emotions, reactions, and communications come from the bottom halves of our faces. Our noses, cheeks, and mouths express so much of what's on our mind. The shapes, con...
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March 15, 2021

Giiggle it!

Traditional search engines like Google are pretty good at helping you find something specific. Like a research paper on a clinical trial, or a picture of Wrigley Field, or a product if you know the name. If you kinda know what you want, and you'll recognize it when you see it, there's a good chance that stodgy old search engine will he...
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