Jason Fried

August 17, 2021

The difference between time and attention

A few years ago I realized that if I’m too busy to take something on, I shouldn’t say “I don’t have the time”. In fact, I often do have the time. It’s not that hard to squeeze in some extra time for someone. What I don’t have – and what I can’t squeeze in – is more attention. Attention is a far more limited resource than time. So what ...
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July 28, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#6]

This is the sixth 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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July 25, 2021

It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work

“It’s crazy at work.” How often have you heard that? Or said it yourself? Probably too often. For many, “it’s crazy at work” has become their normal. But why's that? At the root is an onslaught of physical and virtual real-time distractions slicing work days into a series of fleeting work moments. Tie that together with a trend of over...
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July 14, 2021

It's not remote if you have to go to the office

As companies begin to experiment with pulling people back to the office, you're hearing a lot of talk about hybrid work arrangements. Work at the office a few days a week, work remotely the other days. In general I think that's a fair approach for a lot of companies. But it's not remote work. That's work from the office + work from hom...
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June 28, 2021

Brands and rental cars

Every time I get off a plane and head to the rental car counter, I'm surprised by what I see. Hertz, Avis, National, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Alamo, etc. What I'd expect to see: Audi, BMW, Tesla, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Lexus, Cadillac, Ford, Volvo, Porsche, Hyundai, Land Rover, etc. I know you can rent those cars from the rental car ...
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June 25, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#5]

This is the fifth 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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June 23, 2021

A static business is a healthy business

If you have a small handful of customers paying you significantly more than most of your customers, you’re no longer a product company — you’re actually a consulting company working for those big payers. You’ll do what they say — often at the detriment of your smaller customers — because the big companies pay the big bucks. And if you ...
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June 16, 2021

HEY turns 1, Happy Birthday HEY!

One year ago, we launched HEY, our brand new email service, with a huge waitlist, some Tweets and a 37-minute video tour. Launching a paid email service was strange thing to do, and a long-ass video was an odd way to do it. It was also a surprising change of direction for us. While we used to have a number of different products, a few ...
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June 10, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#4]

This is the fourth 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 ...
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June 7, 2021

Listening to last year, at this time

Lately I've been making it a habit to occasionally listen to podcasts from about a year ago. I scroll back in time until I find one that's about this same date from 2020 and hit play. And I have the inventory, another 12 months back to 2019. Last year at this time we were smack dab in the middle of COVID, a pivotal political campaign i...
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June 7, 2021

Hiring future perfects

Last week I announced an open call for product designers, and we've already heard from some outstanding candidates. Huge thanks to everyone who's applied so far. I'm reviewing every application personally, and it's been a joy. Lots of smiles. Keep 'em coming! Unlike years past when we had a specific position to fill, and a deadline in ...
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June 2, 2021

Hiring up! Product designer?

Over the past few weeks, many people have emailed asking me if we're hiring, or about to hire. Good news: Yes we are! In fact, we're aiming to hire a lot of people across a number of positions. If you're interested in joining our team, I'd encourage you to get your name on the list at basecamp.com/jobs to be notified when we post any p...
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May 31, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#3]

This is the third 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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May 25, 2021

What's modern?

I’ve got two machines on me. One’s strapped to my left wrist. The other lives in my pocket. The one on my wrist can tell me the time (precisely in 12 hour format, roughly in 24), the day of the week, the month of the year, which year of the leap year cycle we’re in, and the current moon phase. But that’s its limit. There’s no software,...
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May 23, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#2]

This is the second 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 ...
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May 19, 2021

Active? Away? How about neither.

As a general rule, nobody at Basecamp really knows where anyone else is at any given moment. Are they working? Dunno. Are they taking a break? Dunno. Are they at lunch? Dunno. Are they picking up their kid from school? Dunno. Don’t care. The vast majority of the time, it just doesn’t matter. What matters is letting people design their ...
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May 9, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#1]

This is the first 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. Let's see how this goes. — Hear...
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May 4, 2021

An Update

Last week was terrible. We started with policy changes that felt simple, reasonable, and principled, and it blew things up internally in ways we never anticipated. David and I completely own the consequences, and we're sorry. We have a lot to learn and reflect on, and we will. The new policies stand, but we have some refining and clari...
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April 27, 2021

On making decisions

Decisions, decisions. Decisions aren't hard — it's the moments after that are. As it's said, you live with a decision. They come with you. They mix and swirl with new times ahead you can't see yet. A decision is a guess about later. Whenever I make decisions, I don't think about now, I think about eventually. How will this feel then. R...
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April 26, 2021

Changes at Basecamp

At Basecamp, we treat our company as a product. It's not a rigid thing that exists, it's a flexible, malleable idea that evolves. We aren't stuck with what we have, we can create what we want. Just as we improve products through iteration, we iterate on our company too. Recently, we've made some internal company changes, which, taken i...
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April 24, 2021

I bought a sauna

I bought a sauna. Which one doesn't matter. I barely know. I don't even care. Model number? I couldn't tell you. Maker? I'd pronounce it wrong. I just know it goes up to about 184 degrees Fahrenheit. I bought a sauna on a second-hand recommendation from someone I don't know, but do respect. I bought a sauna sight unseen, heat unfelt. I...
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April 17, 2021

Pale Blue Dot

Photograph of Earth taken Feb. 14, 1990, by NASA’s Voyager 1 at a distance of 3.7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers) from the Sun — “That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering...
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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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