Jason Fried

March 9, 2021

Nodding heads, not turning heads

There's so much energy spent on trying to convince someone to do something, or buy something, or change their mind. It's all possible, but it's the hard road. Instead, I tend to try to get people to naturally nod their head in agreement. Whenever I write something with the intention to explain, sell, or promote, I'm aiming for head nod...
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March 5, 2021

An alternative to competition

Businesses love to compete. To beat, to win, to go 1-0. We don't. I have no interest in competing with anyone. And we don't frame internal decisions in a competitive way. Business has never been about competition for me. Market watchers may think HEY competes with Gmail, but we don't think that way. Gmail has nearly 2 billion users. We...
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March 3, 2021

Stem cell or organ?

Lately, I've been thinking about how new features are either launched as stem cells or full blown organs. I'm well aware this is an imperfect analogy, but I'm OK with that. It's close enough to make me think, which is all that matters in my book. A stem cell is essentially an undifferentiated cell that can change — or differentiate — i...
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March 2, 2021

Ditch the elevator pitch

There’s no shortage of lore about the importance of the elevator pitch. There’s the 1850s version, in which inventor Elisha Otis’s dramatic demonstration of his innovation — a safety brake that keeps elevators from falling during a cable failure — set a new bar for colorful, efficient salesmanship. There’s the Hollywood version, in whi...
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February 26, 2021

A product's gravity

I'm often asked how I know when an idea might make a good product. First, I never know. It's always a guess, a bet. I'm just trying to do what I can to increase the odds, to beat the house. But more specifically, it's always a feeling. It's never a number. It's never a quantity of yesses. It's never about early feedback. It's never abo...
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February 25, 2021

Remote work is not local work at a distance

Back in the mid-90s, just as Netscape Navigator was giving us our first look at what the visual internet could be, web design came in two flavors. There was the ultra basic stuff. Text on a page, maybe a masthead graphic of some sort. Nothing sophisticated. It often looked like traditional letterhead, or a printed newsletter, but now o...
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February 24, 2021

The only metric that matters to me

At Basecamp we don't manage our products with numbers. No goals, no KPIs, OKRs, or WHATEVERs. We do keep a close eye on performance and speed numbers as they relate to infrastructure, serving up pages, and rendering screens, but that's the extent of our number gazing. We aren't flying blind — there are reports available. If you want yo...
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February 24, 2021

Foam, tape, shims, and glue

I'm having a new window system installed at my home office. And I'm finding it a wonderful microcosm of business — and life — itself. Here's what it looks like right now: Foam, tape, shims, and glue — they're holding the whole thing together. It's the guts, the organs, the cartilage, and the bones to keep things lined up, and upright. ...
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February 22, 2021

"Hey, World!"

I've never had a personal blog. It wasn't for lack of things to say, observations to share, or opinions to float. It was primarily because setting up a personal blog was just too much of a hassle. It felt formal, it required yet another tool, yet another place to write, yet another platform to pay for just one feature. I had to pick a ...
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February 22, 2021

I've never had a goal

I can’t remember having a goal. An actual goal. There are things I’ve wanted to do, but if I didn’t do them I’d be fine with that too. There are targets that would have been nice to hit, but if I didn’t hit them I wouldn’t look back and say I missed them. I don’t aim for things that way. I do things, I try things, I build things, I wan...
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