Jason Fried

October 5, 2021

Idea protectionism

On the 10th anniversary of Steve Jobs' passing, Jony Ive reflected on the man he worked with for nearly 30 years. It was a lovely remembrance, primarily orbiting the sanctity of the creative process and the burbling of ideas. It reminded me about something else Jony said about Steve in shortly after his death: “"And just as Steve loved...
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October 3, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#9]

This is the ninth 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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September 14, 2021

Is a business different from a company?

Is there a difference between building a business or building a company? They've always seemed synonymous — interchangeable — to me, but now I think there's a difference. We just completed the search process for a new COO at Basecamp. It's essentially a brand new position at the company. We had a COO for one year about five years ago, ...
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September 4, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#8]

This is the eighth 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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September 3, 2021

Tricks of the trade

Yesterday I was pruning trees with our landscaper. This was an aesthetic exercise — aiming to find a better balance of leaves, branches, light, shadow, density, open space, shape, etc. Part of this process was also getting rid of suckers, crossing branches, and limiting general verticality. We wanted the trees to look more relaxed and ...
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September 2, 2021

How ideas come together for me

First the idea hits. Then I think about it some more and it takes a direction. As I work through the direction, I’ll see another direction. Usually relatively similar, but different enough that it demands its own exploration. As I dig in into the problem, more layers and possibilities reveal themselves. Sometimes they point in entirely...
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August 26, 2021

Heard Something, Read Something, Saw Something [#7]

This is the seventh 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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August 23, 2021

Questions I ask when checking references

When hiring for key positions, speaking with references is important. For us, it's typically the last step in the hiring process. A phase for the final-finalists. Anyone who makes it to the final stage of the hiring process has already been well vetted for skill and disposition. We have a great sense of how they interview, and their to...
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August 18, 2021

The path to Basecamp 4

Something new is on the way. But first, some history. Basecamp Classic, the very first version of Basecamp, launched in 2004. In 2012, we followed up with the all-new Basecamp 2, the first major ground-up redesign in the product's history. Then we did it again in 2015 with Basecamp 3. We've been updating Basecamp 3 ever since, and toda...
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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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