Chase Jarvis Show: Jason Fried: It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work

  • I don’t set out to be contrarian: I just do what I think makes sense. Maybe my version of what makes sense is different from other people’s versions. I also don’t pay attention to a lot of things. People can pay too much attention to other things and you start to think that’s the only way to do things.

  • Basecamp’s Values: Bootstrapped, small, and profitable. Doing whatever we want. True independence. We value that more than anything else. 

  • The grass is not always greener: If we went out of business today and I started another one tomorrow I don’t think I’d be anywhere near as successful. Ever. Because we’ve been doing it for a long time. We were at the right place at the right time. Luck was there. We were good at it. I don’t think you can brute force some of this stuff. 

  • Not all technology is helpful: Real-time communication at work [chat] has caused more problems than it has solved. It has sped up everything. You don’t have enough time to think before responding. Communication is scrolling by one line at a time. 

  • We don’t have a meetings heavy culture: This means we write things down instead of saying them out loud. We write long-form detailed passages and let people absorb everything on their own time. It is the opposite of an inefficient meeting. As a result, we have to hire great writers. We don’t hire people who can’t write well. 

  • When you are an entrepreneur you are building your own job: Think about where you want to go to work everyday. I want to keep doing this. I want to build the place for me to work. Then you find like minds.

  • Business is like any other skill. You need to practice: You’ve got to practice to get good at it. People have an expectation when they start a business that they have to have it all figured out. You won’t. You need to practice just like any other skill.

  • No one should listen to me about how to start a business: I haven’t started a business in 20 years. I can talk about how to run a business. How to be profitable. How to market. How to build products. How to make decisions. Because that is what I do every day.

  • Why you should trust your gut: If you are going to fight against what you believe if you are always doing what you don’t want to do [because someone else is telling you to or the data is telling you to] you won’t have a happy life.

  • Something to think about: If you talk to successful entrepreneurs and you ask them when was your best time. . . it was when they were smaller. It was when we were just a few people working out of an apartment.

  • Nature is the best design solution: These things have been perfected for millions of years. If I’m in the software world I never want to look at software to get inspiration. I want to look at leaves, plants, buildings, furniture. Things that are have been designed and thought through from a different perspective. If you just look at the software you will just end up making what everyone else is making. 

  • What drives you crazy: Wasting time.

  • The downside to technology: These devices are highly addictive. They reward addictive behavior. They are a gateway for negative information to get into your brain. Some apps can contribute to unhappiness.

  • I wouldn’t be surprised if social media is eventually seen as the next cigarette:We might look back and say this was incredibly unhealthy for kids, for adults, for our brains, for our development, for our egos, etc. [Long live podcasts as the much, much healthier alternative to staring at a screen or mindlessly scrolling a feed]

  • Book recommendation: Revising Prose. This guy talks about how to write sentences. How to squeeze all the fat out of a sentence without making it sterile.

  • What Jason admires about Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger: Their fundamental understanding of what matters and what doesn’t. Their focus on value. Their rejection of trends. They run a massive company with a small number of employees. Buffet’s letters to his shareholders are a must-read.

  • Full video here.