Recode Decode: Jason Fried

  • Basecamp is focused on asynchronous communication. I am not okay with being interrupted constantly. People can not get work done at work anymore because they are being interrupted by real-time tools. This is not progress. This is a regression.  

  • We are intentionally small. I hate big companies. 

  • Why do you write books about how your company works? Businesses typically hold things close to their chest. They think everything is propriety. It is not. I’ve always been inspired by chefs. Chefs write cookbooks and share recipes. Our books are our recipes on how we think about work

  • I think a lot of companies make things too hard on themselves. [His book It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work talks about this.]📚

  • The most important thing for me as a business owner is to make sure I am protecting my employee’s time and attention. You can’t be expected to do great work if you don’t own your own time

  • Basecamp is a collection of small [less than 4 people] autonomous units. You never have to wait around for someone else to do something for you. Figure it out yourself or don’t do it at all

  • We don’t plan. We have no revenue goals. No financial goals other than to be profitable. No user growth goals. We should just be doing our best work. Why make up some bullshit number? Just do your best work. Always

  • I don’t understand serial entrepreneurship. I’m proudly a non-serial entrepreneur. I have a good idea. I am sticking with it. I know a lot of people who built a great business and then sold it. They are miserable. They are looking for the good old days again and they will never get them back. 

  • I believe venture capital kills more businesses than it helps. Lots of businesses could be great $10 or $20 million businesses. But they aren’t allowed to be. They have to be $200 million, or $500 million, or a $1 billion. Look at the numbers. So few companies are huge. The vast majority of businesses are small. I hope more entrepreneurs see the value in controlling your own destiny

  • Basecamp has over 100,000 paying customers. We generate tens of millions in profits every year. We get to run our business the way we want to run it. This is because we are independent. 

  • Tech companies have some obvious structural weaknesses. Trust is being eroded quickly. These businesses are manipulative. They build addictive products. They have extreme amounts of centralized control. 

  • Full podcast here.