Rework on Smash Notes

Rework podcast.

December 31, 2019

A podcast by Basecamp about the better way to work and run your business. We bring you stories and unconventional wisdom from Basecamp’s co-founders and other business owners.



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Matt Mullenweg, the founding developer of WordPress and the founder of Automattic, joins Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson for a spirited debate about tech monopolies, power in open-source communities, and how to be good stewards of the modern web that they helped build.

Updated on October 07

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Basecamp has cut back its reliance on Amazon and Google, but there's one area where it's tough to find alternatives to Big Tech: cloud services. Even so, there are ways to cut spending on this $3 million annual expense while keeping the company's apps running smoothly. In this episode, Blake Stoddard on Basecamp's Ops team talks about how he volunteered to look for savings on cloud services and really delivered—to the tune of over a half-million dollars.

Updated on November 21

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Tell me something, girl. Are you happy in this modern world? Or do you need more? Is better email what you're searching for?

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An interview with Basecamp design lead Jonas Downey.

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Basecamp woke up on the morning on June 15, took a deep breath, and screamed from the top of its lungs: WE HAVE OPINIONS ABOUT EMAIL.

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Your inbox should be no place for prying eyes.

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Bookshop.org launched in January to help independent bookstores take on Amazon—just a few months before the industry was hit with another massive threat to its survival.

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The creators of two new resources for job seekers talk about helping people find meaningful work at companies that care about humans.

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Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson explains why the company has stopped integrating with makers of employee surveillance software.

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Brick-and-mortar retailers are finding creative ways to reach their customers from a distance.

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Basecamp alumna Esther Lee shares her experience of downsizing to a 35-foot sailboat.

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Businesses that cater to families and children are finding new ways to make sure the kids (and their parents) are alright.

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The yeast you could do is listen to this episode.

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Basecamp CEO Jason Fried and Head of Strategy Ryan Singer answer questions about product development.

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The latest installment of our "Going Remote" Q&A series is all about working from home while taking care of kids—some of whom make cameos on this episode.

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David Sax, author of the new book "The Soul of an Entrepreneur," talks about the stories of business owners that don't fit the Silicon Valley mold.

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Merissa Dawson and Chase Clemons from Basecamp's customer support team answer questions about working remotely.

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Three businesses in the fitness and wellness industry share how they've pivoted and how they're continuing to look after their communities during a difficult time.

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Basecamp design lead Jonas Downey answers questions about working remotely.

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Is it the end times? We call a Friend to discuss.

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A rerun of a 2019 interview with a scientist working in the South Pole.

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Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer questions about working remotely.

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We're replaying an episode of our previous podcast, The Distance, about New York Chinatown's oldest dim sum parlor.

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Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer questions about working remotely.

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A short update on how Basecamp is dealing with COVID-19.

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How America (briefly) got the 8-hour work day.

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"The best thing about owning a business is it allows you to say, 'Okay, who do I want to be?'"

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Basecamp the app is over 15 years old, which means Basecamp the company is responsible for safeguarding more than a decade's worth of customer data—including 370 terabytes of data stored in non-active accounts. In this episode, Basecamp data analyst Jane Yang talks about a big, ongoing project at the company to clean up those inactive accounts and give former customers what we all deserve: the right to be forgotten on the Internet. Two Basecamp alums also return to share the history of the company's data incineration protocol.

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Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson sits down with entrepreneur and angel investor Jason Calacanis to debate the gig economy, democratic socialism, and whether the American dream is dead.

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Some of our most famous poets had day jobs: Robert Burns was a tax collector; William Carlos Williams was a doctor; Audre Lorde was a librarian and professor. Poetry has a lot to say about work and can serve as a meeting place, a provocative memo, or a break from the daily grind. In this episode, we hear from the creator of Poetry At Work Day and the editor of Poetry magazine about the power of verse in the workplace. And some Basecamp colleagues share poems that are meaningful to them.

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Every year for the past decade, Mert Iseri has chosen a new skill to learn. This annual challenge has taken him from a magicians' club to chess tournaments where he's competed against eight-year-olds. In this episode, Mert talks about chasing the joy of being challenged just the right amount and what he's learned from being an enthusiastic beginner.

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Sahil Lavingia once believed his startup was headed for unicorn status, but his journey through Silicon Valley—the viral launch on Hacker News, $8 million in venture capital, the glowing press—led to a very different outcome. In this episode, Sahil reflects on life outside the literal and figurative confines of Silicon Valley, and the satisfaction he gets from building a sustainable business.

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Basecamp co-founder and Chief Technology Officer David Heinemeier Hansson has been ranting on Twitter about monopolistic practices in Big Tech for a while, and he recently got an unexpected opportunity to air his grievances about Google, Apple, and Facebook in front of a congressional subcommittee. In this episode, David debriefs on his experience and Basecamp's data analyst, Jane Yang, talks about her work helping David prepare for his appearance.

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Basecamp CEO Jason Fried is back in the studio with an update on the company's Chicago headquarters. Basecamp will be leaving its office this summer after a 10-year run, and Jason is looking at a number of options—including a space that will bring him full circle with one of his original 37signals partners.

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Matthew Vincent, a member of Basecamp's Ops team, spoke at Nomad City 2019 about life as a remote worker. Close your eyes and pretend you're in the Canary Islands as you listen to this audio version of Matthew's talk.

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Welcome back! We're kicking off the new year with an episode full of practical advice about onboarding new employees. Ashley Bowe from Basecamp's customer support team talks about how they welcome and train new colleagues, and leadership coach Karen Catlin of Better Allies shares advice and examples of what companies can do to build more inclusive cultures.

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Listeners may remember that last year Wailin watched ALL of the holiday rom-coms and decided to share them with me on our ill-advised holiday bonus episode. Well, we're bringing it back! This year Wailin made Shaun watch The Knight Before Christmas. It's got magic, chivalry, time travel, wide-legged pants, and an inexplicable post-credit scene. Is the holiday bonus episode still ill-advised? Yes. But, is it fun? Also, yes! Happy Holidays to all of our listeners and we'll be back in 2020 with more stories.

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In this anxious era of bullying, teen depression, and school shootings, tech companies are selling software to schools and parents that make big promises about keeping kids secure by monitoring what they say and write online. But these apps demand disturbing trade-offs in the name of safety. In this episode, we dive into the normative, privacy, and transparency implications of this software for both schools and families, and examine how the rush to fix societal problems with technology can amplify harm to young people while enriching companies that stand to profit from increased surveillance.

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Get out your Bunsen burner! It's time to do some experiments. In this episode, we talk to two businesses that aren't afraid to try new things. First, the three founders of The Mad Optimist, a soap company in Indiana, talk about letting customers choose what they pay for their products. Then Natalie Nagele, the co-founder and CEO of software company Wildbit, talks about an ongoing experiment with four-day work weeks and what she's discovered about productivity, happiness, and deep work.

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Dave Teare is the co-founder and official "heart and soul" of 1Password, which recently raised $200 million in its first round of venture capital. Basecamp is a longtime happy customer of 1Password and also a longtime critic of venture capital, so the funding announcement led to some back-and-forth on Twitter between Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson and Dave Teare. In this episode, DHH and Dave get on the phone to hash out their feelings about venture capital and what this funding round means for 1Password's future.

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Workplace cultures in politics and tech share many similarities: Overwork is glorified; long hours are the norm; employees are expected to respond to communication instantly, no matter the day or time; and those that opt out are seen as lacking hustle or ceding ground to competitors. Marty Santalucia, a political consultant in Pennsylvania, wanted to do things differently. In this episode, he talks about applying calm work principles to an industry that's known for the opposite dynamic.

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Basecamp has a long history of experimenting with "freemium" models and recently launched its most generous free plan yet: Basecamp Personal. Co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson talk about the debate and data analysis that went into the launch, what makes this a little scary, and why it's healthy for a business to experiment.

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Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson sparked a national controversy this week when he posted a series of livid tweets about how his wife received a much lower credit limit than he did on their Apple Cards, despite applying with the same financial information. What began as a rant against opaque algorithms turned into a regulatory investigation and more. In this episode, Dr. Ruha Benjamin of Princeton University and entrepreneur Mara Zepeda, co-founder of the XXcelerate Fund and Zebras Unite, talk about how the tech and financial sectors perpetuate systemic inequalities and how to start repairing the damage—or building something more equitable and inclusive from the ground up.

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Between cameras, sensor-equipped ID badges, and keystroke-logging software, employers are keeping an ever-watchful eye on their workers, all in the name of security or increased productivity. Jason Meller has spent his career in computer security and witnessed what can happen when a corporation's obsession with safety results in harmful surveillance of its employees. On this episode, he talks about navigating those ethical boundaries and why it's important to have constant consent instead of constant surveillance.

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Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer listener questions in this short but jam-packed mailbag episode. Among other topics, they discuss whether they prefer reading physical books or the Kindle; talk about providing feedback to rejected job candidates; and imagine a world where Jason and DHH didn't end up working together.

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Basecamp has taken a clear stance against privacy and tracking on the web, so when we learned that our podcast hosting provider had introduced listener-targeted advertising, we decided to decamp to a different company. On today's episode, Wailin talks to Lex Friedman, chief revenue officer of Rework's old podcast host, about what they're doing with targeted ads. Then she talks to Justin Jackson, co-founder of our new podcast host, about how he's approached building his startup.

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Basecamp's new head of marketing, Andy Didorosi, talks about how he started a bus company in his hometown of Detroit to help fill a gap in public transit; what he learned about building a business with a "buy one, give one" social mission; and why he left the company he founded to join Basecamp.

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As part of a mini hiring boom at Basecamp this year, CEO Jason Fried went looking for a position that had never existed before at the company: head of marketing. Over a thousand people applied for the role. In this episode, Jason explains how he narrowed a very competitive pool of candidates to find the right person.

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In the spring of 2019, Danny Caine, the owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas, overheard a customer saying she could buy a new hardcover online for $15. Danny took to Twitter to explain the economics of independent bookstores and the thread went viral, putting the 32-year-old small business in the national spotlight. Danny comes on Rework to talk about why his activism and outspoken stance against Amazon haven't just felt right, but been good for business too.

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In August, Basecamp ended its practice of using pixel trackers in emails. Co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson shares what prompted that decision, which is part of a larger discussion about how to push back against Big Tech anti-privacy policies and the impact of individual action on big problems (it’s not as futile as you might think)!

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"Dreams shouldn't be sensible." In 2011, David and Clare Hieatt launched Hiut Denim in a small Welsh town that had been home to a jeans factory for 40 years. The Hieatts saw an opportunity to restore those lost jobs—and to do it in a way that fit with their ideas about building a sustainable business. In this episode, David Hieatt talks about taking the slow money; what it's like when a mega celebrity endorses your brand; and his efforts to reduce the environmental impact of a ubiquitous item of clothing.

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Basecamp has a new website and a new logo. If this is the first you're hearing about it, it's because CEO Jason Fried opted out of the big rebranding announcement that many companies undertake. On this episode, Jason and marketing designer Adam Stoddard talk about what prompted the new look and the laidback way it came together.

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On Tuesday, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried tweeted about some shady business involving Google Ads and search results. The tweet got a lot of attention, so we brought Jason on the show to talk about what got him so riled up over Google. No punches were pulled in the making of this episode!

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We're back from summer break! It's time to get back to work, but it's important not to overdo it. In this episode, Ty Fujimura, president of web design firm Cantilever, talks about how he escaped the Cult of Overwork; why it's important to rethink the relationship between hours "worked" and actual productivity; and how establishing healthier patterns in the workplace has helped diversify his staff.

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We're taking off the month of August! During our hiatus, we'll be playing some vintage episodes of the 37signals Podcast, a show that Basecamp ran from 2009-2011 (and then forgot all about until Wailin came across the show during an unrelated Google search). In this episode, Basecamp (then 37signals) co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer questions from Signal v. Noise readers about the company's affiliate program, staying motivated, playing the stock market, and more.

We'll be back with new episodes of Rework next week!

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We're taking off the month of August! During our hiatus, we'll be playing some vintage episodes of the 37signals Podcast, a show that Basecamp ran from 2009-2011 (and then forgot all about until Wailin came across the show during an unrelated Google search). In this episode, Basecamp (then 37signals) co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson talk about when to give something away and when to charge.

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We're taking off the month of August! During our hiatus, we'll be playing some vintage episodes of the 37signals Podcast, a show that Basecamp ran from 2009-2011 (and then forgot all about until Wailin came across the show during an unrelated Google search). In this episode, Basecamp (then 37signals) co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson discuss a satirical press release they wrote to skewer overblown tech company valuations. That leads to a broader discussion about investment, exits, and serial entrepreneurship.

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Pam Daniels had an idea to make an everyday household item more useful and fun. When her first plan to get her product into the world fell through, she found a different path.

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Basecamp's new book, Shape Up by Ryan Singer, explores the way designers and programmers at the company build and ship software. In this episode, Ryan, designer Conor Muirhead, and programmer Jeff Hardy go deep into Shape Up principles, talking about the parts of the process they find most useful and sharing real-life examples of both successes and setbacks.

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Basecamp's head of strategy, Ryan Singer, sits down to discuss his new book, Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters. The book is a culmination of Ryan's 15+ years working at Basecamp and explains how small teams of designers and programmers can ship great work in six-week cycles. Ryan's book is about product development and software, but many of its ideas around working with the right level of abstraction, embracing constraints, and making smart bets are applicable to other creative pursuits.

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Basecamp is known for hiring infrequently, but it's in the midst of adding five new employees to its roster—including the company's first-ever director of marketing. Over 4,000 applications have come in for the open positions. In this episode, we go deep into how we knew it was time to hire, why we spend so much time writing job ads, and how teams of future co-workers evaluate candidates without using automated filtering software.

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In this episode, Basecamp marketing designer Adam Stoddard joins Jason Fried to talk about a marathon session of interviewing Search Engine Optimization consultants. Hear why they squeezed all the interviews into a six-hour block and what it's like to shop for something you don't really know anything about.

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The open office has gone from the dominant workplace layout to cultural pariah, with these environments seeming to produce more interruptions than collaboration. But the open office itself isn't entirely to blame for the distractions that plague office workers. In this episode, two tech workers share their experiences in open offices—with some surprising findings.

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A curious snack food aficionado calls the home of Mr. Peanut.

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In 2004, fast food company Quiznos launched a national advertising campaign featuring animated rodent-like creatures screech-singing an ode to the chain's toasted sub sandwiches. The TV commercials were instantly polarizing and lodged themselves in many viewers' brains like a recurring fever dream. In this episode, the people behind the campaign share the story of how the ads got made.

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This is a lightly edited version of a keynote address Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson delivered at RailsConf 2019 about "open source, markets, debts, purpose, and no less than the meaning of life." David also sits down with Shaun to talk briefly about how he approached this keynote differently than past talks.

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Even remote companies need actual face time every once in a while. That's why Basecamp holds companywide, weeklong meet-ups in Chicago twice a year. Fellow remote tech company Buffer has 85 employees across the globe that get together once a year for an annual retreat, and they've visited countries from South Africa to Iceland. On this episode, Carolyn Kopprasch of Buffer talks about the kind of work that gets done during this time, helping introverts manage energy during an intense week, and her favorite parts of Retreat.

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In April, Basecamp Support team member James Glazebrook gave a talk at Support Driven Expo Europe about Everyone On Support. It's an all-hands program where Basecamp employees rotate through a day of working in customer service. James noticed the system—while well-intentioned—wasn't working properly, and set out to fix it. And that, as James himself might say, is pretty metal.

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Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are back in the studio to answer your questions. This edition of Mailbag includes topics like why big companies don't use Basecamp; how they managed the transition from a web design agency to a product company; and what their business partnership means to them. Kristin Aardsma from Basecamp Support also pops in to answer a question about how her team maintains fast response times while making time for breaks.

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In our last episode, we talked to Claire Lew, the CEO of Know Your Team. She has her own show called The Heartbeat Podcast, where she talks to founders and leaders about management. This is her interview with Basecamp co-founder and CTO David Heinemeier Hansson.

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Claire Lew is the CEO of Know Your Team, a company dedicated to solving the problem of bad bosses. The company has its origins as a product developed within Basecamp and today is not just a software tool, but a deep vein of resources for managers of all experience levels. In this episode, Claire shares her unconventional path to becoming a CEO, how she completely revamped her company's focus and business model, and why so much "thought leadership" around management gets it wrong.

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We're introducing a new segment called Last Week with Jason Fried, where Basecamp's CEO talks about a task or concern that recently fell on his plate. In this inaugural episode, Jason talks about how the end of the company's lease on its Chicago office leaves him with a big decision on how to design a space for a mostly remote workforce and whether Basecamp needs an office at all. Meanwhile, all work and no play makes Shaun a dull boy.

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In 2007, Kenneth Coats started a business helping Chicagoans expunge their arrest records so they could improve their job prospects. After a challenge from the Illinois Attorney General shut down that venture, Kenneth reinvented his business with an assist from a local clinic that provides free legal services to entrepreneurs. In this episode, hear how Kenneth pivoted—and what he did to ensure he couldn't return to his previous career.

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We're introducing a new segment called Check-Ins, where we talk to folks at Basecamp about their answers to recurring questions that get asked of everyone here. Recently, Jeremy Daer on our Security, Infrastructure, and Performance team dealt with an incident where an Internet scammer was fraudulently posing as a Basecamp recruiter to collect personal information from job seekers. We hear from Jeremy about how this scam works and from Shanae Dykes on Basecamp's Support team about how to keep yourself safe while looking for remote job opportunities.

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Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: You sign up for a service or a product online. When you go to cancel, you discover the only way to stop the subscription is to write an email or—even worse, make an actual phone call. In this episode, we try to get to the bottom of why this consumer trap persists, especially in the newspaper industry, and what it says about a company's confidence (or lack thereof) in what it's selling.

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"Passwords just aren't cutting it online. It's getting worse. We all feel it." This is what Jeremy from Basecamp's Security, Infrastructure, and Performance team wrote in a February blog post after dealing with a mass-login attack. Intruders with huge lists of login credentials—obtained in previous data breaches—tried using those passwords to access Basecamp accounts. Hear how Basecamp addressed the immediate incident and was also forced to reflect on longer-term plans for customer security in an increasingly insecure age.

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David Heinemeier Hansson talks about creativity, finding a passion, and how writing Ruby changed the way he thinks about programming.

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Why are manhole covers round? How many golf balls can fit in a 747? Why are job interviews so terrible? In this episode, Aja Hammerly, a developer advocate at Google, talks about the drawbacks of common tech interview techniques like whiteboard coding and trivia questions, and shares her tips for improving the process by making it about discovering the candidate's best qualities.

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We place a long-distance phone call to Antarctica to chat with Kathrin Mallot, an astrophysicist who works at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in the South Pole. In this episode, Kathrin talks about preparing for a work assignment in a super remote part of the world; practicing self-care during the punishing Antarctic winter; getting along with coworkers that you also live with in close quarters; frozen nose hairs, snacks, Internet access, and more!

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Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy are the co-authors of No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions At Work. They come on Rework to talk about how the future of work is emotional; why it's useful to listen to feelings like envy; and how we can all take small steps toward a healthier emotional life at work. (NB: It is totes okay to cry in the bathroom at the office!)

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The folks at Basecamp have been blogging since 1999, when Jason Fried would write by the light of a fire fueled by David Heinemeier Hansson's savage indictments of the tech industry. A lot has changed since then (with the exception of DHH's feelings about Silicon Valley). Basecamp's blog, Signal v. Noise, changed platforms a few times. And it just moved again, this time from Medium to WordPress. In this episode, Jason and designer Adam Stoddard talk about leaving Medium for WordPress, the blog's new look, and keeping SvN fresh after all these years.

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Basecamp co-founders David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried are fans of Marie Kondo's 2014 bestseller "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up," which is back in the cultural zeitgeist thanks to her new Netflix show. In this bonus episode, DHH talks about how he's applied the KonMari framework to code, business decisions at Basecamp, and his own belongings.

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Go behind the scenes of Basecamp 3's biggest outage.

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We tried to record an episode, but there were more important things to talk about. See you in 2019 with more episodes of REWORK.

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After yet another round of revelations about Facebook's use of customer data, Basecamp has decided to become 100% Facebook-free. We've actually been off Facebook proper for a while, but on Wednesday we decided to remove the company from Instagram and WhatsApp as well. This is a conversation with Basecamp's CTO, David Heinemeier Hansson, about making that decision and why he thinks you should follow in Basecamp's footsteps.

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On the last episode of Rework, we talked about the dangers of using violent language in a business context. We've had to grapple with other kinds of problematic language at Basecamp as well. In this mini bonus episode, Shaun talks to programmer Jeremy Daer about shedding harmful terms for database relationships that persist in the industry.

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Business rhetoric is rife with the language of war—there's constant talk of conquering markets and dominating the competition. These tropes indicate a dangerous way of thinking that can have real consequences, intended or not, on human behavior. In this episode, two professors share their research on the impact of violent rhetoric on business ethics, and a member of Basecamp's Support team talks about communication techniques that get us out of the mentality that everything is a zero-sum game.

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In October, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson released their new book, It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work. The book featured their writing, as well as cover art and interior illustrations from a couple designers at Basecamp. The launch initially seemed like a great success—but then things went awry. In this episode, we look at the work that went into the book and the problems with the release, and attempt to find some lessons in the aftermath.

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Annual, semi-annual, quarterly, 360...no matter what form they take, performance reviews can be anxiety-inducing workplace rituals. In today's episode, we talk to the head of HR at an HR software company (meta!) and a Basecamp designer about why helpful feedback is so difficult to give and receive—and what can be done to improve the process.

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It’s time for another episode where Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer your questions! In this one, they discuss how to apply calm company principles to client work and classrooms, and talk about healthy ways for business partners to disagree.

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Before the viral unicorn poop video, before the appearances on Shark Tank and Dr. Oz and Howard Stern—Bobby Edwards was showing his invention at conventions and sending it to alternative health bloggers in hopes of getting coverage. The invention? Squatty Potty, a plastic stool that puts you in a squatting position to poop better. Today Squatty Potty brings in over $30 million in annual revenue, but the quirky company's ascent to viral fame was far from assured. In today’s episode, CEO Bobby Edwards talks about the years of work that went into marketing the Squatty Potty before it got national attention.

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This is the second of a two-part interview with David Heinemeier Hansson about his and Jason Fried's new book, It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work. In this episode, David talks about taking a calm approach to writing and marketing the book. Also, Wailin gets him to say #blessed (kind of) and has some anxiety about late-stage capitalism. We all get through it together!

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Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have a new book out called It Doesn't Have to be Crazy at Work, which pushes back against the toxic culture of overwork and unhealthy ambitions that’s driving much of the modern workplace. In this episode, Wailin sits down with David to talk about the book’s genesis, its intended audience, and the role of responsible software design in fostering calm work environments.

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A lot of businesses start as side ventures or hobbies that grow into full-time pursuits. The trick is often in knowing when to quit a comfortable day job to start a new business. We sit down with one of our own at this crossroads. Noah Lorang headed Basecamp's data team for the last eight years, and now he's the sole proprietor of a woodworking shop that makes topographical maps. In this episode, Noah talks about how he made his hobby into a viable business, what Basecamp taught him about entrepreneurship, and what he gets from carving wooden maps that he doesn't get from writing code. Thanks for all the camaraderie, data analysis, and puns, Noah! We'll miss you.

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*taps mic* Is this thing on? We're back from sabbatical! In our first post-hiatus episode, Shaun heads to Denver to visit his sister, who left a catering job at a big restaurant chain to run a coffee shop out of a Volkswagen Bus that she bought on impulse off Craigslist. Erika Hildner shares what she's learned as a first-time business owner about risk-taking, customer service, and using common sense.

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Shaun and Wailin are still on vacation, but we have another of our favorite episodes from our previous podcast, The Distance, which was about long-running businesses. Wailin's pick is this story of America's last bicycle manufacturer.

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Shaun and Wailin are on vacation! During our hiatus, we're bringing you our favorite stories from our previous podcast, The Distance, which was about long-running businesses. Shaun's pick is this story of a 90-year-old jewelry store and how running a business can be a true labor of love.

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Smell ya later! Shaun and Wailin are taking off the month of August. Before they left, they interviewed three business owners about sabbaticals. In this episode: Adeline Koh of Sabbatical Beauty shares the story of how she ended up starting a business while on leave from a different job; Jason Fried explains why Basecamp offers paid sabbaticals as an employee benefit; and Rachel Winard of Soapwalla talks about what it's like to go on sabbatical when you're the boss.

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In a bonus conversation with Sarah Park of MeetEdgar, she talks about making the company handbook public and why they have a policy of opening up meetings and conversations to everyone.

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One of our colleagues on the Basecamp customer support team, Jayne Ogilvie, wanted to find out how other tech companies with remote staffs handle issues like communication, career development, and hiring. Jayne sent out a survey and got back a wealth of information and ideas about how other teams work together. In this episode, we hear more from two participating companies: Sarah Park of MeetEdgar talks about how their staff gathers internal feedback on important decisions, and Patrick Filler and Anitra St. Hilaire of Harvest talk about taking on the challenge of making their company more diverse and inclusive.

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A famous guy once said, "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" But he was a grifter. In fact, going behind the scenes—whether it's a factory tour or cooking show—can be a valuable experience for both visitors and guides. In this episode, we crash a middle school field trip to the Method soap factory on Chicago's South Side. We also hear from Basecamp's CEO Jason Fried on his YouTube series on making design decisions and from the managing partners of Zingerman's Bakehouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan on why they don't believe in secrets.

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Who needs a fancy office when you can work out of a dingy food court? Who needs fancy equipment when you can buy what you need at Walmart? Who needs to hire an SEO specialist? What does an SEO specialist do, anyway? (A question for another episode, or maybe another podcast altogether.) On this episode, three very different companies—a fashion brand, a company that sells fresh salads from vending machines, and an auto detailing shop—discuss their humble beginnings and offer practical advice about being resourceful and staying lean.

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Do you struggle with finding the right podcast? Are you tired of true crime shows and hosts trying to sell you a mattress? Introducing Rework, a podcast that's free of both murder and midroll ads. When you listen to this episode of Rework, you'll learn the fascinating history of infomercials and hear sales tips from experts like the marketing guru who made the Thighmaster a '90s sensation. But wait, there's more! Stick around after the episode to hear Wailin explain the premise of Three's Company to Shaun. Subscribe to Rework today!

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Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer listener questions about workplace communication and remote working.

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Wailin interviews Alison Green, the advice columnist whose Ask A Manager column offers friendly and practical guidance for all kinds of workplace dilemmas, from "How do I ask for a raise?" to "How can I get out of eating lunch with coworkers?" Alison talks about memorable letters, her community of commenters, and seeking advice from fellow advice columnists. Wailin also shares a story about a particularly horrible day at work where she could have used Alison's help.

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In January, Wailin Wong interviewed Dean Carter, vice president of human resources and shared services at Patagonia, and David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation, at the Culturati Summit in Austin, Texas. They discussed the nature of citizenship, corporate activism, fostering inclusive workplaces, and more.

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Chris Ruder, the CEO of Spikeball, shares a story about meeting Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban at a bar and committing a photo faux pas (a faux-to pas?), a year before he taped his Shark Tank appearance.

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The ABC show Shark Tank is irresistible reality programming: Entrepreneurs pitch their businesses to a panel of famous investors and have the potential to make a life-changing deal. But as with any reality show, there's much more to the Shark Tank experience than what gets shown on TV. We talk to three business owners about what it was really like to go on the program—and what happened afterward, when they had to get back to the very real work of building their companies.

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"You know I try, but I don't do too well with apologies," Justin Bieber once sang. You're not the only one with this problem, Justin! Why is saying sorry so difficult, especially for businesses? In this episode: A veteran tracker of apologies looks at what's changed (and what hasn't) in public apology culture; Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson recounts a time when the company had to say sorry; and two founders make a product to help tech companies apologize to their customers.

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Jason Fried talks about designing an alternative to Basecamp's Applause feature that is subtle yet expressive, and distinct from the kinds of reactions and feedback mechanisms used on social media platforms. (If you missed our previous episode on the debate over the Applause feature, go back and listen!)

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At Basecamp, we're in the midst of a debate over an Applause feature that was designed to improve communication but might be stoking unwanted anxiety. In this episode, CTO David Heinemeier Hansson and iOS designer Tara Mann present different sides of the Applause debate and explore the ways behavior patterns in social media are trickling into the workplace. We also look at how world-famous pianist Glenn Gould challenged norms around performance, audiences, and applause.

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Dan Miller of Mulberrys Garment Care talks outsourcing, bootstrapping, and growing slowly in some leftover bits we couldn't quite fit into episode 14.

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You'll laugh; you'll cry; you'll gnash your teeth in recognition as you hear the stories of horrible meetings we collected for this episode. Meetings are one of the worst kinds of workplace interruptions. They're held too frequently, run too long, and involve more people than necessary. Also in this episode: A Basecamp programmer gives advice on rethinking the culture of meetings and the story of one very cringeworthy meeting with a surprising outcome.

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Hey, are you busy? Can you listen to this real quick? It's an episode about interruptions in the workplace. You'll hear from academic researchers, Basecamp's head data wrangler, and the CEO of a remote company about how they've tackled not just the disruptions themselves, but also the workplace culture that allows those intrusions to flourish.

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Special bonus episode where Jason Fried discusses some of the thinking that goes into making a very small change to the to-do feature in Basecamp.

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Hey, are you crushing it? It seems like everyone is constantly crushing it in the business world. But maybe it would be better if we were honest about our flaws, talked like ourselves, and aimed to be genuine instead of super polished. In this episode: A Basecamp customer support representative shares tips on writing emails like a real human being; an inherently artificial industry gets a dose of reality; and two startup founders try an experiment in radical transparency to save their business.

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A conversation with Fred Perrotta, co-founder and CEO of Tortuga Backpacks, about something he calls his "million dollar mistake."

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New year, new you! If you started 2018 with an idea for a product, business, or creative pursuit, now is the time to start making something. In this episode: A tabletop game designer finds that sometimes, all you need to get going is a pack of index cards and a pencil; a skincare blogger tries her hand at DIY and ends up with a cult hit; and a travel backpack company's first attempt at making something goes comically awry.

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This is the second in a two-part series in which Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer listener questions.

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This is the first of two episodes where Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson answer questions from our listeners. In this episode, they talk about the role of luck and timing in starting Basecamp; ass pricing (yes, you read that correctly); hiring in the early stages of a business; and more.

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Basecamp's founders never wrote a business plan when they started the company. Even today, they don't like to look too far ahead. Too much long-term planning can hamper your ability to react to the present. Did you have plans to listen to this episode later? Be spontaneous and listen now! You'll hear from a seasoned investor on how he came to run one of the oldest vinyl record pressing plants in the U.S.; Basecamp CEO Jason Fried on working in six-week cycles; and an independent toy store owner on surviving the holidays without giving into fads.

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Some of the tech industry's most vaunted companies revel in their origins as mavericks or rule-breakers, having flouted regulations in the name of disruption. That kind of risk-taking is celebrated in Silicon Valley but punished in other places, most notably minority communities. In this episode: A legal advocate for low-income entrepreneurs talks about the hurdles her clients face, and a husband-and-wife team of street food vendors share what they've learned making the transition from the informal to the formal economy.

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Some leftover bits that didn't make it into the last episode.

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Selling is a core skill. You have to know how to sell, whether it's a product, an idea, or yourself. In 2012, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried saw the results of a bottled water-selling challenge at Techstars Chicago, a bootcamp program for startups. That one-day competition is the starting point for a conversation that includes the art of negotiation, Jason's experiences selling knives, tennis rackets, and software; and other adventures in business.

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Basecamp CEO Jason Fried talks about ideas with Paul McAvinchey, co-founder of Product Collective, at INDUSTRY: The Product Conference in September 2017.

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Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, which bills itself as the top-selling natural soapmaker in North America, wasn't founded to sell soap. The company was started to promote a religious philosophy developed by Emanuel Bronner, a third-generation German Jewish soapmaker, who printed his message on the labels of his potent peppermint liquid soap. Successive generations of the Bronner family have used the label's message of a united humanity to guide the company, which spends much of its profits on charitable causes and is outspoken on issues like wage equality and fair trade. Today, even as the idea of a united humanity seems more distant than ever, Dr. Bronner's continues to spread its soap and message worldwide.

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Business and politics tend to make uneasy bedfellows, but in these divisive times, even businesses that have historically stayed out of hot-button issues are coming off the sidelines. In this episode: An online florist tells racists to shop elsewhere; Basecamp stops reimbursing employees for Uber rides; and a Chicago couple creates a lighthearted product with a serious message about the treatment of female bodies.

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It's easy to say yes, whether it's to a customer request or a deadline from your boss. But saying yes too many times can result in an unmanageable workload or distract you from the stuff you really want to be doing. It's good to practice saying no and setting boundaries. In this episode: A personal organizer helps her clients say no to physical clutter; a programmer at Basecamp peers into the abyss of burnout and steps back just in time; and a healthy meal-planning startup rejects complexity, even if it means letting some customers go.

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Basecamp CTO David Heinemeier Hansson is known for many things, including creating Ruby on Rails and writing business books. He also has a knack for arguing with people on the Internet. This cheerfully profane conversation explores how Twitter is like a virtual pillow to scream into and the role that extreme voices play in moving important conversations forward. We also relive some of David's memorable Twitter melees, including the one that got him blocked by Paul Graham.

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Being tired isn't a badge of honor. There, we said it. We've been saying this for a while now, because our culture loves to glorify toiling long hours for its own sake and we think that leads to subpar work and general misery. In this episode, we talk to a veteran of the video game industry and a member of Basecamp's customer support team about workaholism and burnout. We also hear from a new business owner who's balancing mindfulness with the demands of starting her own meditation-focused company.

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Welcome to the first episode of Rework! This podcast is based on Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson's 2010 best-selling business book, which was itself based on years of blogging. So what better way to kick off this show than talking about byproducts? In this episode, Jason explains how Basecamp's ideas have been packaged as blog posts, workshops, and books. We also visit a 145-year-old sawmill in Ontario, Canada to see how this family-owned business sells its physical byproducts.

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Rework is a podcast by the makers of Basecamp about a better way to work and run your business. While the prevailing narrative around successful entrepreneurship tells you to scale fast and raise money, we think there's a better way. We'll take you behind the scenes at Basecamp with co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson and bring you stories from business owners who have embraced bootstrapping, staying small, and growing slow.

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