The power of positive intent

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My greatest weakness, and how I’m learning to overcome it… My parents were in town last week. During one conversation we had, my mom shared an opinion that I strongly disagreed with. And as I responded to her, she said this to me: “You’re getting defensive.” Throughout my life, I’ve heard this quite often. Getting defensive… keep reading

Hunting for great names in programming

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One of the real delights of programming is picking great variable, method, and class names. But an even greater treat is when you can name pairs, or even whole narratives, that fit just right. And the very best of those is when you’re forced to trade off multiple forces pulling in different directions. This is… keep reading

It’s urgent! (Really?)

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I’m not exaggerating when I say that since I joined Basecamp, I’ve been questioning everything about the way I’ve traditionally worked. For example, let’s take the knowledge worker’s staple — email. Most professionals (including me) went from using email to communicate asynchronously, as intended, to expecting people to be trapped in email all day. Once we started… keep reading

What’s new in Basecamp 3.2 for iOS

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The latest version of Basecamp 3 is available today in the App Store! If you Basecamp on iPad we think you’re going to be particularly pleased. Here’s a quick look at what’s new… When I’m not drawing, I’m making Basecamp 3 for iOS with Dylan Ginsburg, Zach Waugh and the rest of the team at… keep reading

How to make firing people suck less for them and suck more for you

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They’re only this smooth at firing people in the movies Maybe if you fire a hundred people, you’ll eventually get used to it. But I doubt it. Firing people is horrible. Nothing has stressed me out more in the past twelve years of running Basecamp. Of course, however hard it is to be the one to… keep reading

Soy You Bought a Tofu Factory

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Illustration by Nate Otto In 1999, Jenny Yang discovered a small tofu company in her Chicago neighborhood that made the fresh soybean curd she remembered from her native Taiwan. Seven years later, when Jenny learned the business was in danger of closing, she impulsively stepped up to buy it. Jenny didn’t just guide Phoenix Bean Tofu… keep reading

The writing class I’d like to teach

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During Q&A at a conference I spoke at a few years back, someone asked me “What’s your take on the true value of a university education?” I shared my general opinion (summary: great socially, but not realistic enough academically) and ended with a description of a course I’d like to see taught in college. In… keep reading

What I learned speaking at events as a CEO for the past 2.5 years

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I explain why I pursued speaking gigs as Know Your Company’s main means of marketing, and if you should do it too… Me speaking at Big Omaha last year. “How do you get the word out?” As the CEO of Know Your Company — a two-person company with over 12,000 people using our software — I’m often asked this question. Figuring… keep reading