The books I read in 2016

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None of what I read was actually printed on paper. It was all Kindle, iPhone, or listened to as an audio book. At Basecamp, we have a monthly automatic check-in called What are you reading? It’s a great way to discover new books by recommendation of what your colleagues are reading, but it’s also a great… keep reading

Moonlighting managers ain’t got no time for bullshit

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The problem with management in small teams and businesses is that it’s often not a full-time job. Smart, capable workers need some direction and follow-up, sure, but they also thrive on autonomy. Frivolous management frequently encroach on the latter for no better reason than having free manager time to fill. One way to deal with… keep reading

Writing software is hard

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Good software is uncommon because writing it is hard. In the abstract, we all know that it is hard. We talk incessantly about how it’s hard. And yet, we also collectively seem shocked — just shocked! — when the expectable happens and the software we’re exposed to or is working on turns out poor. This is classic cognitive dissonance:… keep reading

80 hours now, 40 hours later?

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Probably not. Habits die hard. When I talk about 40 hours being plenty of time to get great work done, I’ll often get pushback from people starting new businesses. “40 hours may be fine when you’ve been in business for 10 years, but when you’re starting something new you have to bust your ass for as… keep reading

The Managerial Entitlement Complex

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It’s popular for managers to bitch about how millennials have an entitlement complex. It’s always easy to pick on someone smaller and younger than you, isn’t it? I’ll tell you who has the entitlement complex. Any manager that feels entitled to someone else’s personal time has an entitlement complex. Any manager who expects a response… keep reading

A few tips to avoid the never ending comment thread

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Asynchronous communications are a wonderful thing for productivity. But they do have a dark side: the all-too-common, never ending comment thread. Emails and message boards are where they’re commonly seen. It usually goes something like this: Dan: “I think we should try this.” <5 seconds later> Julie: “I’m not sure that’ll work.” <5 seconds later>… keep reading

A question I ask new entrepreneurs

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I’m not an investor, although I have put some money into a few friend’s businesses. What I try to be instead is a helper — an advisor with no strings attached. If someone wants to give me some equity I may take it, but I don’t ask for it and I generally don’t want it. If someone… keep reading

We’re looking for a support programmer

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We’re looking for a support programmer to work with us as we build a safer, faster, better Basecamp. As well as working on Basecamp and our other apps, you’ll be an important part of our work on Basecamp, the company. You’ll be joining our existing support programmer (me!) and working as part of our Security,… keep reading

Stories about Stayups

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http://thedistance.com — stories about businesses that haven’t gone out of business. How not to go out of business is the hardest part about business. The Distance tells true stories about those who’ve figured it out. Startups dominate the news. What are the first three letters of news? New. The news covers what’s new. So it’s natural that startups… keep reading

Medium has been great for us

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More readers, wider distribution, new audiences. An enjoyable place to write. Win, win, win. Win. Just about a year ago we switched this blog, Signal vs. Noise, to Medium. Here’s the post announcing the switch. We hosted Signal vs. Noise on our own site for nearly 15 years. We started with something else home-spun, and then… keep reading