We try hard to write good policies at Basecamp. Make them plain and easy to understand. Without out all the dreaded legalese. By humans, for humans.
I particularly like our refund policy and our Until The End of The Internet policy.
But I’m sure we don’t always succeed. And sometimes our policies may decay over time. Terms that are or become unreasonable linger on. Ugh.
So that’s why we now invite our customers and anyone else who’s interested in reviewing our policies to collaborate on making them better, making them fairer. To this purpose, we’ve put all our Basecamp policies on GitHub!
This also means that every revision is tracked and date stamped. You can even subscribe to be updated whenever they change, if you care to follow along at that level.
Furthermore, since the spirit of this idea is to collaborate, we’ve also licensed all these policies under the Creative Commons Attribution license. If you’d like to use any of the policies for your own business, feel free! All we ask is that you give us a bit of credit, if you either copy them entirely or materially.
This act of sharing was inspired by the reception to opening up our Basecamp Employee Handbook. We’ve heard from so many business owners and employees that our handbook helped them put together their own. That they were inspired by some of our values or practices enough to adopt them as their own.
Our hope is that the same might happen with our policies. If more companies would adopt a no-nonsense refund policy, we’d all be better off. If more companies — AND YES I’M LOOKING AT YOU GOOGLE 😂 — would honor their legacy systems, and not willy-nilly kick users to the curb, we’d all gain from the level-up in trust.
Policies are part of the organizational code of a company. Not only should that code be open source, it should be tinkered with, improved, critiqued, forked, and refactored. Let’s do that.