No Half Measures

Photo from Welcome Industries

Pam Daniels had an idea to make an everyday household item—a set of measuring cups—more useful and fun. When her first plan to get her product into the world fell through, she found a different path. The latest episode of the Rework podcast tells the story of what it took to get one product launched.

A quick programming note: This is our last Rework episode until September, as we’re taking a short hiatus for the rest of August. During the break, we’ll play some reruns of the old (like ten years old!) 37signals podcast, so stay subscribed! We’ll be back with all-new episodes in September.

Shape Up Roundtable

Basecamp’s new book, Shape Up by Ryan Singer, explores the way designers and programmers at the company build and ship software. In the latest episode of the Rework podcast, 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.

(If you haven’t yet read Shape Up or listened to last week’s interview with Ryan, it might be helpful to do that first. We’ve also linked to the relevant sections in Shape Up in the show notes for this episode if you’d like to follow along that way.)

Shape Up with Ryan Singer

Earlier this month, Basecamp released a new book by Ryan Singer, the head of strategy. Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters is a “spiritual follow-up” to Getting Real, Jason and David’s 2006 guide to how product development happens at Basecamp. In Shape Up, Ryan goes deep into how small teams get great work done in six-week cycles without sprints, Post-it Notes, stand-up meetings, backlogs, or long hours.

Ryan sits down with the Rework podcast to talk about some of the major themes in Shape Up and how the book came together as its own product.

Next week, we’ll bring you a roundtable discussion between Ryan, a designer, and a programmer at Basecamp to go deeper into the process described in Shape Up. Be sure to subscribe to Rework in Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, or your favorite podcast app so that you get the episode as soon as it’s released!

Hire When It Hurts

You may have noticed that Basecamp is in the midst of what qualifies around here as a mini hiring boom: five open positions across customer support, programming, and ops, as well as a newly created marketing role. The company has received more than 4,000 applications and every single one is read by a human being. In the latest episode of the Rework podcast, hear about why Basecamp briefly lifted its hiring freeze, how job ads are written, and what the process is for evaluating candidates.

Six Hours of Phone Calls

When Jason put out a call on Twitter for SEO consultants, he received dozens of responses. In order to choose someone to work with, Jason and Basecamp designer Adam Stoddard interviewed all of the candidates in one six-hour block of back-to-back phone calls. They sit down with Shaun in the latest episode of the Rework podcast to discuss why they’re looking for SEO expertise, how they conducted the interviews, and what it’s like to shop for something you know nothing about.

The Open Office

The open office has gone from the dominant workplace layout to cultural pariah, with these environments seeming to produce more interruptions than collaboration. We’ve even railed against open offices right here on this very blog!

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. 

How Buffer Meets Up

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 of the Rework podcast, 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.

Rework Mailbag

Basecamp co-founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are back in the Rework studio to answer your questions. In our latest episode, they discuss listener inquiries on 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.

Know Your Team

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 new episode of the Rework podcast, 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.

Unplugged from the Matrix

The title of this post is how Kenneth Coats described the feeling of leaving his office job to start his own business. After he unplugged from the Matrix, he simply couldn’t return—not even when a challenge from the Illinois Attorney General forced him to shut down his first venture, a service to help people expunge their arrest records. In this episode of the Rework podcast, Kenneth shares the story of how he pivoted, and the drastic move he took to make sure he couldn’t go back to his old work life. Listen below, or click “Keep Reading” for a full transcript of the episode.

Keep reading “Unplugged from the Matrix”