The Myth of the Overnight Sensation

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 of the Rework podcast, Squatty Potty CEO Bobby Edwards talks about the years of work that went into marketing the Squatty Potty before it got national attention.

DHH on a calm writing process, #blessings, and late-stage capitalism

DHH is back on the Rework podcast this week for the second half of our interview about his and Jason Fried’s new book, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. (Here’s the first part in case you missed it.) 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!

We’re still taking your questions for David and Jason to answer in an upcoming mailbag episode! Leave us a voicemail at (708) 628–7850 and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an autographed copy of It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work. ☎️

DHH on a new book, resetting ambition levels, and responsible software design

You might have heard that Jason Fried and DHH have a new book out called It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work that pushes back against the toxic culture of overwork and unhealthy ambitions that’s driving much of the modern workplace. In the latest episode of the Rework podcast, I sit 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.

https://art19.com/shows/rework/episodes/58b694a3-c235-46f4-b7bb-0081d3453cb4

The second part of this interview will air next week. In the meantime, we’re taking your questions for David and Jason to answer in an upcoming mailbag episode! Leave us a voicemail at (708) 628–7850 and you’ll be entered into a drawing for an autographed copy of It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work.

Farewell, Noah

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.

Also, if you’d like to be Basecamp’s new data analyst, check out the job listing! We’re taking applications until October 12.

The Rework Podcast is back!

Erika Hildner in her mobile coffee shop

👉🏼🎙 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.

Take a Break

Smell ya later! We here at the Rework podcast are taking off the month of August. Before we left, we 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.


We’ll be back in September with all-new episodes of Rework! In the meantime, you can catch up on episodes you missed at rework.fm or peruse the archives of our previous podcast, The Distance.

Temperature Check

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 of Rework, 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.

Next week, we’ll release a bonus conversation with Sarah Park about MeetEdgar’s culture of transparency and open meetings. Make sure you’re subscribed via Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, RadioPublic, or the app of your choice so you don’t miss it!

Go Behind the Scenes

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.

If you leave a comment, be sure to tell us whether you prefer yeast or cake donuts!

You Need Less Than You Think

https://www.instagram.com/p/kCyPzQvC5j/

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 of Rework, 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.

But Wait, There’s More!

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!