Jason Fried - Running the Tailwind Business on Basecamp

Full Stack Radio


The first thing that I'd be curious to know which. Is kind of ten generally related. But when I came to the workshop that you guys, base came, I was sort of surprised that the way that you presented the tool. It was not. The way it had sort of been pitched to me over the years like I. Always Thought of Basecamp is like a client team. Communication Project Management Tool which I think is absolutely how it started, and that was the problem. You're song for yourself in the beginning but watching you kind of walk through the product at the workshop seemed much more like a like a remote company hub than it did like project management to like it seemed like you. This is the company. Is this online? Portal where everything happens, and you used it for a lot of stuff that just was not what I had in the picture of my in the picture in my mind about what basecamp was supposed to be. I'm so I, a little bit curious to like. How you sort of tell the story of like the evolution of base camp from solving the initial problem that you had which I think was much more around communicating with clients and how that got to where you are today which I feel very different product, even though it can be used to solve a lot of the same problems. Yes so. In my opinion, running a company and managing projects the same thing. Company is a collection of projects. It's a collection of people All work needs to be organized into orderly needs to be predictable. All those things and I think it needs to be in one place need is a strong word, but okay. I use it like it kind of needs to be one place otherwise like stuff is everywhere. Everyone knows what that's like. And that's in fact why we built base camp originally because back in two thousand and four when we built, we built it in two thousand three. We were running projects for clients and stuff was everywhere like. had stuff in my email David stuff in his email. Ryan had stuff in his email. I use the calendar thing they use account like stuff was everywhere. The client feedback was maybe in in my inbox and not David David couldn't see what I talked to the client about so stuff's everywhere in this happens today to not with us, but like project management in general scattered across tools. Some people use this tool in some people use that tool and some. Some people use slack for communication. They used your for project, management or task. Whatever? Task Management or they use Asana or they use both Asana and Jira the engineering team uses Jira the other people use. This is no way to run things because it's a mess still. So. We've we've always decided to build what we need and back? When we launched Basecamp, we were a client services firm, so it was primarily around communicating communicating with clients, keeping feedback on the record, and making sure everybody internally knew what was going on, and we had one central stored. Shared, basically center of truth for everybody involved in a project, and that's still true today. We just don't work with clients anymore. We work with ourselves, but so the spirit of the product is the same, but the execution has definitely changed based on. You know a little bit around our needs, which is kind of how we've always built things, which is what do we need? What do we know and we put something out there and we try to find other people or other companies like us was similar in similar situations who are looking for something that we were also looking for? And so while the client features based, can today are probably better than they've ever been? We don't use them as much US occasionally, but we them as much as we used sort of the h q piece of. The the remote hub part of it. Yeah, awesome I think it's kind of I came away from that workshop. Thinking like basecamp seems like the ultimate tool for remote teams, but at the time the positioning wasn't really is focused on remote at the at the time, but now with all the coronavirus coronavirus covid nineteen stuff happening I noticed that you guys did make some changes to the marketing copy and stuff to really sort of double down on like Hey, we're all going to remote. We've been doing this for years. Believe us. This is the best tool to run it. How's that been working out? What's it's interesting because. We've been doing this basecamp thing for seventeen years now basic almost seventeen years, and we still struggle to explain what it is, and from year to year. We've explained it differently. And sometimes it takes something to jolt you into. A certain degree of clarity that maybe you didn't have before and as you saw the workshop. Because you're an outsider, you came into see. We were presenting, and you see it with fresh eyes. I can't see with fresh. Eyes are. Still, based on my two thousand four is in two thousand twelve is, and all these different is like I think we have a good sense of what the product is, but it's hard in some ways to explain what it is because it does a lot of different things, and it doesn't mean a very unique way,

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