For everyone Mr Grove and Intel convinced they survived on paranoia, there are millions of other business thriving on simply making the best product they know how and selling it at a fair price. Most markets aren’t the winner-take-all slugfests of microprocessors. Not every competitor is an existential threat, and, even when they are, you’re better off just focusing on your own work. Trying to copy or defend against what the competition is doing is going to put you on the back foot anyway.
I also really enjoy the check-ins as a personal practice to review my week and how I end up spending my time. As well as having an opportunity to explain that work, those challenges, to the rest of the team at Basecamp. We’re 51 people now at Basecamp, and there are plenty of people working here that I don’t get to talk to every week. But I kinda feel like I do to some extent via these updates.
The App and Play stores have turned out to be exceptionally poor places to run a software product business for most developers. They’re great distribution channels for service makers, like Facebook or Lyft or Basecamp, but they’re terrible places to try to make a living (or better) selling software products.
Basecamp is bigger than its ever been, but in the grand scheme of software companies serving well over a hundred thousand paying customers, we’re still pretty small at 52 people. So that means every hire is kinda a big deal! And we’ve made five in 2017, so I thought I’d introduce them.
This gets to the heart of examining the values of programming environments. A value stated in isolation does not illuminate. Saying “I like explicit code” without also accepting that this means “I like [writing a lot more, often repetitive, frequently boiler-plated] explicit code” is a disingenuous. Values only shine the light for choices when they’re voiced in opposition to different values that others might reasonably prefer.
Tall and fast on the outside, weak and brittle on the inside. Looking at these trees, it made me think of businesses too. How the companies I’ve seen that seem big, tall and fast-growing cripple and implode internally. Preoccupied with raising as much money as they can and spending as much money as they can, these co…
If you just do nothing, continue to buy the services and products of those who do wrong, you’re at least partially complicit, right? And if you take every opportunity to ban a company from your wallet because of every transgression, life quickly becomes complicated.
It’s tempting to focus on United’s ground staff — what were they thinking? — but the bigger problem is United’s culture, the system of restrictions and permissions that denied the staff the authority to up the volunteer ante yet granted them power to ask for the violent removal of a customer. And in questions of culture, top management is the real culprit. United staff in Chicago showed poor judgment, but their bosses are guilty of having fostered a culture where this behavior is possible if not encouraged.