Jason Fried

Jason Fried

Founder & CEO of Basecamp

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON December 18, 2015

Discussion

Jason Fried
Jason Fried@jasonfried · CEO, Basecamp
Hi all! Jason here. Very excited to be here today so let's kick things off with some questions!
Phil Ren
Phil Ren@philren · Advisor of Driva.ai, the elder one.
Hi Jason, Thanks for chatting with us. My question is what you think of the product differentiation between all kinds of task apps? Like yours, Asana and Trello. Do you believe there is one best way to organize projects and tasks?
Junius
Junius@juniusfree
Hi @jasonfried How will you spend your time if you've got one hour to solve a user problem/need? Thanks!
Irina Zayats
Irina Zayats@izayats
Jason, what books/ideas/people have shaped your product design views the most? I am a huge fan of Basecamp and the unique UX decisions you have made over the years. Any advice for someone looking to get better at building remarkable web products?
Nicolas
Nicolas@nicolasmlv · dev
How did you meet Jeff Bezos? Could you give us one of his best advice?
Mike Coutermarsh
Mike Coutermarsh@mscccc · Code @ GitHub
Hi @jasonfried! I'd love to know. Whats the one thing you've done professionally that scared you the most? How'd it turn out? 😀
Alejandro Brega
Alejandro Brega@alejandrob · CEO, MediaFem
Hi Jason, if you have to start a company today, on which area in the saas industry you Wil see an opportunity to start the business? Thanks!!
Javier Escribano
Javier Escribano@fesja · CEO, Selltag
Hi @jasonfried, Basecamp has always been a "niche" project management tool (in the good sense), you didn't cover all types of use cases and you were proud of it because it made Basecamp simpler and more focused. However with the new Basecamp I feel like you have abandoned that strategy trying to cover several more use cases. Would you agree? Could it be because of Slack, Trello, Asana which are getting more usage, and you worry they would steal clients? Thanks for inspiring us!
Robert Williams
Robert Williams@letsworkshop · Workshop
Hey Jason, you're awesome. You're a proponent of "scratching your own itch" and dog-fooding the products you create. How does this translate to a service business, where the service you are providing may not solve your own business's problems? For example, I run a lead-generation business for design and development consultancies, but I don't use the leads I find. Do you think that this disconnect can be overcome? Will this always be a disadvantage?
Theoharis Dimarhos
Theoharis Dimarhos@theo_dimarhos · Marketing+Biz Dev at AngelouEconomics
@jasonfried Hi Jason! When it comes to storytelling, what have you found to be the best elements of telling a story?
Bilal Budhani
Bilal Budhani@bilalbudhani · Full Stack Maker ⚡️ BilalBudhani.com
@jasonfried How to do you and your team are so good at managing your time and stay productive? I always struggle with that. BTW, I'm a big fan of You, DHH and BaseCamp.
Kalina Zografska
Kalina Zografska@kzograf · Product fella @trygigster & @publitas
@jasonfried It would be interesting to hear about what your own notion of what success and fulfilment is! it was quite inspiring to read about @dhh's post on this a month back, so eager to hear the contrasts and similarities on the worldviews between you guys here. Cheers, big fan!
Jourdan Bul-lalayao
Jourdan Bul-lalayao@jourdanb21 · Co-Founder & CTO, Jobox
Hey Jason!! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to chat with us here on Product Hunt!! I've used Basecamp before at one of my previous companies and it was indeed a useful product! My question is intentionally vague as I'd love for you to answer based on your interpretation of the question :). If you had only one tip to share with entrepreneurs on how to build a successful startup, what is your absolute #1 tip? Thanks Jason!!
Mohamed Said
Mohamed Said@themsaid · Web Developer at Laravel
Hello Jason I must say I'm a big fan of 37signals and that your "Getting Real" and "Rework" books changed the way I work and the way I manage my life in general. My question is, why do you think it's too hard for people to get real? Why do they prefer to follow big fat business books instead of just getting real and do what needs to be done in the simplest way. Most of the people who read the books based on my recommendation thought it was making it look easy, and if it was that easy then why the failing startups are more than the successful ones.
Drew DePriest
Drew DePriest@drewdepriest · Smart Buildings | IoT | comfyapp.com
Hi Jason! Change management question for you: how did you manage the transition from 37 Signals to Basecamp internally as well as externally? Did it go according to plan?
Lachlan Campbell
Lachlan Campbell@lachlanjc · Hack Club design/JS—HS 🎓—they/them—🌈
Awesome that you're doing this! I'm wondering: what has been the hardest part of running Basecamp?
Nishant Upadhyay
Nishant Upadhyay@nishant2692 · Ruby on Rails Developer
@jasonfried What is your approach when you start solving a problem? What are the best practices you had followed to become a great developer??
Harry Stebbings
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@jasonfried thanks so much for joining us today, what a massive fan I am of your and your TED talk is still my fave to date!! I would love to hear how you are planning to build the Basecamp platform. I have listened to the podcast, what other attempts are you utilising to make it a lifestyle brand? Always welcome on @twentyminutevc for our Founder's Friday Segment, would be an honour to have you on the show. Drop me a line at harry@thetwentyminutevc.com if you would be interested!
Sehaj Taneja
Sehaj Taneja@imsehajtaneja · CoFounder alume.co
@jasonfried #greatTEDTalk #ReWork - the book that changed the way I live life. My Ques: How much time should a Startup devote in Competition Analysis & Research while in ideation stage. Should the fear of competition from Big Guns hinder us anyway, what's the solution to it. @jasonfried
Louis Grenier
Louis Grenier@louisslices · Content Lead @Hotjar
Hi Jason, I'm a big fan of your work, your books and everything in between. Thank you for the inspiration. What do you believe in that most people don't? What would be your best advice for a self-funded entrepreneur who want to succeed? Thanks, Louis
Christopher
Christopher@chrisvillegas · Internetgency
Hello Jason!, I admire your work and I wonder if you could coach me on how to start a succesful saas business in exchange of work?. Im a php programmer living in Mexico City. Thanks!
Nicolas
Nicolas@nicolasmlv · dev
Hello @jasonfried, Basecamp is contributing a lot to open source since 2005 (Ruby On Rails 1.0 !) - Back in the days, what was the motivation behind it? Was it only a @dhh decision? - Today, do you encourage (or limits !) time allocated to open source to your employees?
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)
Emily Snowdon (née Hodgins)@emilyjsnowdon · Operations @ Product Hunt
Hey Jason thanks for being here today! What's the best advice you've ever been given? Flip side what's the worst?
Andrew Ettinger
Andrew Ettinger@ettinger · 👟 @wearAtoms // ex @Twitter @ProductHunt
What do you like about being in Chicago? Aside from the winter, of course. Any roadblocks you guys have encountered by not being out in SF?
Besides Basecamp (which is awesome!), what are your must have apps/programs that you use day to day?
Nick Meagher
Nick Meagher@nick_meagher · Web Developer at www.byprimer.co
Hey Jason, At what point in a business do you seek funding? When did you do it with BaseCamp? Thanks!
Jenny Ma
Jenny Ma@jenny_r_ma · Product @ Storyhunter
@jasonfried Hi Jason, thanks for sharing your time with us today! Can you share a story about a time you had to push for a challenging product decision for Basecamp and what you learned from it?
Suzy Ryoo
Suzy Ryoo@suzywillow · Atom Factory & Cross Culture Ventures
Hey @jasonfried! I used Basecamp for all of my extracurriculars in college ~10 years ago (gah), loved the experience, thank you. Didn't realize BC is based in Chicago! Can you tell us about your experience being a leader & long standing company in the Chicago tech community? How have you seen the Chicago ecosystem developing, growing & changing? Seeing cool entrepreneurs from there now like @davidjnels's Motion AI, discovered thanks to Product Hunt :)
Suzy Ryoo
Suzy Ryoo@suzywillow · Atom Factory & Cross Culture Ventures
@suzywillow Edited my question down below in case it's easier to show on Blab :) @corleyh
Dhruv kumar
Dhruv kumar@dhruvakumar · Founder,icliniq.com
Hi @jasonfried - I know you are a big proponent of bootstrapped companies. That thought is awesome and I bow to that. But do you think that companies the size of Facebook that has become a hugely valuable company can be bootstrapped? Of course, it can be done in a bootstrapped way but maybe it could have taken a much longer time (say 30 years). Meanwhile another company could have come in facebook's way and probably could have killed them if they had not taken external money. I am a huge fan of 'REWORK". But this question has been nagging me. So here I am asking you. :-)
Frosabyrlakova
Frosabyrlakova@frosabyrlakova · World Goverment
Hello @jasonfried, What is your opinion about Agile methodology and "white boards" in the hi-tech century? I think that companies are totally getting crazy with using Agile everywhere and a project manager could be a product manager and vice versa, but not according to Agile adepts)
Suzy Ryoo
Suzy Ryoo@suzywillow · Atom Factory & Cross Culture Ventures
Hi Jason! Can you tell us about your experience being a leader & long standing company in the Chicago tech community? How have you seen the Chicago ecosystem developing, growing & changing?
Corley
Corley@corleyh · COO @ Product Hunt
Thank you @jasonfried for such a candid and thought provoking conversation. It was a lot of fun! Let's definitely do it again. 😀
Petr Murmak
Petr Murmak@petrmurmak · CEO, CGE
Hi @jasonfried In our company we are using Basecamp for very long time. When you introduced Basecamp 2 we immediately jumped in despite lack of some features from Basecamp Classic. It's lucidity and clearness was really big improvement. And because of that we were able to use Basecamp 2 with people outside of our company who didn't know anything about Basecamp nor about any other similar tool. Recently you introduced Basecamp 3 which has a lot of new features and fixes for things which didn't work well with Basecamp 2. But we found that it's not for us anymore. It's more complex, more cluttered and less clear than Basecamp 2. I appreciate that you are committed to run Basecamp 2 alongside of Basecamp 3 but I feel that for our money we deserve those things to be "fixed". In the end we are really missing three important things in Basecamp 2. Without them it's becoming harder and harder to use it (we grow as a company and we have more and more discussions, projects etc). Here they are: 1. Better text editor (current one for example doesn't work correctly in Fluid). I saw that you fixed this in Basecamp 3 so my question is if you backport this new text editor to Basecamp 2? 2. Ability to see which comments are new since my last visit of specific discussion. For example, similar like Slack is showing what is new in the channel from my last visit of that channel. 3. Some page where I would easily see all discussions which have new comments from my last visit of those discussions. And let me sort that list by either date/time of latest comment or by projects. I don't want to look at individual comments, I just want to see into which discussions I need to go to be able read everything new. Of course it would be really nice to have also some other features like applause in Basecamp 2, but we can live without them. These three points above are really hurting our productivity. We would happily be your customers in the future. I admire what you have done. Not just Basecamp, but also RoR, books etc. But if you are completely done with Basecamp 2 and you will not work on it anymore, we would need to move to some other tool. Thanks for your response and I'm sorry that I have such non-positive contribution in this pre-Christmast time.
Sarath
Sarath@sarat
We use Basecamp at work ever since the classic version. Now we are about moving to Basecamp 3. Thanks for this great tool! One of the key concerns I have faced on managing communication with Basecamp about the key milestones and events during the course of a project. When you work with a client/product, there are several change requests. It's very tough to dig down the archive though Basecamp has a good search support. It would be great if we can star certain conversations or log important events. More importantaly this should help us to time travel through the course of the project. What are some of the features on Basecamp 3 which is better than Basecamp 2? How do you carefully pick up the features to address large spectrum of projects and users?