In this episode #49, we are talking with Jason Fried, Co-Founder of 37signals, Basecamp, Hey.com. Jason talks about the no-meetings setup they’ve got going on in the companies. Why it’s important to understand the goals of the project before anyone starts to work on it. How pretty much everything you can discuss, you can discuss without the video which usually slows down every meeting. He also shares the way small teams allocated to each project work and why there’s no marketer in that setup. We discuss the unique ways to integrate new people into the team, and how important it is to have honest conversations with the team members about their performance.
(0:00:05) – AI, Cycles, and Team Structure Exploration
Jason Fried, co-founder of 37signals and Basecamp talks about his views on AI and how he approaches it with curiosity. Jason also shares how he uses AI as a lens or a mirror to reflect on what he has written, but he doesn’t use it to write something for himself.
(0:09:27) – Building and Marketing a New Product
We examine the importance of adding novelty and new ideas to the product, and the need to focus on features that make an interesting story. We touch on the concept of building in public and the challenges that some founders face when deciding to share their product development journey. Storytelling can be incorporated into the product development process to add novelty and new ideas, as well as focus on features that make an interesting story. Building in public can be a challenge for some founders, as they must decide whether or not to share their product development journey.
(0:20:21) – Working Structure and Communication Efficiency
We explore how to structure work and communication without long meetings. We discuss the importance of having something concrete to discuss and the value of asynchronous conversations with detailed written explanations. We also look at how we can make decisions and collaborate more efficiently with real-time conversations. Finally, we consider the role of junior employees and how they can learn and develop through making and discussing their work.
(0:32:26) – Evaluating Employee Fit and Success
Jason and the team consider the best question to ask when evaluating someone – knowing what you now know, would you hire this person again? We explore why it’s so important to make sure that someone is the right fit for the organization and that they feel the same way. We also look at different review periods, like 90-day and six-month reviews.
(0:39:55) – Building Features and Measuring Success
We consider the nuances of building features and making decisions for a product. We discuss the importance of feeling whether a feature is worth building rather than relying on measurements, and the need to make decisions that will move the needle. We also explain the idea of building features that may not be used often but are still necessary for the product. Lastly, we reflect on the biggest win and biggest failure for the company so far.
(0:43:38) – Staying True to Natural Path in Business
We discuss the importance of staying true to an organization’s natural path and how deviating from it can lead to false goals and a lack of progress is discussed. Jason shares his love of product launches and naming things, and the joy of changing one’s mind. The benefits of finding the path of least resistance, the power of starting with what something shouldn’t do, and the importance of restraint when creating a product are considered.