Tim Bornholdt

The Knowledge Project - Doing the Enough Thing: My Interview with Basecamp CEO and Co-founder Founder Jason Fried

I came across this episode of The Knowledge Project the other day, and I instantly downloaded this episode with Jason Fried.

The more I read and listen to interviews with Jason and his co-founder, David Heinemeier Hansson, the more I want to model JMG after them.

Some takeaways from this episode:

  • The businesses Jason admires are not big name ones that everyone has heard of (except for Stripe). He admires businesses who have been around for 5+ years, such as his local grocer.
  • The expectation of himself is to do the right thing day after day. That’s an admirable goal, and one that makes more sense to me than straight up making billions of dollars.
  • He said he tries to understand what “enough” is. That really is what owning a business should be about, right? If we have enough, then anything beyond that is greed, no?
  • He spoke about how, at one point, Basecamp set numbers and metrics and then aimed to hit them. Ultimately, that led them to doing things that “weren’t them”, such as giving money to Facebook for ads. If your company is profitable and making you and your customers happy (again, returning to the “enough” point made above), why do we set pointless goals for ourselves? Can’t we find satisfaction in something more tangible (like how something feels) as opposed to hitting a made up number?

I would love JMG to be as “successful” of a company as Basecamp in every sense of the word. As our company grows and continues to find success, I am proud of our ability to stay true to our roots and build a business that does things the right way.