I got a chance to read ‘It Doesnt have to be crazy at work’ by Jason Fried and David Hansson of Basecamp.

They launched Basecamp in 2004 and in 15 years time have reached 3 million accounts. Based on their experience, they have come up with some amazing observations, many of which I could relate to.

Many startups come with a great idea, and then VCs pour money into them with the goal of ‘World Domination’. The authors have resisted this temptation and are contended with growing organically – without depending on VC funding.

The authors believe that this level of independence gives them the ability to take some smart decisions, which could have been compromised otherwise.

As the authors correctly say, you might not rule the world, but will be happy with the growth.

Jason and David have come up with many good recommendations to take care of the employees – which should have made Basecamp a pleasure to work at.

I was smiling as I read many parts of the book and could relate to it:

  • No VC funding
  • Not more than 40 hours of work weekly
  • No sick leave – when you are sick, you take off and do not work
  • Most of the team working remotely – hiring the right people no matter where they are in the world
  • Take care of your employees well and they will in turn, take care of the customers
  • Say No to pressure from large clients
  • Do not create deadlines and ask the team the time needed to complete the tasks

Hoping to implement many more of the ideas they had come up with, which I have never tried:

  • Making sure the pay for a given position is among the 10 percentile anywhere in the world
  • 100USD per month as fitness allowance
  • Paid vacations
  • No roadmap – make it as you go based on customer feedback (This is tough – as I already have a 10 year roadmap!)

Was quite happy reading this book and highly recommend this to any one who manages people.