Next AMA: Jason Fried, Basecamp Founder and CEO

We are extremely happy to announce the next AMA. With none other than Jason Fried, founder and CEO of Basecamp.

Jason defies all conventional wisdom and has followed a very different philosophy when it comes to growing meaningfully - it is something we at NextBigWhat totally relate to and are fully in awe of !

Ask Jason anything on bootstrapping, growing a SAAS business, building great products (and still having a work-life balance).

  • Date: Sep 11
  • Time: 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm IST (6-7 AM PST)
  • Where? The NextBigWhat community (https://we.nextbigwhat.com)
  • Format? Go ahead and ask your questions in this thread. Jason will answer them at the said time.

Note: one question per thread / topic please (helps stay focused).

For the starters, go ahead and listen to this great conversation Jason had @ Farnam street.

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First off, thanks for writing Rework. I have read many other books but none as concise and gripping as Rework.

AFAIK, Basecamp doesn’t have a dedicated marketing team and gains a lot of value from its audience across multiple channels.

Question -
Do new customers mainly come to basecamp from word of mouth?
Do you rethink content strategy (and how) based on your targetted audience i.e. write blogs which would help reach out to non-software base companies?

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Hi Jason,
Thanks for doing this.

Question: How can a product manager best lead/facilitate a team towards a common goal/objective while working remotely?

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What a fantastic idea to host an AMA with Jason Fried! Thank you for having him here.

I’m a huge fan and follower of Jason’s work. Love how Basecamp focuses on excellent product and customer service to strengthen and grow business v/s traditional marketing practices.

I’d like to know:

  1. How does Basecamp create content (in a Bootstrapped way) - is it created in-house? Is it created by employees or content experts? Or do you encourage your audience to create content for the brand.

  2. What channels of communication do you use to publish content for Basecamp? Social media, PR, guest posting or others?

  3. Basecamp is known to have 4 day work weeks in summer. Please could you share some productivity practices that could help small business owners work 4 days a week too?

Thanks!

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After reading “Remote” I was sure I am a control freak and want to see things happen under my nose. How do you deal with the anxiety of “if things will happen by evening” if you don’t see them happening in process?

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How to build a great culture / synergy in a remote team? The type of culture where you trust and work together seamlessly together united by the same goal - (and maybe probably build lifelong friendships as part of it)? Usually we tend to think of this as something specific to small focused startups only.

Thank you so much!

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Big fan here!!

Q: How did you decide on the positioning of your website? I consider it the best! Follows the Story Brand framework. Can you elaborate on what process did you follow to get to this version of the website that you have :slight_smile:

Hey Jason - how does Basecamp approach new product development (I believe, you guys are launching a new product).

How does Basecamp go about customer development / *predicting * what customers want? Finding product market fit?

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What’s your decision making framework? How do you decide which battles to pick ?

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What books do you recommend?

How do you measure productivity? Many a times (rather most), most of us feel working ‘MORE’ = moving things forward and is difficult to let go of ? When do you say ‘enough’?

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Hi Jason,
Thanks for doing this.

  1. My first question - you have a 20 year old product, you have a remote team, you have written books and the list is long. What motivates you still every day to go to work and what is your vision for Basecamp from here on.

  2. My second question- you are now seriously investing in Marketing. Obviously if you don’t have a great product no Marketing can save you. What kind of marketing initiatives you did in the first 20 years and how do you plan to invest in marketing from here on.

Thanks for your tune and thanks Next Big What.
Prasant Naidu

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What are the skills required for young PMs? (1-2 yrs ex)

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Whats the most challenging part being a PM at Basecamp?

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What are the growth strategies do you use at Basecamp?

What are the technical skills required for a product manager?

Hey Jason,

With having a good part of your team working remotely, how do you guys manage communication gaps between different team members? Are there any particular processes that you have implemented or frameworks that you use to help with this? How does this specifically work in the product and the tech team?

Cheers,
Kaustubh

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Who owns Growth at Basecamp? You (i.e .the CEO) or product team?

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I believe Basecamp doesn’t believe in having product roadmap. How do you define the ‘common definition of future’ then?

Fundamental question: How do you hire? Remote teams / a very different philosophy on product, marketing - essentially one needs to be a misfit to fit in @Basecamp :slight_smile:

What’s your interview process like (I have listened to your earlier podcasts on hiring the marketing head and found it very fascinating)? How do you check for cultural fit?

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