If you want to learn the Basecamp view of the world, it helps to know the influences that helped form it. Basecamp, and 37signals before it, has been around since 1999. Since then there’s been a number of key influencers that have marked the company culture.
- Turn The Ship Around: “Leadership should mean giving control rather than taking control and creating leaders rather than forging followers”, David Marquet. Basecamp employs great people and they deserve the freedom and autonomy to act on their own. Don’t wait for permission, just state what you’re going to do, and then do it.
- Finding Flow: True happiness is found in optimal moments of engagement when we stretch just beyond our abilities and lose track of time and space in the process. Protecting the flow by limiting interruptions has been a driving principle of Basecamp.
- Punished by Rewards: We don’t strive for trophies, swoon for trinkets, gameify our apps with badges, or push any other form of extrinsic motivation for neither ourselves nor our customers. Working at Basecamp and work with Basecamp should be about the intrinsic motivation of doing a good job, not because you’re trying to impress someone else.
- The Manual: “Do not wish that all things will go well with you, but that you will go well with all things”. Core lessons on keeping calm and carrying on that have inspired and guided us.
- Maverick: Ricardo Semler helped us find the confidence to promote and push for weird and different ways of working by showing just how weird and different you can work at even a place as stodgy as a 8,000-person industrial company in Brazil.