Full Stack Radio

A podcast for developers interested in building great software products. Hosted by Adam Wathan.

141: Jason Fried - Running the Tailwind Business on Basecamp

In this episode, Adam talks to Jason Fried about growing the Tailwind team and how to best use Basecamp to keep his particular company organized. He also walks through tons of real examples from their recent work on HEY, sharing lots of behind-the-scenes stuff about how Basecamp use Basecamp themselves.

Topics include:

  • How did Basecamp evolve from being a team/client communication tool to focusing on keeping your whole company organized, and is it really even that different?
  • How exactly should we set up Basecamp on day one to support a small 3-5 person remote software team? What tools should we use and which ones should we ignore for now?
  • Finding the balance between being organized enough and splitting things up too much
  • How big should projects be? Is "HEY v1" a project, or is a project something more like "HEY File Attachments"?
  • What tools do you normally enable for regular projects, and how do you use them?
  • How are you normally using chat at the individual project level?
  • Why todo lists should be created by the individuals doing the work, and not the people assigning the work
  • How should we use the company HQ project? What are some less obvious ideas we can apply there that can make a big difference?
  • Using a "what we're working on" project to keep everyone on the team in the loop and feeling connected
  • Using "heartbeats" to summarize the work a team has been doing over a period of time for the rest of the company
  • Advice on bringing on new employees and how to assign them their first project
  • When you're such a writing-driven company, how do you make sure decisions get written down when they are made in real-time instead of naturally occurring within Basecamp?



Supporting the show:

I decided to stop taking sponsors for the show because I think advertisements are annoying and no one wants to listen to them.

If you do want to support the show, the best way to do it is to purchase one of my products:

  • Tailwind UI, a collection of professionally designed, fully responsive HTML components built with Tailwind CSS
  • Refactoring UI, a book and video series I put together with Steve Schoger on designing beautiful user interfaces, without relying on a designer.
  • Advanced Vue Component Design, a course on designing simpler, more flexible Vue components that are both more powerful and easier to maintain.
  • Test-Driven Laravel, a massive video course on designing robust Laravel applications with TDD. Learn how to build a real-world application from scratch without writing a single line of untested code.
  • Refactoring to Collections, a book and video course that teaches you how to apply functional programming principles to break down ugly, complex code into simple transformations — free of loops, complex conditionals, and temporary variables.