This blogpost is not an exhaustive summary of the book. Just contains the notes I took.

  • We work on our company as hard as we work on our products. People often toss a version number at the end of software. “This is iOS 10.1, 10.2, 10.5, 11, etc.” We think of our company in the same way. Today’s Basecamp, LLC, is like version 50.3 of Basecamp, LLC. We got here by going there, trying that, and figuring out what works best.

  • We borrowed an idea from academia: office hours. All subject-matter experts at Basecamp now publish office hours. For some that means an open afternoon every Tuesday. For others it might be one hour a day. It’s up to each expert to decide their availability.

  • “Another concept we talk a lot about is something called a ‘trust battery.’ It’s charged at 50 percent when people are first hired. And then every time you work with someone at the company, the trust battery between the two of you is either charged or discharged, based on things like whether you deliver on what you promise.”

  • So the next time you ask an employee to go pick some low-hanging fruit — stop yourself. Respect the work that you’ve never done before. Remind yourself that other people’s jobs aren’t so simple. Results rarely come without effort. If momentum and experience are on your side, what is hard can masquerade as easy, but never forget that not having done something before doesn’t make it easy. It usually makes it hard.

  • People who visit our office for the first time are startled by the silence and serenity. It doesn’t look, sound, or behave like a traditional office. That’s because it’s really a library for work rather than an office for distraction. In our office, if someone’s at their desk, we assume they’re deep in thought and focused on their work. That means we don’t walk up to them and interrupt them. It also means conversations should be kept to a whisper so as not to disturb anyone who could possibly hear you. Quiet runs the show.