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Rethink the Way You Work: An Interview With Basecamp CEO Jason Fried [Podcast]

If you rounded up all of today’s top CEOs from around the world, you’d be hard-pressed to find one who is more passionate about challenging the status quo in the workplace than Basecamp CEO Jason Fried. His passion began at 14 when he started working in a local shoe store.  

"The owner was always looking over everyone’s shoulder. She had an intense distrust for everyone, and just thought that we were all ripping her off,” Jason said about his boss at the time. “It was not a comfortable place to work ... she made this environment by creating paranoia. Her default was to assume that everyone was terrible."

While most of the kids his age were thinking about how to survive their freshman year of high school, this experience at work led Jason to start to thinking about things like employee happiness and productivity. He made a vow that when he built a company of his own one day, the culture would be different.

In 2010 he released his book REWORK, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller and changed the way a lot of companies work. Today he spends most of his time outside of work talking about methods to make employees happier and more productive. 

Jason joins me this week on The Growth Show to talk about why meetings are toxic, why work doesn’t actually get done at work, and more. Highlights from this episode include:

  • Jason's take on The New York Times' recent portrayal of Amazon's culture (2:00)
  • How he gets employee feedback and the questions you need to ask employees (4:45)
  • Why he’s so passionate about challenging the status quo in the workplace (7:00)
  • Why you should think about canceling your next meeting (9:15)
  • Some of the tools and technologies they use at Basecamp to replace meetings (12:30)
  • Why work doesn’t actually get done at work (16:30)
  • Why sending email after work hours might actually be hurting your team and culture (19:00)
  • His tips for becoming a better public speaker and why he’s stopped preparing (23:30)

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