Introducing Jason Fried
Jason Fried received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance at the University of Arizona. However, he was already writing and selling software during his student days. One of the first ones he wrote was a music collection organizer in FileMaker Pro on a Macintosh computer. He wrote it mainly for his own use, but then decided to upload it in case others would buy it. And others did. Basically, that is how his software business started, which led him to starting Basecamp.
The Basecamp Software
Basecamp is a web-based project management tool created by a web design company based in Chicago originally called 37signals. The PM tool initially was for their own use and the co-founder Jason Fried decided to make it available commercially when their customers and other people expressed their interest to use it, too. In 2014, the company renamed itself Basecamp after its flagship product, with a focus on maintaining and improving its project management application. For a great extension to Basecamp, we recommend you use our own tool Bridge24 for Basecamp.
37signals started in 1999 with four people. The name of the company came from radio telescope signals identified by an astronomer searching for extraterrestrial intelligence. However, the story of Basecamp started in 2003. As a web design company, Jason’s team was successful in getting customers to re-design their simple web sites. To help manage all their projects, they decided to use a PM tool but found nothing suitable on the market. So they decided to build their own tool. Customers began subscribing in 2004 when Basecamp was launched commercially. 2017 is their 18th year in business, and they have remained profitable all this time.
Thought-Leader and Speaker
Jason Fried and his managing partners decided early on about certain principles in how they will run their tech company. He was a guest speaker at Lean Startup 2016 where he shared some of the principles during that talk. One of these is business owners should think of their companies as a product. Just as a software product gets better with iteration, adding a feature, testing it, making it available, receiving feedback, and so on, companies should also look at the process of improving themselves and updating to a better version. The other principles he usually shares focus on how to be good on making profit rather than spending, working without distraction, hiring the best people, and more. Jason speaks in many conferences about work, business innovation, TED, and others.
Best-selling Author, Columnist
The Basecamp blog is Signal versus Noise, and Jason Fried is a major contributor to this blog. A great number of people read and follow the blog, so it became a book. Getting Real is about the business strategies that Basecamp used to become one of the most valuable tech company. Jason wrote REWORK with David Hansson, his business partner. The book contains insight and practical tips about business principles and processes such as progress, productivity, and promotion, among others. As a company that has employees around the world, they also wrote Remote. The next book title is The Calm Company. Jason is also a regular contributor to Inc.com.
Believing in the Power of Keeping Things Simple
Jason Fried believes that the best time-saving shortcut is the ability to say no. Things get more complex than necessary when people say yes to too many things. In the same way, Jason leads Basecamp to continue working on principles that focus on simplicity, clarity, ease of use, and honesty. Keeping things simple for the customers has always paid off, and this will continue to be the mark of the company, its products, and its publications. Jason Fried can be contacted on Twitter.