We took the liberty of rewriting Microsoft’s dystopian vision of remote work ads. See more at #WorkCanWait and contribute your own revisions.
Microsoft is launching a new marketing campaign for Office 365 that celebrates working during your kid’s recitals, on vacation, and while enjoying the appetizer at a restaurant. All this under the guise of “balance” between work and life. Yes, it’s horrible.
Remote work is still stifled by managers who think that it’ll lead to employees goofing off, but we’re not making any progress if they switch to Microsoft’s pitch for getting to all those TPS reports from the bathroom. In fact, we’ll be worse off. Much worse.
Remote work is not about working more hours in more places. It’s not about invading every crevasse of your life and stuffing it full of work, work, work. Au contraire, mon ami. It’s about spending the hours of work more productively, and then having more time free from its tentacles.
Good ideas are co-opted and perverted all the time. Remote work is not just a good idea, but a great one. For shame on Microsoft for cheerleading its most dystopian corruption. (And no, I don’t fucking want to edit that Excel spreadsheet during happy hour.)
The Nexus 5 is a fascinating phone. In an era where Apple has set the luxury tone, and everyone is trying to follow suit in colors and chamfered edges, Google just said no. No, it won’t be luxury. In fact, it’ll be unapologetically cheap.
That’s a refreshing breath of honesty, and a clever way to sidestep one of Apple’s core strengths. If Google doesn’t have to compete on bringing luxury to the masses, they can compete on other things.
What’s scary for Apple is just how well that strategy appears to work when the main interface of the device is just all glass. Because while the Nexus 5 comes in a cheap plastic wrapping, the screen itself is gorgeous. Big, bright, and appealing. It’s very clear that this is where the bulk of the $349 purchase price went. Well that and the fast processor.
What it comes down to is that Google has made an appliance. A boring, no-thrills appliance. This is not a work of art. But it doesn’t pretend to be a work of art. That’s what has made all the Apple imitations so pathetic for so long. Remember the HP Envy (and can you believe that HP has left that embarrassment of a video online)? If you stand in the shadow of Apple’s luxury and design prowess, you will shiver.
It takes real vision to reject the prevalent frame of the market. Google has done just that with the Nexus 5. An appliance so good for what it is, that you realize that luxury is optional.
We’ve been running our job board since 2006 and connected thousands of talented people with great jobs. It’s been a great place for people who got the ethos of REWORK to find like-minded individuals. More than 100 positions are currently listed.
It’s been a great run, but it’s time for something new. As a company, we’re obviously big supporters of working remotely. We’ve been doing so for the last decade. 75% of our people are working remotely. We just wrote a new book, REMOTE: Office Not Required, about the why and how. Now we want to help highlight forward-looking companies who’ve decided that they too could benefit from the best talent regardless of where they live.
WeWorkRemotely.com is our brand new job board, reserved exclusively for remote job listings. We’re making it completely free to post for the first 24 hours! After that, the 30-day rate is going to be half of what it was on our old job board, just $200.
The traditional you-must-commute-to-our-office job situation has plenty of outlets. Here’s an outlet for those who go beyond that. Enjoy!
I started working remotely with Jason from Copenhagen, Denmark way back in 2001, by responding to a post on this very blog about programming. Since then we’ve grown our company to 41 people with 30 of them living and working from outside of Chicago. (I’m writing this from Malibu, California). We’ve built Basecamp, Ruby on Rails, and many other products and projects together as a remote company. This book contains all that we’ve learned and the reasons why this new way of working is ready for prime time.
It’s not just about making work better, though. It’s as much about making life better. As our employees will tell you, the flexibility and the freedom that comes from remote work is liberating and a real boost to quality of life. The world has made such great leaps in terms of productivity, and it’s time we spent some of those spoils making our work-life balance better.
So please enjoy this book. It’s been an absolute pleasure to write it. We can’t wait to hear what you think about it. Thank you for reading.
We’d like to welcome two new members of our programming team.
Tom Ward hails from London and has been active in the Rails community since 2005. He was responsible for the SQLServerAdapter back in the day and has a cool 37 commits(!) under his belt for Rails. He’s formerly of Go Free Range, the team behind big parts of the GOV.UK project. We’re very happy to have him here, thanks to the great recommendation of fellow UK employee Pratik, who made the connection.
Zach Waugh is from Baltimore and the creator of the awesome Flint iOS and OSX clients for Campfire. Much of 37signals have already been enjoying Campfire through Zach’s clients, so we are thrilled that he’ll be able to join.
Both guys will of course stay where they’ve chosen to live and work remotely. We have a lot of both web and mobile projects to dig into, so great to have them both here. That now makes 41 of us!
Harvard Business Review has another rah-rah piece for Silicon Valley. While on the surface it looks like a well-researched article, its error lies not in methodology but in definition. In the minds of the author, the definition for startup success is confined to this:
If you judge entrepreneurial success as surviving or selling (including raising follow-on funding, being bought, or successfully IPO’ing) as no doubt your investors do, then your odds of success are lower outside of the superhubs.
What a shitty definition of success! The world outside of Silicon Valley is rightfully not succeeding by the narrow definition of success espoused by proponents of the Valley VC model. DUH.
But there are many other definitions of success to measure yourself against. We’ve long been campaigning for the success of bootstrapped, proud, and profitable. Businesses, who like 37signals didn’t get off the ground by a Series A round of funding, and who do not see IPO, acquihire, or any other form of acquisition as a successful outcome.
This is how most of the world’s businesses work! And not only work, but prosper, and sustain themselves in the long run. But that’s the boring path of turning great products and services into profitable outfits in less than the average 10+ years it seems to take most Silicon Valley startups.
Do not let the VC merchants and their stooges tell you what success looks like. Do not accept that this path has to go through their 10:1, or 100:1, lottery funnel. You do not have to pick up their shovel and dig gold only where they have marked the X.
The best ideas and the best talent in the world is not confined to these tiny geographical areas, except in the minds of those who live there. Start your business wherever you want to live with pride. Recruit the best remote workers where they want to live with vigor. Success on your terms will come soon enough.