Draw a Line in the Sandwith Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Whenever you start something, especially a business it’s important to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Having strong opinions, standing for something, can help tremendously when it comes to making crucial decisions and creating super-fans.
- 03:27 - Embrace Constraints (Getting Real)
- 04:09 - Signal v. Noise
- 04:18 - It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work
- 04:44 - Signal v. Noise is closed.
- 08:24 - Citizens United v. FEC (Wikipedia)
- 09:31 - Oracle
- 11:07 - Pinkberry
- 11:35 - Pinkberry sold to Cold Stone owner (CNBC)
- 12:38 - Basecamp Launches (Signal v. Noise)
- 14:38 - r/faxmachines (reddit)
- 22:07 - Badass: Making Users Awesome - Kathy Sierra (Bookshop.org)
- 25:53 - Tesla Model S Plaid
The Full Transcript
Jason: [00:00:00] I’ll get the mic going, it’s yeah.
Shaun: [00:00:02]Yeah, let me know if you need help setting that up.
Jason: [00:00:03] I don’t need help. I just—
Shaun: [00:00:04] Wow.
Jason: [00:00:06] It’s just sitting over there. I haven’t I haven’t hooked it up yet. So, sorry.
Shaun: [00:00:10] All right.
[00:00:10] Broken By Design by Clipart plays.
Shaun: [00:00:12] Welcome to Rework, a podcast by Basecamp about the better way to work and run your business. I’m your host, Shaun Hildner.
[00:00:19] For any new listeners, this season, we’re going chapter by chapter through the best-selling book Rework, and taking a deep dive into what’s changed and what stayed the same in the last 11 years since it was published.
[00:00:28] Now, you certainly don’t need to have read the book. You don’t need to have used Basecamp or HEY. I think the advice we give in this series can certainly help anyone looking to start a business, calm down their workplace, or just learn what to complain to their boss about.
[00:00:43] For instance, this week, we’re talking about drawing a line in the sand. Whenever you start something, especially a business, it’s important to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. You should stand for something and let your customers, or potential customers, know what it is you’re standing for. This provides a couple of fantastic benefits.
[00:00:59] First, it helps you decide what to build and maybe more importantly, what not to build. And it also has the potential to create super fans, customers who will defend your decisions for you.
[00:01:09] As always here to discuss all this and more are Basecamp’s co founders, the authors of Rework, and no strangers to being opinionated. David Heinemeier Hansson, how are you?
David: [00:01:19] I am good, good, good.
Shaun: [00:01:22] And Jason Fried. How are you?
Jason: [00:01:22] I’m okay. How are you?
Shaun: [00:01:23] Oh, can’t complain.
Jason: [00:01:25] Good.
Shaun: [00:01:26] This week, we’re talking about drawing a line in the sand. And you start out by saying that great businesses have a point of view. So what is Basecamp’s point of view? What do you stand for these days?
Jason: [00:01:38] On what? I think is the question. Like we have a lot of different points of view. There’s, you know, product points of view, there’s cultural points of view, there’s things we stand for, like around privacy and pushing back on antitrust or pushing for, I should say, antitrust regulations on big tech. I mean, there’s a lot of different points of view that we have.
[00:01:56] There’s things around how many hours should be work in a given week. And the fact that people should have more time off in the summer. There’s a whole bunch of different things, some lines move, some lines stay, I think there’s some principles we’ve had for a long time and other things that we’ve changed. What’s important is that we do have a sense of, you know, on a given topic, what we believe versus which way is the wind blowing?
David: [00:02:17] I think what’s interesting about these stands, too, are that they’re not neatly summarized, in like eight bullet points. This is one of the exercises we’ve gone over several times at Basecamp is, can we summarize what we stand for in a mission statement? And we’re like, no, that’s why we have 78 essays in this damn book. Because there are a lot of stands that you can take, and we take quite a few of them on very specific topics such that they mean something.
Shaun: [00:02:44] Yeah, I think we’re talking about mission statements in the in next week’s episode as well.
David: [00:02:47] Yes. And I think it really goes together, this idea of drawing a line in the sand is about committing to something. Turning some things off, I’d say, almost more so than turning certain things on. They’re about off switches. We’re not going to do that. We’re not going to go there. We’re not going to market here. We’re not going to do all of these things because that’s what defines who we are. Did you draw some boundaries around what you want to do and how you want to do it?
[00:03:18] And what’s interesting about this, this connects to an essay, I think we had in Getting Real, which is, constraints are liberating. When you say we’re not doing this, and you draw the canvas in which you want to operate. It’s just such a nice feeling. Like if you don’t have any boundaries, like we could be anything, we could do anything, we could go anywhere, and then you’re left with essentially, sort of the core of capitalism, let’s just go where the money is. Not super interesting, I think. I mean, let’s also go where some money is, but also let’s try to fulfill some of these other points that we’re trying to take a stand on.
[00:03:54] And of course, some of the points are almost against the money, right. Like we’ve taken a bunch of stances over the years that have cost us dearly, in terms of the money.
Shaun: [00:04:03] So you used to have the blog Signal v. Noise, 10 years ago, around when you wrote this book. How do you get that point of view out to the world these days?
Jason: [00:04:14] Part of it is writing books. So you know, It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work was our latest book a couple years ago. And then we write on HEY World, our own personal blogs. We will, post stuff on LinkedIn. We’ll share updates in the product. We’ll take point of view there, we’ll do podcasts. You know, we’re kind of trying to broaden the exposure, the message versus just kind of focusing in one place, which is Signal v. Noise, but which kind of felt like it had a run, and it sort of was time to try something else.
[00:04:43] But I think we’ve always tried to put our point of view in a few different places. And I think now, especially we’re trying to broaden it. I think this show is a good example of that. And I also think, though, that there’s moments when you kind of have said a lot and there’s not a whole lot to say at the moment, and then you kind of recharge, and you do some other things, and you come back with some different points of view.
[00:05:05] So I think we’re kind of also a little bit in that phase at the moment where we just don’t have another 90 essays that we could write today that are brand new with new points of view. I think a lot of the things we believe we’ve said, and we’re sort of living those right now and focusing kind of heads down on the work. And we’ll see where we are in a year or two if new things bubble up.
David: [00:05:23] This reminds me of the Hemingway response to a new writer, when someone asked Hemingway, “Oh, how do I write the next great novel?” Like, what are you talking about, you shouldn’t be focusing on writing, you should be focusing first on living, you have to live first. And then you write, because you have to have something to write about. And I think what’s interesting about our latest direction, the double vision, as we’ve talked about becoming a bigger company, running two products at once again. That feels like it’s the living part. We got to live that part for a while, so a few years.
[00:06:01] We’re talking about Rework. Rework was the compilation of 10 years of living. At least 10 years, probably even more than that. In fact, I think Rework was the first distillation of an entire career’s worth of lessons. So there was 10-15 years of material in there. That’s what it feels like a little bit. Like that’s that phase. And I also think there’s just, I mean, going through a bunch of things in the new direction, I got to see how this pans out. This is one of the things I was most proud about Rework, that it wasn’t like imagining, oh, here’s what perhaps could be if you did this. No, it was a retrospective. Here’s what happened when we did that.
Shaun: [00:06:40] Right.
David: [00:06:42] And I find that kind of writing so much more interesting. Because everyone can sit down and just fantasize, oh, I think this will happen if you do that. Okay. That’s an opinion. But if you come and say, like, hey, I did this, and that happened. Yeah, it’s an anecdote. It doesn’t mean it’s gospel truth, it just means that there’s a higher probability that at least you have a case of one where that actually happened. I like that kind of writing. So that’s also the kind of writing I want to do.
Shaun: [00:07:12] Do you see, I think this is sort of laid out in the essay itself, but is getting your point of view out there, especially having fans talk about it, having your customers talk about it, as a replacement for advertising. Has that sort of changed over the years? Because I know you’ve talked about wanting to get a little bit more into marketing and advertising.
Jason: [00:07:32] I think we’re exploring. We’re going to be exploring some more traditional advertising. We’ve played around with it in the past, here and there, but never really committed fully to it.
[00:07:43] I think we’re prepared to commit fully to it, to see how it works. Whether or not that’s how you get a core line in the sand message out, I don’t know. We haven’t really decided what we’re going to do with that. There’s ways, so you can market product, you can market brand, you can market position. There’s different kinds of ways to do that. And different brands have done different things there. So I don’t think we’re fully formed on where we’re going to go and how we’re going to do that yet.
[00:08:04] But I think fundamentally, what we’ve realized, I think, is that these position statements are better when they come from a person, probably, than a company. We’ve always had this thing. We don’t like really feel like companies have voices, necessarily. I mean, they do. They’re made up of the people who work at the company, but—
Shaun: [00:08:21] Corporations are people, Jason.
Jason: [00:08:24] Yeah. That’s right. So I think, you know, I think when we have something sharp to say, it usually is better if David says it or I say it.
Shaun: [00:08:32] Right.
Jason: [00:08:32] Versus like, you know, a billboard saying it. Billboard, or, I’m using a billboards as a broad example, can reinforce, of course—
Shaun: [00:08:40] This is our marketing strategy.
Jason: [00:08:42] Yes. Billboards. It could be. I mean, but we would, I think, say it first and reinforce it, perhaps with advertising or back it up with advertising, but we’re not there yet. We don’t know. It wouldn’t stop us from writing. It shouldn’t stop us from saying the things we want to say. It might support that, I would say, is probably the strategy we would take if we were to go down that road.
David: [00:09:01] It feels complementary, too. That taking these positions, drawing these lines in the sand can coexist with HEY, Basecamp, a place to put your stuff and collaborate with people, right? Like, it’s not like either you do this, or you do that. Although I mean, there are positional points to it. We talk a lot about authentic voices. So if we suddenly come out with billboards that sound like Oracle, or whatever horrible enterprise company you could imagine. You’d go like, you know what, that’s probably not super congruent. But there’s tons of congruent ways of reinforcing brand, reinforcing what we stand for.
[00:09:37] And of course, the thing is that the products themselves are incredibly opinionated. The features are incredibly opinionated. What we choose to put into product and not put into product is very opinionated and have very strong lines in the sand. Which can be reinforced by that kind of marketing that pushes that. Like, hey, here’s what the product does.
[00:09:56] One of the earliest lines in the sands we drew with Basecamp was that project management is about communication, not charts and graphs. It’s a very specific point for the product to say. And it meant that we didn’t have certain features that people were clamoring for. Like, where can I see the stats of how many to dos someone has checked off this week. And we went like you can’t, because it’s not in the product. That has given it that definition, it’s given that boundary. And it, I think, to some extent, also does make it easier with traditional marketing. That, you’re coming into a crowded arena, lots of options. A lot of those options, careful not to say anything that might alienate anything less than 100% of the market, because that’s what the whole, if we just get 1% of the total addressable market, we will be worth $100 billion.
[00:10:47] When we go like you know what, that’s not the driving factor here. And of course, the interesting thing is, you look at plenty of big successes, and you go, they were actually more successful taking some of these stands. Or having products that were very opinionated. I remember when Pinkberry first came to the US, and it had two flavors. That was it. And I don’t even remember what the other one was but I really liked the tart one. And I loved just walking in there. And like, I’ll have a Pinkberry. What’s interesting about those definitions, and those strong things that carve out a brand as what it stands for is it’s so hard to retain it. Because now you walk into a Pinkberry and they sell 400 different kinds of flavors, because they got bought and they said, oh, to expand the market, dadada dada.
[00:11:35] Or you think of Apple, for example, Steve Jobs comes back and he’s like, what are you doing? Are we making 15 different kinds of computers? No. We’re making four. That’s it. And now you look at Apple, and it’s something else.
[00:11:48] So at least sort of the entry point often is very sharp. And I think we’ve stayed sharper with Basecamp than the other products for longer. We’ll see. It’ll be an interesting test, right? Like, will we get some of this pushback once we try to do some of this marketing that’s like, oh, it’d be actually better if you made the sword a little more dull on it’s edge.
Shaun: [00:12:04] So one of the benefits of having strong opinions and drawing a line in the sand is that you can create super fans. How did you know in the beginning that super fans were being created? Like when you first released Basecamp One, or whatever we call it? Basecamp Classic? What were the first sort of signs that people were like, oh, this isn’t just a customer?
Jason: [00:12:26] Yeah, I think the sign you look for is when someone’s going to stand up for you. We launched Basecamp. It’s funny, if you go look at gosh, we’ll have to put this in the show notes, but the original launch post from Signal v. Noise is still up. And if you look at the comments, it’s particularly interesting, because you can see what people say, like, this will never work because you need this, or that whole thing. It’s kind of fun, right? So but there’s some people who are standing up, you know, pushing back and standing for this thing that we launched.
[00:12:53] And you’ll see, you know, Twitter wasn’t really around then. But you’ll see this in blog posts, if you sort of scour the web again, and look at the early days. Whenever a brand has defenders, I think that there’s someone who cares enough to go, “No, no, no, I’m with them. I’m with them. And here’s why.” Or, “No, no, you’re wrong about that. Listen to why I know that they’re right about this.” Or whatever it might be. That’s, I think when you start to go, okay, someone cares here. They’re not indifferent. They’re not just customers. They’re not just people who are buying stuff. And that’s, well, that’s fine. Most people just do buy things. I just mostly buy things. I’m not a big fan of this vitamin that I take. Just like, yeah, I take it because I want to take a vitamin. But there are some things that you’re like, “No, no, they’re the best.”
[00:13:33] And you see that with brands like Leica, Porsche, these kinds of brands, where you have just people who are diehard fans of the company and defend the business and defend the company, defend the decisions. And sometimes also get upset with the decisions that the company makes, but they care. When you see that when he said that line of care then you know that you’ve got fans more than just customers.
Shaun: [00:13:55] Mm hmm.
David: [00:13:55] And I think a lot of it leaks through the language. Few people, as Jason would say, I love my vitamin. Actually, I shouldn’t say vitamins because I actually think there are a lot of super fans in the vitamin community.
Shaun: [00:14:06] Yeah, sure.
Jason: [00:14:06] Yes, there are.
David: [00:14:07] I barely dipped my feet into it. I needed some vitamins for something and then I fell into this whole thing and was like, wow, there’s some people very excited about these vitamins. I just need some extra vitamin D here, but…
[00:14:19] Just that they’re, the language, right? Like the prototypical example. I always use this for a lot of people. Basecamp is a fax machine. I’ve never ever heard someone say I love my fax machine. It’s amazing. They probably exist. There’s probably a wonderful sub community somewhere maybe there’s like I love my fax machine on Reddit or something. But when you find those areas where people talk about it with strong emotions. Like most people don’t have strong emotions about their fax machine. Fair number of people have a lot of strong emotions about Basecamp.
[00:14:50] But even that is also not free. Super fans are not free. In fact, super fans sometimes are the most annoying people in the world when you are someone making something, right? Because they have such a clear view of why they’re using your thing. And if you fulfill that, it’s great. If you deviate just a little bit, it can be quite painful, right? There could be a lot of conflict there because they’re so invested in the product.
[00:15:15] The Porsche example, for example, when Porsche was starting to drop the manual transmission, and the fans were like, “No, this is the worst thing ever.” And, and in some cases, then the super fans do drag you back, right? Like the Porsche example. Now, they make tons of manual transmissions, even though it quote unquote, “Does not make sense.” And progress has moved on, and so on and so forth.
[00:15:36] But yeah, just realizing that super fans aren’t free, and oftentimes, they’ll kick and scream the loudest in ways that you think like, do you know what? I mean, I appreciate your passion, but also, I don’t know, chill out.
Shaun: [00:15:51] The irony is that, these people became super fans, because they agreed with some strong stance that you had, and then, or you saying no to some of the other things, but if you say no to them, then the outrage begins.
Jason: [00:16:05] Yeah, and look, it’s I mean, if you have anyone who likes what you do, you’re fortunate to begin with, because that’s hard to find. Hard to find anybody who cares about what you do, period. But yeah, I mean, you’ll see this too, with bands, you know, in the early days, you’ll have these fans who are fans of the band and the band will make it big. And then they won’t be fans anymore because the band sold out or whatever. When of course they did. They’re just trying to make a living. They’ve always been trying to make a living. That’s just that’s what, they finally can make a living.
Shaun: [00:16:31] Or why you always hate the second record.
Jason: [00:16:33] Yeah.
Shaun: [00:16:33] Because it doesn’t sound like the first one.
Jason: [00:16:35] Stuff like that. So that’s what’s fun about fandom is a fandom is actually very fickle.
Shaun: [00:16:40] Oh, yeah.
Jason: [00:16:40] In some ways, right? It can turn really, really quickly on people. But, I mean, if anyone cares about what you do, you’re in a good spot to begin.
Shaun: [00:16:48] Yeah.
Jason: [00:16:49] So you should definitely—
Shaun: [00:16:50] You welcome that.
Jason: [00:16:52] Of course, appreciate that and pay attention to it and nurture it, too. I mean, you don’t just make fans and keep fans. It’s important to nurture that relationship, too.
David: [00:17:05] But it’s also important to realize that these super fans, very few businesses can have a business just on basis of super fans. The super fans will be the 2%, the 5%, whatever. And if you listen too much to the super fans, because they’re very loud—
Shaun: [00:17:18] Right.
David: [00:17:19] They will keep you in the place of what they loved about you. So for example, when we introduced new versions of Basecamp, it was the super fans who were often the most, “I hate the new version.”
Shaun: [00:17:28] Of course.
David: [00:17:30] Which we kind of got around in a way I think that worked out for both parties, we kept the old versions. So someone who was happy about Basecamp 2 and was a super fan of Basecamp 2, they got to keep using that. But if we had listened to the super fans to such a degree that we’re like, we can’t make Basecamp 3. We can’t make a radically new version, because the super fans won’t like it. We would have ended up in a worse position.
[00:17:51] So this is also what’s interesting, right? It’s not free. It’s full of tradeoffs, you got to figure out, where you’re listening or not. And you got to draw some lines in the sand with the super fans, too. As with everyone else.
Shaun: [00:18:03] I have one more question here and this is gonna be a little bit broader. This essay was written 11 years ago. How has your line in the sand moved? How’s your point of view changed in the last 10 years? Especially when you think about the stances you took when creating Basecamp versus the stances you took, or take now when working on HEY?
Jason: [00:18:24] To be honest it’s a hard question to answer because it’s so broad. There are, because there are many lines, right?
Shaun: [00:18:29] Sure, let me narrow it down. So if one of the one of the stances you take, or you say you took when creating Basecamp is how simple the product is. That remained the same in HEY, right?
Jason: [00:18:38] Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, because that’s a good deep one, in a sense, because if you if you look at Basecamp, objectively, Basecamp does a lot of stuff. So what does simple mean? So simple to us, doesn’t mean it only does a few things, it means it does those things in a simple way. So Basecamp does a lot of stuff in a very sort of, we try to call it, we’ve always called it internally Fisher Price. This notion like you look at a Fisher Price toy, a kids’ toy, and it’s pretty obvious what it does and how it works. We’ve always tried to strive for that degree of like, it’s pretty obvious what this does. And it does a few things. It doesn’t go super deep in anything. But it will do a lot of things so it covers a lot of surface area.
[00:19:21] So our definition of simple there is what it does, it’s straightforward. It does it well, but it kind of stops short of being the best possible version of that thing that it could be, because instead it does a lot of different things.
[00:19:34] HEY, also, like when we launched HEY, we actually touted the fact that like it had 25 new ideas. It’s actually a lot. It’s not just simple on the surface, it actually does a lot of things. But it does those things in a very straightforward manner in a very straightforward way. And in fact, it simplifies a lot of people’s workflows that are technically complicated in other tools. Like in Gmail, you’d set up mail rules to do a lot of the things comes right out of the box with HEY, because we’re like you shouldn’t have to set up rules, just to do some basic things in email. Email should work a certain way.
[00:20:10] So that’s our version of what simple is. It doesn’t mean fewer things, necessarily.
Shaun: [00:20:16] It doesn’t do less than Gmail.
Jason: [00:20:18] Yeah, it doesn’t do less. It does different things, and we place different value on different things.
Shaun: [00:20:24] Mm hmm.
Jason: [00:20:26] That’s always been true. And every time we build a product, we are thinking about all the things it’s not going to do. All the things it doesn’t have to do. But it doesn’t mean it just does less stuff, it just does different things.
David: [00:20:37] I’d say, though, that on the overall, HEY, is a far more opinionated product than Basecamp even was.
Jason: [00:20:44] Yeah.
David: [00:20:44] We grew more of a confidence in taking some quite controversial steps on something as core as email, where so many people have such ingrained ideas and workflows of how email should work. And they think, whoa, I’m going to switch to new email tool because like, it looks a little different. HEY works a lot different. And I think those kinds of lines in the sand are exactly the kind of hard lines where we simply go like, hey, for example, before someone gets the permission to write you, you should say I want to hear from that person. That is totally not free, it creates a bit of an on ramp where in the beginning, you have to make a lot of decisions about whether this person or that person or this company, and that person can write you. But we believe in the long term it’s worth it?
Shaun: [00:21:33] Yeah.
David: [00:21:33] That’s one of those things that turned some people off. Right, which is exactly the thing we talk about here. We were just talking about it this morning. So we got some wonderful feedback from renewing customers were buying again this year for HEY, talking about how they love the product and how it really simplified their digital life and so and so forth, right? All that language we just talked about.
Shaun: [00:21:52] The emotional language, yeah.
David: [00:21:54] They’re not talking about their fax machine. Oh, it does the copy it needs to do, right? No, no, no, I’m talking about how they love it. And then at the same time, it’s exactly those emotions that have to be counterbalanced as Kathy Sierra would say. To create balance in the universe, if you have a lot of super fans, you need some super haters. And HEY absolutely has some super haters. But it also has a bunch of people in the middle who just don’t care or who tried it once, who aren’t even interested or don’t think they have a problem. It’s totally fine.
[00:22:23] This is the wisdom, if you want to call it, about 1000 fans. 1000 people with their hair on fire, like this is how you build a business, that you find 1000 People who are very passionate about getting the problem solved that you’re trying to solve. And we’ve absolutely found that 30X with HEY and I think that that that’s such a, this is why this chapter for me, or this essay really stands out as one that like this became more true over time. Some of the things we write this book perhaps became less true or less in the center. “Draw a Line in the Sand” has, in many ways, never been more true about the company, we’ve never had more confidence to push it to its logical conclusion.
[00:23:02] In fact, I remember just sitting talking about HEY, and a driving force in determining what it should do was, it should be different, it should be weird. If we’re just re-implementing another feature, we should be very skeptical about that. That doesn’t mean that everything has to be novel. Sometimes you can make it difference just for the sake of being different, and it’s worse. But with HEY, more conscious than with any other product we’ve ever developed, that we say this has to be different. The reason we’re doing this, we could do a bunch of other things, we could just focus on Basecamp. We could just focus on Basecamp. The whole reason we’re taking all this time to create another product is not because we want to make Gmail in cornflower blue.
Shaun: [00:23:42] What I was trying to get at with that question is how important is it, if you take a strong stance, especially with your business in a broad sense, if you take a strong stance, when you create the business, how important is it to move that line in the sand as the world changes, as you change?
Jason: [00:23:55] I’d say it depends on the thing. Like to David’s point, there’s some fundamental approaches about how we build products that probably aren’t going to change.
Shaun: [00:24:05] Yeah.
Jason: [00:24:05] There are opinions about where we’re going to advertise that might, you know, for a long time, we were completely against advertising on, let’s say, Google, and maybe we’ll reconsider that. I don’t know, that’s not necessarily the sword we want to die on or need to die on.
Shaun: [00:24:20] Yeah.
Jason: [00:24:20] There are some, though, like probably not going to work with Facebook or Meta. You know, that’s just not really what we’re probably going to do. So some things shift. But I would say the interesting thing about that is that the lines, they’re more like dotted lines in that case, because we’re not going to throw that line away and go, we’re just gonna advertise anywhere we possibly can. If we can spend $1 and make two bucks we’re doing it no matter what. But there are some gaps in that line. You know, maybe we’re willing to work with this brand or this company or this venue when before we weren’t, but now we are. Some of that stuff changes.
David: [00:24:52] But I also say that the bigger risk for almost every business everywhere is that things get watered down.
Jason: [00:24:58] Yes.
David: [00:24:58] Again, the Pinkberry example. It starts out really strong. This is interesting, then it gets a modicum of traction, a success, and then we go, how can we expand it to encompass everything?
[00:25:11] I’m, to some extent more worried about that. Although, I mean, of course, you shouldn’t just be oh, we had an opinion 20 years ago, and that must stand until the end of time, because that was an opinion we had. Then you’re dumb, right? This whole idea of, what do you do when you get new facts? I change my opinion, like, what is your approach, sir? Is important as well. But I think the history of business is that most strong opinions get watered down. And it’s really rare and it stands out very distinctly when that does not happen.
[00:25:41] One example that that I love and hate at the same time, which is a great notion of passion here is Elon Musk and Tesla, right? So Tesla comes out with this new car, and he puts in this yoke, this steering wheel, this alien steering wheel that’s incredibly alienating to a bunch of people. Here’s a guy who runs a company that sells half a million electric cars, and maybe they’re gonna send sell a million in five minutes. And he’s like, Do you know what we’re gonna put in the yoke. There’s probably like, 1% of our superfans who will go like, “Oh, Elon said the yoke, the yoke is the way.” And everyone else is going to go like, what the hell is this? And what’s so funny about it is I’ve actually driven a lot of yokes, because this is the standard steering wheel in a race car.
Shaun: [00:26:22] Right.
David: [00:26:24] And I still hate it. I’m like, I don’t want the yoke.
Shaun: [00:26:25] I want a wheel.
David: [00:26:26] Yeah, I want a wheel. But at the same time, it’s almost like I almost have like, do you know what? I want to buy one of these cars, even if I hate it, just because this is so goddamn rare. I want to have the yoke and like swear at it a little. And then go like, holy shit. I appreciate that there’s someone running a company like this.
Shaun: [00:26:44] At least I feel something for this thing.
David: [00:26:46] Yeah, exactly. I want to suffer in the light over the fact that there are companies in this world who will do these weird things that don’t make any sense. If anyone else than Elon was running that company, there’s no fucking way in a million years they would ever have put in the yoke. And I’m like, I gotta support that even if I hate it.
Shaun: [00:27:05] Yep. Certainly not made by a committee.
David: [00:27:08] No.
Shaun: [00:27:09] Well, I think that’s a great place to end. We’re actually going to sort of continue this conversation next week as we discuss mission statements that we did at little bit the top of this episode.
[00:27:18] Broken By Design by Clipart plays.
Shaun: [00:27:18] But for now, I want to say thank you to Jason Fried.
Jason: [00:27:22] Thanks, Shaun.
Shaun: [00:27:23] And David Heinemeier Hansson.
David: [00:27:25] As always.
Shaun: [00:27:27] We will see you both next week.
David: [00:27:28] Right.
Jason: [00:27:28] Looking forward to it, thank you.
Shaun: [00:27:30] Take care.
Shaun: [00:27:38] Rework is a production of Basecamp. Our theme music is by Clip Art. We’re on the web at rework.fm, where you can find show notes and transcripts for this and every episode of Rework. And we’re also on Twitter at @reworkpodcast.
[00:27:52] If you’re following along with the book. Next week, we’ll be discussing the chapter “Mission Statement Impossible.” If you liked the show, I’d really appreciate it if you would leave a review on Apple podcasts or wherever you’re listening to this. And if you have any comments or questions for Jason or David, leave us a voicemail at 708-628-7850. Or better yet, record a voice memo on your phone and email it to email@example.com.