Basecamp's implosion—losing one-third of staff—is about much more than politics. It's a failure of philosophy. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have been good writers, but their latest work sounds like a 14-year-old discovering Ayn Rand.
"By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude," Fried writes, quoting Aldous Huxley. OK dude, but you literally make software for teams.
Fried introduces his Changes at Basecamp post with this Huxley quote which is absolutely bonkers. I'll reproduce it in full.
As Huxley offers in The Doors of Perception, "We live together, we act on, and react to, one another; but always and in all circumstances we are by ourselves. The martyrs go hand in hand into the arena; they are crucified alone. Embraced, the lovers desperately try to fuse their insulated ecstasies into a single self-transcendence; in vain. By its very nature every embodied spirit is doomed to suffer and enjoy in solitude."
Heavy, yes, but insightful, absolutely. A relevant reminder. We make individual choices.
What the actual fuck is he talking about here? Why would I buy team management software from people that believe we're always alone? Why would I buy email from people that don't even believe in the connective power of sex? It's no wonder 33% of Basecamp made the individual choice to leave.