Casey Newton interviewed a half-dozen Basecamp employees, as well as David Heinemeier Hansson (Basecamp co-founder) to write this account of recent events.
How a list of “funny” customer names triggered an internal reckoning. The controversy that embroiled enterprise software maker Basecamp this week began more than a decade ago, with a simple list of customers. Around 2009, Basecamp customer service representatives began keeping a list of names that they found funny. More than a decade later, current employees were so mortified by the practice that none of them would give me a single example of a name on the list.
Discussion about the list and how the company ought to hold itself accountable for creating it led directly to CEO Jason Fried announcing Tuesday that Basecamp would ban employees from holding “societal and political discussions” on the company’s internal chat forums. The move, which has sparked widespread discussion in Silicon Valley, follows a similar move from cryptocurrency company Coinbase last year.
Employees say the founders’ memos unfairly depicted their workplace as being riven by partisan politics, when in fact the main source of the discussion had always been Basecamp itself.
Seriously loving the writing coming from Casey on Platformer since his departure from The Verge.