Leaving aside the efficacy of the new policy changes, would any of us have cared if they’d just done it internally? Would we know about this list of customer names if they’d not drawn attention to themselves?
I’m honestly having a really hard time understanding why they thought that first post was a good idea, especially given the internal context. The only explanation I can come up with is that they’re just addicted to the attention of being industry “thought leaders” and thought that this would let them get public kudos for going in a brave new direction. Instead all they got was an eminently predictable PR fiasco and a glowing write up in ... Breitbart. Whoops.
I think you could make the argument that it still is better not to post it publicly because even if it gets leaked it still is better for the company, but I do take the other side on that. Companies should be transparent about their values.
No, what makes this a real humdinger is the repeated reinforced narrative that something bad is happening at Basecamp. Starting this drumbeat of negative press was entirely optional and self inflicted. It also appears that they could’ve done more internally to defuse the situation and basically went in the opposite direction.
> they would have had to address it anyway.
The standard corporate denial would’ve been way more effective if they’d not just drawn a huge amount of attention to themselves.
> Companies should be transparent about their values.
Ah, but this wasn’t transparent, at all. It was really a form of subtweet, we now know. You don’t get transparency credit when you’re being passive aggressive towards unnamed workers.
It's sad and scary that we've reached a point as a society where this can even begin to become such an issue and where a company like Basecamp can be dragged into the current inquisitionist atmosphere. Best wishes to DHH and team.
- Basecamp's initial policy change by Jason Fried: https://world.hey.com/jason/changes-at-basecamp-7f32afc5 (Discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=26944192)
- DHH's post on the changes: https://world.hey.com/dhh/basecamp-s-new-etiquette-regarding...
- DHH's follow up post: https://world.hey.com/dhh/mosaics-of-positions-ae6d4d9e
- Article detailing insider account of this policy change: https://www.platformer.news/p/-what-really-happened-at-basec...
And then this is DHH's response to the article.
It surely takes some balls to say this.
This is not how any leader should behave. It's a childish passive aggressive bullying power move by the most powerful person at a company. It's disrespectful to that employee by the person at the top of the ladder. That sends waves of signals to everyone else and that alone to me would be a reason for DHH to resign because how are employees supposed to work respectfully with each other if their leader is so openly disrespecting another employee who is in a huge power imbalance to him.
That's extremely poor behaviour to say the least.
Having read the letter they reported it's clear the employee is fucking nuts.