Now Available: Basecamp’s New Book, ‘It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work’

It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work is the latest book by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp, and it’s one we’ve been looking forward to for a while now. As of nearly a week ago, it’s finally come out, and it was absolutely worth the wait.

This book takes everything you’ve ever heard/read about the insane, grueling, “always on” nature of startup culture and flips it on its head, pushing hard against the entire concept:

Instead, IDHTBCAW is all about growing a company that not only takes care of its customers, but also its own people. Crazy, right? As one particularly fascinating chapter points out, Basecamp doesn’t even track metrics in any conventional sense:

At the company level at Basecamp it’s not hyperbole. I’m not speaking for individuals, but as a company we don’t have sales targets, performance metrics anyone is personally judged on, or anything that would resemble a measurable goal in any traditional sense of the word.

Here’s an excerpt from the book that’ll give you an idea what to expect:

Out of the 60, 70, or 80 hours a week many people are expected to pour into work, how many of those hours are really spent on the work itself? And how many are tossed away in meetings, lost to distraction, and withered away by inefficient businesses practices? The bulk of them.

The answer isn’t more hours, it’s less bull****. Less waste, not more production. And far fewer distractions, less always-on anxiety, and avoiding stress.

Stress is passed from organization to employee, from employee to employee, and then from employee to customer. Stress never stops at the border of work, either. It bleeds into life. It infects your relationships with your friends, your family, your kids.

The promises keep coming. More time-management hacks. More ways to communicate. And new demands keep piling up. To pay attention to more conversations in more places, to respond within minutes. Faster and faster, for what?

If it’s constantly crazy at work, we have two words for you: F*** that. And two more: Enough already.

I don’t care if you can’t stomach most business books — put that revulsion aside and pick this one up now. If you’re already running a company or ever intend to grow one, it will change your entire outlook.

Get the book in these formats: