Minimalist management with David Heinemeier Hansson

After over 20 years in business and despite being responsible for a larger-than-ever team, David still finds plenty of time to get his hands in the code and build new products himself. We run significantly younger companies and significantly smaller teams and even we can't seem to find the space to do that, so we talked to DHH about how he makes it possible.

Discuss this episode on Twitter →

  • (00:00) - “Why the fuck did I do this?”
  • (06:20) - What is minimalist management?
  • (10:56) - Should you need to be a trained life coach to be allowed to hire people?
  • (16:12) - Using systems to provide career progression guidance
  • (18:50) - What do David’s days usually look like?
  • (27:13) - What are David’s responsibilities at Basecamp, and what are people counting on him for day-to-day?
  • (29:38) - How David and Jason use their Shape Up framework to give people more responsibility at Basecamp
  • (36:30) - Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable when giving people more responsibility
  • (45:54) - Letting people go when they can't live up to the responsibility
  • (47:14) - What systems do the 37signals team rely on that that haven't already been talked about publicly?
  • (50:04) - Letting people make decisions you may have to correct and being comfortable correcting them
  • (55:03) - Radical candor and redirecting feedback
  • (01:00:55) - How to say no to opportunities and being willing to take risks
  • (01:11:22) - Learning to stop worrying when you finally do succeed


Creators and Guests

Adam Wathan
Adam Wathan
Creator of Tailwind CSS.
Ben Orenstein
Ben Orenstein
Co-founder and CEO of Tuple.
Creator of Ruby on Rails & cofounder of 37signals
Minimalist management with David Heinemeier Hansson
Broadcast by