#74 – Jason Fried: Optimizing efficiency and work-life balance

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By Peter Attia, MD, Peter Attia, and MD. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In this episode, Jason Fried, co-founder of Basecamp, shares his beliefs around achieving business success in a modern world which tends to disproportionately focus on the massive success stories (the outliers). Jason gives his honest take on companies like WeWork, Uber, and Lyft that may give off the appearance of wild success but may instead provide an example of the dangers of perverse incentives. We get into Jason’s backstory, and how his affinity for optimizing efficiency and production in the workplace culminated with the creation of Basecamp, his very successful web-based project management software business. Perhaps most importantly, we get really deep into all aspects of work-life balance and what it really means to “work hard” (Stay tuned for an AMA-style deep dive into the topic of work-life balance with Jason in the near future). In addition, Jason provides many more valuable nuggets including thoughts on some common mistakes made by businesses today, the value of giving employees autonomy, how to take the right types of risks, why he doesn’t set any goals, and much, much more.

We discuss:

  • Jason’s background and his early entrepreneurial spirit [9:45];
  • Views on completing higher education and the notion of hard work [24:00];
  • Beliefs around success in business [35:00];
  • WeWork, Uber, and Lyft: Poor business practices and the dangers of perverse incentives [41:30];
  • Jason’s early career: his redesign approach and personal motivation [56:00];
  • The genesis of Basecamp [1:10:00];
  • Why Jason does not set goals but instead focuses on a vision [1:12:15];
  • Workplace motivation and hiring practice [1:20:30];
  • The importance of luck and not overworking [1:32:00];
  • A framework to work less and optimize for workplace autonomy [1:38:00];
  • The importance of saying ‘no’ more often (and tips for doing so) [1:55:00];
  • A shared passion for watches [2:03:30];
  • Guarding against the perils of phone addiction [2:08:45];
  • Jason’s views on email and chat for communication [2:15:00] and;
  • More.

Learn more: https://peterattiamd.com/ Show notes page for this episode:peterattiamd.com/jasonfried Subscribe to receive exclusive subscriber-only content: https://peterattiamd.com/subscribe/ Sign up to receive Peter's email newsletter: https://peterattiamd.com/newsletter/ Connect with Peter on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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