Product details

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Abstract

As founders of the software company Basecamp, Jason Fried and David H Hansson were used to being the subjects of social media attention. Both maintained active and dedicated Twitter followings for their unique perspectives on management and life. But on April 26, 2021, Fried and Hansson found themselves in the spotlight for a very different reason: they had just publicly announced a new policy that would curtail the discussion of politics at work. The co-founders argued that this policy would prevent distractions and polarizing political differences that Basecamp employees could not hope to resolve amicably or productively. But just one day later, a number of their employees reached out to a journalist to report that Fried and Hansson were simply using their new policy to chill dissent about problematic practices within the company. The subsequent expos yielded public outcry, and the co-founders were firmly in the crosshairs. In response, Fried held an all-hands meeting at the company to address the events, but tensions quickly escalated. Two hours into the meeting, one of his employees challenged Fried to publicly denounce another employee who had voiced an opinion on matters of racial bias and white supremacy that some viewed as deeply troubling. Basecamp, Fried had argued, could not afford to get distracted by talking politics at work. But could it afford not to?
Location:
Size:
< 50 million; Small
Other setting(s):
2021

About

Abstract

As founders of the software company Basecamp, Jason Fried and David H Hansson were used to being the subjects of social media attention. Both maintained active and dedicated Twitter followings for their unique perspectives on management and life. But on April 26, 2021, Fried and Hansson found themselves in the spotlight for a very different reason: they had just publicly announced a new policy that would curtail the discussion of politics at work. The co-founders argued that this policy would prevent distractions and polarizing political differences that Basecamp employees could not hope to resolve amicably or productively. But just one day later, a number of their employees reached out to a journalist to report that Fried and Hansson were simply using their new policy to chill dissent about problematic practices within the company. The subsequent expos yielded public outcry, and the co-founders were firmly in the crosshairs. In response, Fried held an all-hands meeting at the company to address the events, but tensions quickly escalated. Two hours into the meeting, one of his employees challenged Fried to publicly denounce another employee who had voiced an opinion on matters of racial bias and white supremacy that some viewed as deeply troubling. Basecamp, Fried had argued, could not afford to get distracted by talking politics at work. But could it afford not to?

Settings

Location:
Size:
< 50 million; Small
Other setting(s):
2021

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