Studio Madfish

[image:headings/heading-news.jpg]

 

This is our page - our page to let you know what we dig, what we think is fun, awesome or just flat out WICKED  Plus, we have some feeds coming in from some of our favourite technology sources...so geek up folks!

 

100 GREAT Things About America | Happy 4th USA

 

It's time for a breather, America. Fire up the grill, ice down the drinks, and pop open that patio umbrella. Health care, the oil spill, Afghanistan, China, Elena Kagan and financial reform will all be waiting on Tuesday, July 6th. We promise. What won't be, though, is the chance to lean back and remember why we care enough about our country to spar over these things and in the end, remain united.

 

Read More

 


 

Superyacht transforms into 'pleasure submarine''

 

From inside it looks like a swanky bachelor pad, kitted out with an abnormally large aquarium. But, this is no fashionable New York apartment, rather the latest in sub-aquatic luxury -- a cruise yacht that doubles up as a submarine.

 

Read More

 


 

 


 

Technology News | Reuters

 

U.s. Congressional Leaders Query Google On Tracking Database

24 Apr 2019

Top U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday wrote to Google's chief executive raising concerns about reports of a massive database known as Sensorvault that allegedly contains precise consumer location information from hundreds of millions of devices.

 

Softbank Group Looks To Buy 5 Pct Of Payment Firm Wirecard: Bloomberg

24 Apr 2019

Japan's SoftBank Group Corp is looking to acquire a 5 percent stake in German payments company Wirecard AG, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

 

Snap Restarts User Growth With Original Shows, Android Overhaul

24 Apr 2019

Snap Inc's original shows and rebuilt Android app helped it add Snapchat users for the first time in three quarters and top analyst revenue forecasts, but that was not enough to push its shares much higher after a sharp run-up this year.

 

 


 

Technology News | CNET

 

Tesla Models S And X Get More Range, New Lease On Life     - Roadshow

24 Apr 2019

Tesla's aging Model S sedan and Model X SUV just got a bit of an upgrade, now offering up to 370 miles of range on a charge.

 

Hackers Hit Atlanta Hawks Shop With Malware That Steals Credit Card Information     - Cnet

24 Apr 2019

There's a technical foul on the Hawks fan shop, says a security analyst. The team says it's investigating.

 

Avengers: Endgame Review -- Three-hour Marvel Thrill Ride Tops Infinity War     - Cnet

24 Apr 2019

Spoiler-free: The Russo brothers' engrossing, wholly satisfying MCU superhero epic doesn't leave a second to spare.

 

 


 

Technology News | Wired

 

Trump’s Twitter Meeting, An Ethereum Thief, And More News

24 Apr 2019

Catch up on the most important news today in 2 minutes or less.

 

What’s Known About The Spacex Crew Dragon Accident

24 Apr 2019

During engine tests of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft this past Saturday, the vehicle experienced what the company has characterized as an "anomaly."

 

Like Guns, Social Media Is A Weapon That Should Be Regulated

24 Apr 2019

In the wake of the massacres in Sri Lanka, the government imposed a social media blackout. This may be a turning point in the way we think about how to control big platforms.

 

 


 

Apple Hot News | Apple

 

Apple Reports Second Quarter Results

27 Apr 2016

Apple today announced financial results for its fiscal 2016 second quarter ended March 26. The company posted quarterly revenue of $50.6 billion and quarterly net income of $10.5 billion, or $1.90 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $58 billion and net income of $13.6 billion, or $2.33 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.4 percent compared to 40.8 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 67 percent of the quarter’s revenue. “Our team executed extremely well in the face of strong macroeconomic headwinds,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “We are very happy with the continued strong growth in revenue from Services, thanks to the incredible strength of the Apple ecosystem and our growing base of over 1 billion active devices.”

 

Final Cut Pro X Helps Small Company Delight World’s Biggest Clients

21 Apr 2016

When Trim Editing started creating music videos over a decade ago, just paying the rent was a huge accomplishment. Now, the small East London company is crafting award-winning visuals for big brands — like Audi, Nike, Adidas, and Guinness — propelled by the power of Final Cut Pro X. The video editing software’s comprehensive features allow Trim Editing to organize film and audio clips, pull together compelling projects, and make changes on the fly. “When I’m playing back an edit for a director, they’ll say, ‘Okay, let’s go and make those changes I talked about.’ I’ll say, ‘Oh, no, they’re already done,’ and we’ll jump back and watch it again. People can’t believe that I’ve magically done the change before we even finish playback,” says editor Thomas Grove Carter.

 

Apple Introduces 9.7-inch Ipad Pro

22 Mar 2016

Apple today introduced the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, which at just under one pound features a new pro Retina display with greater brightness, wider color gamut, lower reflectivity, Night Shift mode, and new True Tone display technology. The new iPad Pro also has a 64-bit A9X chip that rivals most portable PCs. “iPad Pro is a new generation of iPad that is indispensable and immersive, enabling people to be more productive and more creative. It’s incredibly fast, extremely portable, and completely natural to use with your fingers, Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard. And now it comes in two sizes,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.

 

 


 

Apple News | CNET News

 

Tesla Models S And X Get More Range, New Lease On Life     - Roadshow

24 Apr 2019

Tesla's aging Model S sedan and Model X SUV just got a bit of an upgrade, now offering up to 370 miles of range on a charge.

 

Hackers Hit Atlanta Hawks Shop With Malware That Steals Credit Card Information     - Cnet

24 Apr 2019

There's a technical foul on the Hawks fan shop, says a security analyst. The team says it's investigating.

 

Avengers: Endgame Review -- Three-hour Marvel Thrill Ride Tops Infinity War     - Cnet

24 Apr 2019

Spoiler-free: The Russo brothers' engrossing, wholly satisfying MCU superhero epic doesn't leave a second to spare.

 

 


 

37 Signals

 

Do I Truly Want To Become A Manager?

24 Apr 2019

We don’t ask ourselves this enough. Here are 6 critical questions to reflect on when considering if you should become a manager or not. When we’re asked, “Do you want to become a manager?” we often assume there is only one answer. “Oh, of course I want to be a manager.” Right? Who doesn’t? Especially when becoming a manager is seen as the primary path of upward progression in a person’s career. But do you  truly  want to become a manager? Management is not some sacred club reserved for the hallowed few. Rather, deciding to become a manager should be viewed as one might decide to become a garbage disposal collector or a parking meter attendant: If you’re doing it, you’re doing it for a reason. It’s not for everyone. In this sense, management is like any other job: There are pros and cons, specific skills, proclivities, and a  mindset  called for. And as a result, not everyone should feel compelled to aspire toward it. If you don’t love food, you shouldn’t be a chef. If you’re not into buildings, you shouldn’t be an architect. And if you’re not excited about certain things managers do (which I’ll share in a moment), you likely shouldn’t want to become a manager. Many of us learn this the hard way. Just the other week, I talked to a Vice President of Engineering who had promoted someone who’d expressed a strong desire to become a manager. A year into the role, this person he’d promoted was miserable. He realized he didn’t like his day-to-day tasks a manager, and he wasn’t very good at it. Now he’s happily back to being a senior-level individual contributor. This VP of Engineering is not alone. In their research,  Gallup  has found that companies choose the wrong manager 82% of the time. Often times, folks are promoted as managers because of their strengths as an individual contributor – but those strengths don’t necessarily translate to their role as a manager. A manager in on our online community  The Watercooler  in  Know Your Team  had experienced this firsthand. He frankly shared with the other 1,000+ members: “I had a tough time as a first time manager because I quickly and painfully realized that the skillset that got me noticed and moved me up to manager were not the same that would get the job done or help me keep it.” Consequently, the question, “Do I really want become a manager?” becomes paramount. We can’t rely on others’ suggestion or affirmation that “Yes” to that question is the right answer. We have to dig deeper. As you ponder “Do I truly want to become a manager?” for yourself, here are 6 critical questions to reflect on…. How much do you enjoy being in “flow” at work? Positive psychologist ‎ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi  famously  described  “flow” as an optimal state of consciousness where you are “completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies.” Pursuits like painting or rock climbing are often associated with flow – but perhaps you’ve felt it at work as a designer or a writer or programmer. As a manager, this state of flow is less common, if not non-existent. You aren’t diving deep on a task during an uninterrupted block of time, as required in flow – you’re the one helping  others  dive deep on a task. You’re also not receiving immediate feedback about your progress in the same way you would as an individual contributor, which is another  critical element  of flow. As a manager, you might not find out until months later if a decision you made or a conversation you had positively or adversely affected your team. If you relish being in flow, weigh how important the frequency of that experience is for you. As a manager, you’ll have to accept that you’re not going to be in it as often as you were when you were an individual contributor. Or, understand that you may have to find ways to reprogram what your original requirements for flow were. Does repeating yourself drive you crazy? You may be thinking to yourself, “Well, Claire, who doesn’t get at least a little annoyed when they have to repeat themselves?” Surely, it’s not the most fun thing to do. However, as a manager, you’ll find yourself doing it all the time, no matter how adept you are at communicating. It’s your primary job as a manager, in many ways: To share, explain, reinforce, ask questions, share more, explain more, and ask more questions, over and over again, all the time. As Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse has  expressed this on our podcast : “You have to over-communicate. […] And it feels really painful to be a leader like, ‘Oh my God, I have to say this again? Why are we doing this thing?’ And it turns out, yeah, you do, because people can’t read your mind.” Yes, people can’t read your mind – and they shouldn’t have to. The best managers bear the burden of making what’s implicit explicit, so their team can function well. But if the idea of doing that – communicating constantly, all the time, over and over – sounds exhausting, you don’t want to become a manager. How big of a control freak are you? One of the hardest things to reconcile as a leader is how much you have to let go. Most new managers tacitly know this going into the job – they’ll have to delegate, not work on too many project details, support people on projects, etc. But in reality, how tight is your grip? Do you have a tendency to be a bit of a control freak (be honest ;-))? Do you see yourself often as “the only person who can do X?” I remember  interviewing Laura Roeder , CEO of MeetEdgar, on this topic, and how she’d gained a ton of clarity on the degree to which good leaders must relinquish control. She said: “You realize that what you’re really saying is ‘I’m the only person in the world who can do this and I’m the best. I am the greatest at reconciling PayPal downloads that this world has ever seen.’ And that’s really absurd.” If you find joy in the meddling of details in projects, if you’re aghast at the idea of giving control away, if being the “the only person who can do X” gives you a sense of purpose in your work – that’s fantastic! However, it also mean being manager might not be for you. Do you like to play detective? The best managers understand that they’re not managing people – they’re managing an  environment  with interacting elements of dynamics, past experiences, relationships, cultural influences, and more. So as a manager, it’s up to you to figure out:  What is really going on here? What is motivating this team member? Why might she be frustrated with this team member? What is the true underlying cause of why this other team member is struggling?  You have to ask questions, be relentlessly curious, and uncover the truth of a situation. You have to play detective. For some, trying to discover the nuances of people, personality, temperaments, and relationships, and then trying to piece them together is absurdly draining. For others, it’s fascinating, stimulating work. Consider which of the to two it is for you, before deciding to become a manager. What is your default reaction to conflict? You will never be able to make everyone happy as a manager. Nor should that be your goal. When you try to  please others , you do your team a disservice. You start making compromises and decisions that are in the best interest of you looking good, instead of what is best for your team as a whole. In  The CEO Next Door , the authors cite how the best leaders must keep their stakeholders “constructively dissatisfied” in order to move the team productively forward. Getting people to like you is not your purpose as a leader. Should your natural disposition be to avoid conflict, to want everyone to always be happy and like you, you may want to reconsider becoming a manager. How disciplined are you with your time (really)? As  Peter Drucker , the seminal scholar on management of the 20th century has espoused , an effective executive is one who knows how exactly to spend her time. If you can’t  manage your own time , schedule, and priorities, you can’t expect to help your team to manage theirs. This sentiment was reinforced by a  Watercooler  member who shared with us in online community managers from all over the world, “Shocking news, being a manager is not about managing other people, it’s about effectively and efficiently managing yourself as a resource (your time, productivity, logic aka brain power etc) which then transcends how you manage other people.” You might find yourself discouraged reading this far – you thought you wanted to become a manager, but now maybe you’re not so sure? That’s a good thing! It means you’re being rigorous about what might be a good fit for you personally, instead of assuming the pre-laid path. You’re never going to be a good manager if you do it because you’re “supposed to.” Here’s the other thing: You can develop a propensity for the skills, habits, and outlook that a good manager requires. For instance, while maybe you’re not as disciplined with your time as you’d like, you can focus on setting clearer priorities and following through on them. Or, perhaps if you know you tend to avoid conflict, you can practice how you respond and react to conflict in your current role at work. Regardless, being honest with yourself is what matters. You can now ask yourself, “Do I really want to become a manager?” and know there is more than one answer. Claire  is the CEO of  Know Your Team  – software that helps you avoid becoming a bad boss. Her company was spun-out of Basecamp back in 2014. If you were interested, you can read more of Claire’s writing on leadership on the Know Your Team  blog .

 

Unplugged From The Matrix

24 Apr 2019

The title of this post is how Kenneth Coats described the feeling of leaving his office job to start his own business. After he unplugged from the Matrix, he simply couldn’t return—not even when a challenge from the Illinois Attorney General forced him to shut down his first venture, a service to help people expunge their arrest records. In this episode of the Rework podcast , Kenneth shares the story of how he pivoted, and the drastic move he took to make sure he couldn’t go back to his old work life.

 

Everybody Helps: The Evolution Of All-hands Support

22 Apr 2019

All-hands support can be a touchy subject for customer support professionals. When you ask designers and programmers to reply directly to customers’ questions, doesn’t that imply that anyone can do our job? At Basecamp, we learned the hard way that you shouldn’t expect other people to be able to do the work of your support team. The good news, which I shared at the  Support Driven Expo Europe 2019, is that we’ve found new ways to leverage people’s existing skills into valuable work which helps improve things for our customers, our team, and the company as a whole. If you’d like to learn more, watch my talk, “Everybody helps: the evolution of all-hands support”: https://m.signalvnoise.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/James-Glazebrook-Everybody-Helps_-The-Evolution-Of-All-Hands-Support.mp4 If this sounds promising, I have some tips on rolling out all-hands support at your company. And if you’d prefer to read my talk than watch it, click through to the full post. Everybody helps: the evolution of all-hands support I’d like to share how Basecamp has found new ways for people outside of support to help improve things for our customers, our team, and our company as a whole. Six years ago, we launched what most of you would recognise as all-hands support. For one day a month, each person at the company would take a break from designing, programming, or whatever else they usually do to answer emails. We figured that if people heard first-hand how customers use our products, they would come away with ideas for how to improve that usage, and would squash the bugs that get in the way. We called the initiative “Everyone on Support”, EOS for short. Our barrier to entry was pretty low. When we first launched Basecamp, our CEO would respond to all emails himself, so he didn’t have to be sold on the benefits of direct customer contact. And, as a remote company that relies on clear communication, we make sure that everyone we hire is a good writer. So we started off with management buy-in, and a group of people with solid fundamentals we could build on. We scheduled everyone’s shifts, and paired them up with buddies on the support team who could help them find answers to customers’ questions. We thought that Everyone on Support was something that we could just “set and forget”.  We were wrong. When I joined Basecamp a year later, I could sense some frustration and resentment among the people we were asking to join us in the queue. When I took over scheduling, I realised that I’d have to work out how to make that time more fun, more fruitful. I decided to get to the root of those negative feelings, by messaging some EOS participants: Eron, on Ops, told me: I don’t think I’m very useful in the queue. I just take easy cases that I don’t have to bug people about or spend a ton of time researching. And it’s an interruption to the other work I have to do. Jason, a designer, said: The only thing I’d ask is that we always get to feel busy. I’ve not enjoyed shifts where I didn’t seem to be needed. Either the ticket load was light or the support team was too aggressive about grabbing everything out of the queue. And, according to another designer, Kris: It feels like “bring your kid to work day.” I try to get through as many tickets as I can, but I never feel like I’m truly helping. After speaking to people, I realised we were missing the mark when it came to what we’d hoped to accomplish. But what exactly had gone wrong with Everyone on Support? Well, first, we weren’t giving people the support they needed.  When I started at Basecamp, I got 3 weeks of in-person training, followed by 3 months of feedback, before I was considered ready to handle cases on my own. Doing 1 shift a month, it would take someone 6 years to get to this standard! And our EOS people were getting nothing like that level of training. We didn’t have any organised way to onboard them, or to give them ongoing support. And the busier we got, the less support we were able to offer. Around the time I took over EOS, 2 support team members left, and we lost another to parental leave – just as we rolled into our busiest time of year. We were flooded with work, we didn’t have enough people to deal with it, and each support rep went from answering 60 emails a day to answering 150. With an average response time of 3 minutes, we didn’t have any time left over to answer questions from the people joining us on support. And that’s why Eron was cherry-picking the kind of cases he’d dealt with before, not learning anything new, and feeling like he was wasting his time. That busy period is when our team developed an unhealthy obsession with reaching and maintaining Inbox Zero. Even when our workload dropped off and we hired up again, we felt driven to reply to every email as quickly as we could. Hence people like Jason being left with nothing to do. Despite our best intentions, we were expecting EOS people to do our jobs, at our pace, without our training. And if they couldn’t keep up, they were doomed to feeling either useless or overwhelmed. But, I asked myself… Even if we could support people better, and shield them from the pressures faced by our team, should we be expecting them to do the same work as our support professionals? What if, instead, we could use Everyone on Support to get people to do less of our job, and more of their own? What if we could leverage their skills and expertise into truly valuable work that supports us and our customers? So I put EOS on pause for a few months, to try and answer these questions. I spoke to people in the support team and the rest of the company, and uncovered examples of customer-focused work they’d already done outside of the queue. I ran a pilot scheme with Kris, the designer I mentioned earlier, during which we explored what we could achieve in a series of mock support shifts. We collaborated on a kind of farm-to-table product pitch, picking a requested feature, speaking to customers to get to the “why” behind the “what” they’d asked for, scoping out the smallest viable solution for this problem, and presenting it to the company. And I pulled out parts of the training syllabus for new support hires and worked on documentation of my own, tailored to the unique position people found themselves in when they took part in EOS. When I relaunched EOS about 18 months ago, I wanted to reset our ideas, and set some clear expectations for the initiative. The key to this was a simple guide called “What Everyone on Support is (and what it is NOT)”, and this explained *why* we launched the initiative in the first place. Here’s what it told people: Everyone on Support is a chance for each person to talk with our customers on a regular basis. You’ll get a buddy from the support team to work with, and, together, you’ll spend a day helping our customers. You’ll get to see how our customers use Basecamp, the questions they have, and the problems they run into. Along the way, you’ll help to squash bugs, dig into ways to make our existing features better, and unearth promising new ideas. EOS also helps us to prepare for the unexpected. In an emergency, everyone at the company should be able to jump in and help answer emails. We’re giving you a safe place to practice those skills. It’s a useful training tool. You’ll get to work on all our products, and help us support them ’til the end of the Internet. And for folks in the support team, it’s a regular opportunity to build a bond and a working relationship with you. Finally, Everyone on Support is a valuable reminder about why we’re all here – to help our customers. Without them, the company, its products and our jobs wouldn’t exist. That is, we want to create a customer-focused culture. As well as explaining why we were asking people to get involved, my intro guide laid out some goals about *how* we plan to achieve those things: EOS is not a way to bolster the coverage of the support team. There’s no ticket quotas or targets, no pressure, no cracking of whips. If we have a capacity problem, we’ll solve it with our own resources. EOS shouldn’t be a chore. We want you to learn, to fix, to glean insights – not to smash that queue headfirst. If a programmer spends their whole EOS shift squashing a bug that’s been bothering us for a while, that’s a win. And it shouldn’t be boring. The support requests never stop, so if you find yourself with nothing to do, we’re doing it wrong! Chat with your buddy, and they’ll help find something helpful to work on. Here, I’m telling participants in Everyone on Support three very important things: You have freedom.  You’re free to join us on emails without the weight of expectations that the support team carries, and you’re free to stay out of the queue if there’s something else you’d prefer to work on. You should feel empowered – to decide how to spend your time, and where to devote the very skills you were hired to flex. And we’re going to communicate with you, to make sure you have something helpful to work on, and all the support you need to get going. Finally, we’ll make it safe for you to speak up if you feel like you aren’t getting what you should be out of the experience. So, that’s the theory behind Basecamp’s new approach to all-hands support. But how does this work in practice? First, we still require people to answer customer emails. But we do so intentionally, with some simple aims in mind. Each person’s first two support shifts are spent in the queue with their buddy. The buddy will make sure people have access to all the tools they need to help a customer, and that they know how to use them. They also make sure that they’re striking the right tone in their emails, connecting with the customer as a human, and being as helpful as possible. And they’ll ensure that their EOS charge can help someone get logged in, a baseline requirement for everyone at the company. After two email shifts, it’s up to people how they spend their EOS time. They can work on anything they like, as long as that work will help our customers, or help the support team to help them, and can be scoped to a single working day, or broken down into day-long chunks. We start each shift with a conversation about what the person wants to do or see that day, and end it with a discussion about what they achieved and learned. If they’re feeling uninspired, we have some suggestions for what to work on, with real examples that have come out of EOS. And, if none of that takes their fancy, they can jump back into the email queue, so the customers can open their eyes to new use cases, issues and ideas. So that’s how Everyone on Support is now supposed to work. But is it working? It sure is! I’d like to share some of wins we’ve had in the last year and a half, work that lives up to the expectations we outlined earlier: First, we gained insights – about Basecamp’s customers, how they use our products, and how we can help improve that. Basecamp has this feature called automatic check-ins, and we use that to share what we’ve been working on. People used to talk about how few tickets they’d resolved, and how bad that made them feel. At the end of their shifts they dwelled on the “dubious” distinction of their “all-time low” figures. Now they talk about how much they learned while on support, focusing on the quality of their customer interactions, rather than the quantity. A couple of highlights from our heads of product.  Jason, our CEO: I focused on feature requests. Always a fun day talking to customers, hearing what’s on their minds. Got some good ideas about groups and roles. Ryan, product strategy: Taking requests from people who haven’t bought yet is helpful for figuring out what we could better explain on the marketing site. But those insights would be nothing if we didn’t do anything with them. In 2018, we made 30 (three zero) improvements for my team and our customers. Those changes included: Squashed bugs, updates to our products, pitches and explorations, and new and improved tooling for the support team. A good example of this is some work that a developer, Zach, did on our iOS app.  Recently, App Store review guidelines forced us to remove trial sign-up from the app, and we started to get emails from confused prospects who’d downloaded it and didn’t know what to do next. Zach heard these complaints and wanted to do something to help. During a single EOS shift, he defined the problem, asked for the support team’s input, dug into customer conversations for insights, then pitched and deployed a solution. As well as redesigning the UI to make it clear what prospects should do if they don’t yet have an account, Zach set up a system to track signup issues, so he could test his changes and look out for other improvements to make in upcoming support shifts. Changes like this are significant, because they show how, with EOS, we’re going beyond just answering customers’ immediate questions, to lightening their load in the long term, by clarifying, fixing and improving the things they’re bringing to our attention. On top of all this, we’re much better prepared to respond to emergencies. Last November, Basecamp experienced its worst code red in about a decade, during which our primary product was stuck in read-only mode for nearly five hours. That meant that hundreds of thousands of people weren’t able to work, and they wanted to know why – and when they would be able to get back to business. While I was helping to coordinate our response, I headed to our emergency chat channel, and I noticed a message from Tom: I’ve been replying to people on Help Scout. Hope that has been helpful. Tom’s a developer on the product side.  He held no responsibility for fixing the problem, or for responding to customers about it. But, because of EOS, he appreciates the work my team does, and feels empowered to step in and start doing what he can to help – without having to be asked. And it wasn’t just Tom.  While Basecamp got fixed, other developers were replying to emails, as well as designers, podcast producers, even our founders. As Scott, a product designer, said: You guys! You have our backs every day — it’s the least we can do. And, now that we offer appropriate resources and support, Everyone on Support is a great training tool , for introducing new employees to the business, helping everyone get to grips with Basecamp, and reminding them of the legacy products we’ve committed to supporting until the end of the Internet. Here’s what one of our newer hires had to say about that : Great times buddying up with James and rocking some interesting puzzles. Today I learned quite a bit more about Basecamp 2 and Basecamp Classic. I’m Matthew’s buddy for Everyone on Support, and, with him on Ops and me on support, we’d only otherwise overlap when things go wrong.  Because of EOS, we’ve built a working relationship far more quickly than we would have without it. So Everyone on Support is bringing together people in different teams with different experiences. It’s one of the few formal ways we have at Basecamp to understand each other’s jobs better, how they fit together, and how that collective work serves to benefit our customers. That’s an appreciation that Flora, a product developer, took away from her very first support shift: It was good to be reminded of how many people use Basecamp and care about it. I was impressed by how much our customers take the time to write a detailed explanation of what they’d like Basecamp to have. The whole experience made me appreciate the work that the support team does even more. At Basecamp, we’re in the privileged position of having no outside investors or shareholders to answer to.  We decide what to work on, and when, which problems to tackle, and how. We don’t share our plans, don’t have a public roadmap, and we’re free to change, delay or scrap any work we’re undertaking at any time. But that doesn’t mean we’re beholden to no one, it means that we only answer to our customers.  By opening up a direct channel with them, Everyone on Support helps to close the gap between our plans for the product, and the customers’ hopes for it. As well as helping to centre the customer in everything the company does , Everyone on Support has had other lasting effects on our culture. To borrow a vivid phrase from Jeremy, our head of security, it’s helped the support team to infect Basecamp like a “merciless empathy virus”. One of Basecamp’s company values is generosity, and working on support is the best way to put that value to the test. We’re constantly giving customers the benefit of the doubt, taking care to decode their requests and encode our responses in language they’ll understand, going the extra mile to anticipate their future needs, and doing so in a human and helpful way that will make their day go a little better. On the support team, we try to model that kind of behaviour when working with each other. By inviting others into this generous working environment, we encourage them to practice compassion with each other as well, and that’s changed the company culture we’re all a part of. EOS is where company values like being straightforward, fair, generous and independent, intersect with our support values of being human, empowered and responsive, and where all of that is put to the test. It’s where everyone at the company is encouraged to embody those values, to live them. So that’s how we’ve taken all-hands support to a much healthier, happier, more productive place than it was two years ago. Through all of this, I’ve learned the importance of: Dedicated resource : one or more people need to take responsibility for keeping an initiative like this running Clear goals: you shouldn’t ask people to do the support team’s job. Let them know what you do expect of them, and why Choosing your own adventure: give people the freedom to do the kind of work they’re interested in, and good at Celebrating wins:  I regularly share customer feedback and the work people did, and summarise them in larger updates called “heartbeats”, the first of which included the contributions of literally everyone in the company! If you track results and celebrate people’s achievements, it’ll give them confidence in all-hands support Living your values: make sure that whatever you set up aligns with the values of the company and your support team. Listening: this is the only way I could find out what was wrong with EOS and how to fix it. I still have more work to do to make sure all-hands support works for everyone, and I’m going to start by asking them about it. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve set up all-hands support at your company, or are thinking of doing so.  You can hit me up in the comments below!

 

 

 

Back