On Monday, during a period when many of the world’s most successful companies are starting to embrace greater responsibility for people and our planet, the tech company Basecamp took a very different path: It banned the idea of “social good” entirely.
According to an internal message from founders Jason Fried and David Hansson, Basecamp will no longer tolerate any discussion of what they call “societal politics” on the company dime, and it will eliminate any efforts to create value for stakeholders above and beyond the bottom line. The move follows a very similar announcement by Coinbase late last year.
“There’s no pleasing everyone,” Fried wrote, explaining the move. “There are too many unique perspectives, experiences, and individuals.” (His emphasis, not mine.)
Ah, those pesky individuals. Of course, he’s referring to the human beings who work for him—the ones who have built Basecamp into a company valued at $100 billion and made Fried and Hansson into very…