30 votes

Inside the all-hands meeting that led to a third of Basecamp employees quitting

39 comments

  1. [2]
    wycy
    Link
    Not sure I've ever heard passive racism described quite so well. I'm impressed someone managed to be this eloquent during such an emotional, charged meeting.

    “Racism [and] white supremacy are not things that are so convenient that they only happen when full intention is present, or true malice is present,” the employee said. “Evil is not required. We’re not so lucky as for this to come down to good and evil. It’s as simple as creating a space where people do not feel welcome.”

    The employee continued: “The silence in the background is what racism and white supremacy does. It creates that atmosphere that feels suffocating to people. It doesn’t require active malice. It’s not that convenient.”

    Not sure I've ever heard passive racism described quite so well. I'm impressed someone managed to be this eloquent during such an emotional, charged meeting.

    31 votes
    1. kfwyre
      Link Parent
      I thought the same thing. Kudos to that employee for their skill in communicating that, especially with the clear tensions present on the call and in the staff culture.

      I thought the same thing. Kudos to that employee for their skill in communicating that, especially with the clear tensions present on the call and in the staff culture.

      13 votes
  2. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    The first school I taught in was in a city with a prominent black population. During that time (and especially in the years since) when I brought up that I taught there, I would often get asked...
    • Exemplary

    The first school I taught in was in a city with a prominent black population.

    During that time (and especially in the years since) when I brought up that I taught there, I would often get asked about the “weird names” of any students I had. This was often the product of curiosity or just idle smalltalk, and, more often than not, once that topic was introduced, the conversation took a specific and surprisingly common turn.

    The person I was talking with would begin to tell me about La-a.

    La-a was always the “real” name of a “real” student, but it was always from some distant second- or third-hand source: a friend of a friend, or cousin who “knew someone” who was a teacher.

    People would bring up the story because La-a is meant to be read as “la dash a”, and the thrust of the story was always that we should laugh at how absurd that is. I believe that people were compelled to share this with me as a way of finding a shared topical space with me, and a “fun” one at that. “You teach? Let me tell you this funny teacher story!” It was almost always done in a way that was inviting — a commiseration on a common ground.

    Occasionally the subtext was heavier and more mean-spirited: that the person who named La-a was ignorant or uneducated, that the person naming La-a was eroding the English language, or that it’s presumptuous for people to want a name like La-a pronounced correctly. These implications were less common and certainly troubling, but what was honestly more troubling was that I had this same story come up so many different times that I was even able to see its myriad angles in the first place.

    The actual story of La-a is a likely untrue but definitely racist apocryphal story (note: this article uses the spelling “Le-a”). Whether or not the story was actually true is mostly irrelevant though, because it was believed to be true, and it took hold of people’s attention in a powerful way. It was not a local phenomenon, nor a time-limited one. I have had people talk with me about La-a over the course of a decade, in multiple different cities, in multiple different states. I’m confident enough in the story’s social omnipresence that I’d wager that many of the other American users on this site have heard it themselves.

    The first couple of times it happened I just kind of chuckled along and mentioned that, yeah, I had some students with some unique names too. It wasn’t until it kept coming up over and over again that I started to get aggravated by it. The story of La-a and, by proxy, my students with unique names, weren’t ever looked at fondly. Nobody ever said that her name was clever or memorable or interesting or unique in a positive way. Instead, the person talking with me was always assuming I was equally judgmental of the name’s perceived absurdity or vanity.

    After a couple of years at that school and in that community, I started to get really bothered by this, especially because I’d come to deeply care about my students and especially because I had a mental list of “awesome names” that I thought were so, so cool on account of their novelty or construction. I had a student whose first name was a full, complete sentence. It’s unique enough that to type it here would be identifying, but it was also clever enough and meaningful enough that it worked as a name.

    And, with her, nobody even batted an eye. It was her name. Simple as that. Nobody ever laughed at her or questioned her about her name or implied her parents were unintelligent or presumptuous. It was her name, the fundamental unit and label of who she was, and we accepted that. Why wouldn’t we? It’s a courtesy we afford to literally everyone else. Why should she be an exception?

    Names are mundane things (everyone has one) until they’re not. They’re not mundane when they mean something to us — when they represent who we are. They’re also not mundane when they’re used against us. Everyone knows the feeling of their own name being spoken from a frustrated, angry, or disappointed mouth, for example.

    The story of La-a isn’t about a name as a mundane thing. It’s not about a girl who goes by a name which is something that everyone has. It’s instead the story of using a name against someone.

    To see that, we have to see the parallel story — the untold one that lives in her name. It’s the story of the people who talk about La-a and what they choose to say about her. They choose not to empathize with someone who might take pride in their unique name and identity. They choose not to approach her name with curiosity or reverence for its clever construction. They choose not to afford her the bare minimum of respect and allow her the dignity and respect of her own name. Instead, they choose to judge her or the person who named her.

    And always implied but never directly stated in the story is that we’re not judging them in isolation: we’re judging people like La-a.

    You know: black people.

    Commiserating about La-a was a racist act taking the most benign, insulated form. It was white people commiserating with white me about one of “those” black names. For contrast, I work in a predominantly white area now and no one has ever asked me about “weird names” in my current school or brought up for a laugh what Grimes or Gwyneth Paltrow named their children. I also have no doubt that if I were black, I never would have found myself in the position of having white people constantly wanting to laugh at La-a with me — because every person sharing that story knew its subtext but thought it was fine as long as we didn’t say that part out loud.

    When you do say that part, it takes the fun out. Even makes people angry a bit — especially if the word “racist” comes up. In my first conversations about La-a I played along: “yeah, I have some students with unique names too”. In later ones, I still accepted the story but reframed it: “yeah, I think that name is clever, and I have lots of students like her with really cool names too!”. By now it’s rare that it comes up, but if it does, I just tell it like it is: “you know that story is a racist fiction, right?”

    The latter is the least fun. It shuts down the party. Everybody was having a grand old time, all lighthearted and laughing, until I had to go and be all serious and judgmental about things, right? Why’d I have to do that, huh?

    I had to do that because I’m tired of abiding someone else’s judgments in the name of fun, and because I’m tired of La-a being white people’s way of quietly othering black people and not affording them a base level of dignity. I’m tired of white people being so passively disrespectful that they will openly laugh at someone’s name and then have the gall to feel that they’re the ones aggrieved when people don’t laugh along with them. But honestly, more than anything else, I’m tired of white people not even realizing there’s a problem in the first place.

    La-a might be a real person, or she might not be. That doesn’t really matter that much, because regardless of whether or not she is real, our society’s mockery of her surely is. When I point that out, I generate friction — a social trouble that almost always pulls more focus than the overlooked and long-standing friction of using her name as a quietly racist referendum in the first place. That’s the parallel story to La-a’s name. The one that we don’t say out loud, but we know is there all the same. The one that intersects with all those other stories and assumptions and judgments we put on people like La-a, whether consciously or not.

    This Basecamp story started with a list of names as laughs. It ended with blowup of a meeting and a third of their workforce leaving. Is that because some people just couldn’t take a joke? Or was it because that joke and other events and interactions had their own parallel stories — ones that maybe weren’t spoken out loud but that still said something significant all the same?

    20 votes
  3. [13]
    stu2b50
    Link
    I would've left too if what was reported really happened. If nothing else, fumbling the "can you denounce white supremacy" question shows a complete failure in leadership. The whole incident makes...

    I would've left too if what was reported really happened. If nothing else, fumbling the "can you denounce white supremacy" question shows a complete failure in leadership. The whole incident makes it seem like Fried and Hansson were caught like deer under headlights (refusing to shut down Singer, then quickly having him resign afterwards when they realized the meeting was not a good look, etc), something which no doubt elicits much schadenfreude from Twitter given how many people have likely attended moralizing talks from them about company culture.

    Although, credit that they extended, rather than closed off, the buyouts once more employees than they expected took it. That and the coincidentally good market for remote work (for context, Basecamp had been fully remote for a long time), and I'd expect all of the employees to leave to be pretty quickly employed. That likely made the decision much easier, so at least they walked their talk there.

    11 votes
    1. JXM
      Link Parent
      Can you imagine how hard it is to whiff the answer to the question, "Can you denounce white supremacy?" Of all the questions a person in his position gets, that has to be one of the easiest, no...

      Can you imagine how hard it is to whiff the answer to the question, "Can you denounce white supremacy?" Of all the questions a person in his position gets, that has to be one of the easiest, no brainer questions to answer.

      8 votes
    2. [11]
      shiruken
      Link Parent
      Caught like deer in headlights despite having the forethought to wipe out years of internal chats prior to announcing the policy change. It's becoming increasingly clear that the "no politics"...

      caught like deer under headlights

      Caught like deer in headlights despite having the forethought to wipe out years of internal chats prior to announcing the policy change. It's becoming increasingly clear that the "no politics" policy announced by the founders was intended to protect Singer.

      About a week before rolling out the policy changes, the founders deleted nearly two decades of internal conversations from previous instances of Basecamp and its other collaboration products. Among other things, this made it more difficult for employees I spoke with to accurately describe past interactions with Singer in the forums.

      3 votes
      1. [7]
        NaraVara
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Doubtful. It sounds like they just deleted everything prior to a certain point because it was all hosted on a previous iteration of their software. Honestly discussion of politics in the workplace...

        Doubtful. It sounds like they just deleted everything prior to a certain point because it was all hosted on a previous iteration of their software.

        Honestly discussion of politics in the workplace does end up pretty toxic, and doing it in an unstructured way via message boards just fosters a cliquey, "mean girls" scene rather than any positive, substantive impact.

        Based on this article it seems like their main mistake was allowing these sorts of discussions to happen in unstructured forums that allowed things to be hijacked and toxified by some pretty histrionic personalities. That's just not a good framework for discussing these things.

        I mean stuff like this is just silly:

        The first part of the meeting was devoted to discussing the events that had unfolded in the company’s internal Basecamp chat last month, in which an employee had cited the Anti-Defamation League’s “pyramid of hate” to argue that documents like the “funny” names list laid a foundation that contributes to racist violence and even genocide.

        You can say the list is bad and condescending and should be gotten rid of with apologies and you'd be right. But if all you know how to do is immediately jump to "YOU'RE BASICALLY COMMITTING GENOCIDE RIGHT NOW!" then like, what the fuck are you doing? That's not a way to talk to people and it's an absurd exaggeration.

        9 votes
        1. [6]
          Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          They didn't say "You're basically committing genocide right now". They, in a chat a month ago, started a discussion about the anti-defamation league's pyramid of hate and described why it is...

          They didn't say "You're basically committing genocide right now". They, in a chat a month ago, started a discussion about the anti-defamation league's pyramid of hate and described why it is important to not let racist ideas become normalized. Unless you've got a source where they say go into this more and show quotes that imply otherwise.

          15 votes
          1. [5]
            NaraVara
            Link Parent
            Leaping to generalizing a specific behavior or offense someone has committed to link it to the most extreme and loaded offense that can be argued as relating to that thing is simply not a useful...

            Leaping to generalizing a specific behavior or offense someone has committed to link it to the most extreme and loaded offense that can be argued as relating to that thing is simply not a useful or helpful way of discussing topics or changing behavior. There is no way you can bring rhetoric like this into a discussion and expect it to unfold productively because it reads as a personal attack. You can't be talking like that with coworkers and expect to continue being able to work together or come to agreement on anything. You can talk this way on the internet because nobody is expected to do productive work here so the negative impact of people stoking bad blood and having flame wars isn't as bad. Not so in a workplace (and, TBH, it makes discussions online awful to participate in too so maybe people should revisit how they do it).

            It is quite easy to argue that making fun of your customers and business partners' names is an assholish thing to do that fosters an assholish culture. It's also something that a reasonable person can disagree with or want to have a discussion about without being painted by a broad brush as being semantically linked to the brownshirts. That doesn't sound like listening to and addressing any arguments that person might want to make in favor of it. It sounds more like trying to dodge needing to argue the particulars of the case at all in favor of finding an excuse one can use to denounce them for failure to kowtow to the approved viewpoint. Anyone who has been raised in an aggressively religious fundamentalist community can recognize this sort of moral posturing and will have a reflexively negative reaction to it.

            This is why discussions on stuff like this need to be moderated. Otherwise arguments inevitably move to being histrionic and get very personal.

            6 votes
            1. [2]
              Micycle_the_Bichael
              Link Parent
              Ok again, do you have some insight here that I am missing? How do you know they leapt to this? How do you know this isn't the escalation of a conversation? How do you know this was presented to...
              • Exemplary

              Leaping to generalizing a specific behavior or offense someone has committed to link it to the most extreme and loaded offense that can be argued as relating to that thing is simply not a useful or helpful way of discussing topics or changing behavior.

              Ok again, do you have some insight here that I am missing? How do you know they leapt to this? How do you know this isn't the escalation of a conversation? How do you know this was presented to IMMEDIATELY link genocide to this specific instance? Maybe their ED&I team used the pyramid of hate in a conversation to explain why having these sorts of conversations is important. You've decided on the when, the why, and the how.

              You can't be talking like that with coworkers and expect to continue being able to work together or come to agreement on anything. You can talk this way on the internet because nobody is expected to do productive work here so the negative impact of people stoking bad blood and having flame wars isn't as bad. Not so in a workplace

              Well, you can't be racist to your coworkers and expect to continue to be able to work together either come to an agreement either. I don't know why you think that the pyramid of hate is the thing that's going to poison the well here and not the racist actions. By the time the pyramid of hate is involved we've already gotten to a point where these relationships are dead. The bad blood is already there.

              10 votes
              1. NaraVara
                Link Parent
                Because that's the context it was raised in. I don't see why the link to violence and genocide needed to be made at all. It's an extremely tenuous link. I very much doubt a company of 57 people...
                • Exemplary

                How do you know this was presented to IMMEDIATELY link genocide to this specific instance?

                Because that's the context it was raised in. I don't see why the link to violence and genocide needed to be made at all. It's an extremely tenuous link.

                Maybe their ED&I team used the pyramid of hate in a conversation to explain why having these sorts of conversations is important.

                I very much doubt a company of 57 people has an ED&I "team." It seems more like that was being handled by a volunteer committee and it's highly unlikely they're seasoned professionals at this. And, quite frankly, that pyramid is pretty reductive and unhelpful at saying anything useful about microaggressions at the workplace for the reasons I pointed out. I don't think just because ADL put it out means it's automatically a good resource to use in this context, if anything that makes me even less inclined to buy into it. ADL themselves deploy this strategy cynically every time they try to run interference on behalf of the state of Israel by conflating even mild criticism of, say, Palestinian settlements with holocaust denial and anti-semitism.

                Well, you can't be racist to your coworkers and expect to continue to be able to work together either come to an agreement either.

                The leap from "you've committed racially insensitive microaggressions" to "you are a racist" is exactly the kind of unhelpful generalization I'm talking about. As a rhetorical move it is designed to elide discussion of the topic itself and jump straight to "accept my take or be denounced." It is not an argument intended to persuade or change perspectives, it is a threat intended to enforce compliance through emotional blackmail. It should not be surprising when people seem unwilling to budge when they're met with threats instead of persuasion.

                This is exactly why I said these are not discussions you can have in unmoderated forums over Slack. Those just turn into gossip mills for forming mean girl cliques to organize shunning circles. People break out into smaller cliques where they workshop how to argue with each other and, in the process, end up stoking their own feelings of ressentiment and forming narratives about each other without really addressing anything productively. They're not useful venues to have edifying discussions on these topics.

                10 votes
            2. [2]
              Gaywallet
              Link Parent
              To be fair, a third of the company left after this meeting. I think there's plenty of inference that can be drawn by this action and to imply that this is jumping to a conclusion too quickly feels...

              Leaping to generalizing a specific behavior or offense someone has committed to link it to the most extreme and loaded offense that can be argued as relating to that thing is simply not a useful or helpful way of discussing topics or changing behavior.

              To be fair, a third of the company left after this meeting. I think there's plenty of inference that can be drawn by this action and to imply that this is jumping to a conclusion too quickly feels like ignoring the circumstances.

              I think it's a fair point to bring up that we should be cautious coming to a conclusion, but it's also unfair to not recognize what evidence we do have that foul things were likely at play.

              7 votes
              1. NaraVara
                Link Parent
                It sounds like this is because the bad blood was allowed to fester. I would lay the blame on the reliance on unmoderated forums to hash this out. They should have hired a "culture" or...

                To be fair, a third of the company left after this meeting.

                It sounds like this is because the bad blood was allowed to fester. I would lay the blame on the reliance on unmoderated forums to hash this out. They should have hired a "culture" or "inclusivity" consultant when the issue was first raised to discuss systemic matters in a moderated, open forum that includes anonymous Q&A sessions. These people work basically like couples' counseling, except it's between leadership and employees or between groups of employees at odds.

                The absence of that leaves people to form little breakout sessions in side-channels where they stew in resentment against each other and draw battle lines. If there were more substantive "foul things" at play, you can bet they'd have been dredged up in these 'tell all' interviews after the fact.

                3 votes
      2. [3]
        vegai
        Link Parent
        How does firing a founding member of a company equal to protecting them?

        It's becoming increasingly clear that the "no politics" policy announced by the founders was intended to protect Singer.

        How does firing a founding member of a company equal to protecting them?

        1 vote
        1. Micycle_the_Bichael
          Link Parent
          Because they only fired him after deleting all the logs that would be used as evidence against him and an absolute failure to brush over the issue twice.

          Because they only fired him after deleting all the logs that would be used as evidence against him and an absolute failure to brush over the issue twice.

          7 votes
        2. JXM
          Link Parent
          The policy was announced before he was fired. He was only let go/left because of the massive blowback from the meeting described in the article.

          The policy was announced before he was fired. He was only let go/left because of the massive blowback from the meeting described in the article.

          7 votes
  4. [14]
    JXM
    (edited )
    Link
    This story is just insane. Imagine being the co-founder of a company, taking a massively important meeting in bed and then just turning off your camera and staying muted the whole time.

    This story is just insane. Imagine being the co-founder of a company, taking a massively important meeting in bed and then just turning off your camera and staying muted the whole time.

    6 votes
    1. [10]
      aphoenix
      Link Parent
      As a CEO, currently in a meeting, wrapped in a blanket, on a couch, I feel personally attacked! Kidding aside, I don't really understand this being a main problem that you've pinpointed. Sometimes...

      As a CEO, currently in a meeting, wrapped in a blanket, on a couch, I feel personally attacked! Kidding aside, I don't really understand this being a main problem that you've pinpointed. Sometimes people feel like crap, but they still identify that the meeting is important, and that they need to be there. Would you have preferred to have him just not attend?

      9 votes
      1. [9]
        JXM
        Link Parent
        Think about the message it sends though, he showed up, gave an intro and then basically disappeared. From the article, it sounds like he had his video off and mic muted the whole time and didn't...

        Think about the message it sends though, he showed up, gave an intro and then basically disappeared. From the article, it sounds like he had his video off and mic muted the whole time and didn't talk beyond his quick intro.

        For such an opinionated person (see his Twitter and basically everything he says publicly) to remain silent during a meeting of such importance at his company sends a very negative signal to employees.

        6 votes
        1. [3]
          NaraVara
          Link Parent
          Or maybe he was just feeling ill and didn't want to talk?

          Or maybe he was just feeling ill and didn't want to talk?

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            oryx
            Link Parent
            As the CEO, does he not have the power to reschedule the meeting?

            As the CEO, does he not have the power to reschedule the meeting?

            4 votes
            1. aphoenix
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              It wasn't the CEO. And no. sometimes CEOs cannot move the meeting. In this case it was the CTO, and every indication is that he wasn't feeling well, and also he didn't really have a choice about...

              It wasn't the CEO. And no. sometimes CEOs cannot move the meeting.

              In this case it was the CTO, and every indication is that he wasn't feeling well, and also he didn't really have a choice about showing up.

              I still can't really understand people reading this article and then getting mad about the CTO being sick, but still trying to attend. There's so much valid stuff to be angry about in this that is is still puzzling to me that anyone focused on this one part, let alone several people.

              I am mad about this:

              • DHH failed to say anything about White supremacy
              • DHH failed to support the people who work at his company
              • DHH fostered an environment that made people feel unsafe and unwelcome

              All those are really valid, in my opinion. But no, the criticism (in this one specific thread, anyways) is "DHH was in bed during this meeting". To me that seems a great example of missing the point.

              It's perfectly reasonable to attend a virtual meeting with your camera off, and to keep yourself muted for coughing, or to be sick and still try to be present if it's important to do so.

              It's the other stuff that has happened at Basecamp that is problematic, not the guy joining a meeting when he's feeling unwell.

              4 votes
        2. [5]
          aphoenix
          Link Parent
          I understand what you are saying, but listen: I just did exactly the same thing though admittedly my company is a (small) fraction the value and it wasn't about a topic like this. Sometimes people...

          I understand what you are saying, but listen: I just did exactly the same thing though admittedly my company is a (small) fraction the value and it wasn't about a topic like this. Sometimes people feel like crap. What is he supposed to do if has the flu or something and a meeting like this comes up? Just not attend?

          3 votes
          1. [2]
            rkcr
            Link Parent
            That's the key difference here IMO. This meeting was an existential threat to the entire company, and he's a key part of leadership. DHH needed to do as much as he possibly could to prevent the...

            it wasn't about a topic like this

            That's the key difference here IMO. This meeting was an existential threat to the entire company, and he's a key part of leadership. DHH needed to do as much as he possibly could to prevent the company from falling apart.

            IMO, dialing in from bed for this particular meeting gives the optics of "I don't take this seriously enough." It may not be fair, but we're not talking about fair, we're talking about fighting for the life of a company.

            10 votes
            1. NaraVara
              Link Parent
              The company is going to be fine. We're talking about a temporary staffing morale problem. It really seems like a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't setup here. If he talks it's "You should talk...

              The company is going to be fine. We're talking about a temporary staffing morale problem.

              It really seems like a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't setup here. If he talks it's "You should talk less and listen more to the voices of the marginalized!" If he doesn't talk it's "Why aren't you talking? Do you not take this seriously!?" This is like, noteworthy maybe but putting this much focus on it seems like just finding things to dunk on once people have decided it's his turn in the barrel. But as a general rule it seems prudent to keep your mouth shut when anything you say is likely to enflame tensions.

              4 votes
          2. JXM
            Link Parent
            As @rkcr said, there’s a big difference between attending a regular or trivial meeting from bed and attending a crucial meeting about the toxic culture of your company that way. I think this tweet...

            As @rkcr said, there’s a big difference between attending a regular or trivial meeting from bed and attending a crucial meeting about the toxic culture of your company that way.

            I think this tweet really sums up my overall issues with this:

            Funny how the loudest person in the room is suddenly silent on one of the most important calls in the history of his company.

            6 votes
          3. Kuromantis
            Link Parent
            Set the meeting to later? Give written replies? Yes, they do take longer to write but better than just being non-responsive.

            Set the meeting to later? Give written replies? Yes, they do take longer to write but better than just being non-responsive.

            5 votes
    2. [3]
      vegai
      Link Parent
      What do you mean? Jason Fried was present in that meeting, wasn't he?

      What do you mean? Jason Fried was present in that meeting, wasn't he?

      1. JXM
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        As @Micycle_the_Bichael pointed out, I meant the co-founder, David Hansson, not Jason Fried, the CEO. My mistake.

        As @Micycle_the_Bichael pointed out, I meant the co-founder, David Hansson, not Jason Fried, the CEO. My mistake.

        5 votes
      2. Micycle_the_Bichael
        Link Parent
        Probably a mistake. I assume they meant David Hansson, who is co-founder and CTO and took the call from bed while muted and with his camera off.

        Probably a mistake. I assume they meant David Hansson, who is co-founder and CTO and took the call from bed while muted and with his camera off.

        4 votes
  5. [2]
    JXM
    Link
    Jason Fried, the CEO, has posted an update on the company’s blog. I figured I’d link to it here rather than make a new topic since we already have two topics on the front page about this whole...

    Jason Fried, the CEO, has posted an update on the company’s blog. I figured I’d link to it here rather than make a new topic since we already have two topics on the front page about this whole thing.

    From the blog post:

    We know it's tough to see colleagues leave, and we're sorry we put you through that experience, but we deeply appreciate that you're sticking with us. We have a great team in place, and it's been wonderful and inspiring to see everyone helping one another, depending on each other, pitching in wherever they can, and supporting all our customers. A deep, heartfelt thanks.

    5 votes
    1. NaraVara
      Link Parent
      I checked to see if they're hiring and it appears no luck. Maybe not enough time to get 20+ position descriptions drafted ha.

      I checked to see if they're hiring and it appears no luck. Maybe not enough time to get 20+ position descriptions drafted ha.

      1 vote
  6. [2]
    keb
    Link
    I don't find Singer's comments (at least described in this article) very controversial. According to this partial transcript, the employee with whom he disagreed with was not arguing in good...

    I don't find Singer's comments (at least described in this article) very controversial. According to this partial transcript, the employee with whom he disagreed with was not arguing in good faith. Singer never said "white supremacy doesn't exist." I find his e-mail response to The Verge level-headed overall, even if I might disagree with him.

    2 votes
    1. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      The article isn't clear if that's a quote from the meeting or from previous interactions or statements. Reading between the lines, there was probably a lot of more concrete things said previously...

      The article isn't clear if that's a quote from the meeting or from previous interactions or statements. Reading between the lines, there was probably a lot of more concrete things said previously that has been causing this rising tide of anger over time—the aside about Breitbart is much more telling than it appears. It doesn't seem like this kind of response comes out of one person being misunderstood in one meeting.

      4 votes
  7. [3]
    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    So, I gotta point this out. As much as I agree with the sentiment, this article is a hit piece. The author has a belief that the employees all suffered under racist, white privileged and apathetic...

    So, I gotta point this out. As much as I agree with the sentiment, this article is a hit piece. The author has a belief that the employees all suffered under racist, white privileged and apathetic leadership, and that this meeting (or, more specifically, this story he wrote about the meeting) is the result of it.

    And he may well be exactly right, and all of his facts and quotes might be (probably are) accurate. But the whole article reads like a DA's closing argument, cherry-picking all of the strongest bits of evidence that supports the narrative he wants the jury to accept as truth.

    And now, thanks to the nature of public opinion on the Internet, this narrative has already been widely accepted as gospel.

    2 votes
    1. MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      What makes it a hit piece as opposed to some other form of reporting? It's not like this came out in a vacuum and was written for the purpose of ginning up a scandal. These are actual issues.

      What makes it a hit piece as opposed to some other form of reporting? It's not like this came out in a vacuum and was written for the purpose of ginning up a scandal. These are actual issues.

      6 votes
    2. JXM
      Link Parent
      Obviously there’s a bit of sensationalism here, since unfortunately every modern media outlet writes their stories that way now. But I would be more inclined to agree if there wasn’t also the fact...

      Obviously there’s a bit of sensationalism here, since unfortunately every modern media outlet writes their stories that way now.

      But I would be more inclined to agree if there wasn’t also the fact that Basecamp leadership deleted decades of old records in the last few weeks, making it impossible to substantiate a lot of the employees’ claims.

      That, to me, is what really shows the intentions of leadership here.

      4 votes
  8. Octofox
    Link
    This is probably a good moment for Basecamp in the long run. Sounds like things got really toxic and people were unable to just get work done and work without stress/pressure to make statements....

    This is probably a good moment for Basecamp in the long run. Sounds like things got really toxic and people were unable to just get work done and work without stress/pressure to make statements.

    Now with the unhappy people gone, they can resume work and focus on making a great product rather than internal drama.

    1 vote