Posts Tagged:sustainable

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.

How to tell if a CEO is worth working for

If you’re looking to leave your company to work for another, you’ll want to consider this.A few months ago, someone asked me for advice about potentially leaving one company to go work for another. He was curious what factors he should consider before making the decision.He’d already vetted the role, the company, and the offer itself — all important aspects to consider. But I told him, in my opinion, the most crucial thing to vet is the CEO.If you’re about to join a new company, you must figure out:“Do I believe in the CEO?”No company is successful with a CEO who can’t communicate, who can’t get everyone on the same page, who can’t hire well, and who can’t chart out a vision.Personally, I remember interviewing at one of my first job out of college, and I remember it being really hard to tell if a CEO is “good” or not.Plenty of CEOs sound like they’d be a good…

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Building a Sustainable Model for Drupal Contrib Module Development

Matt and Mike talk with Webform 8.5.x creator Jacob Rockowitz, #D8Rules initiative member Josef Dabernig, and WordPress (and former Drupal) developer Chris Wiegman about keeping Drupal’s contrib ecosystem sustainable by enabling module creators to benefit financially from their development. Source:

To Meet or Not to Meet…That is the Question

One of the most frequent dilemmas I experience as a Digital Project Manager (DPM) is whether something warrants having a meeting…and if it does, who do I invite? Nobody likes having too many meetings, especially if they aren’t valuable, but we also don’t want to have epic Slack or Basecamp threads on one topic that could have been easily resolved with a quick meeting. That balancing act is tricky, but it’s important. When you find the right balance and schedule meetings for your team only when they are needed, you will likely see a couple of benefits. First, there will be a higher level of engagement within the meetings and second, the team may experience a positive morale boost given they are able to better focus on their work. Here are four things I consider when deciding whether to schedule a meeting or not, and four things I consider when…

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On Achieving Sustainable Income

I’m experimenting with Patreon (and it’s pronounced “patron” for those that didn’t know…) for my brother’s growing cryptocurrency community and I find their model (and their tooling) to be very good. I also particularly like their mission which is simple, digestible, and easy to understand (but also really exciting and measurable): Help every creator in the world achieve sustainable income. This is exactly what we’re trying to do and it’s exactly why we decided to investigate the platform and system to see if what they had created was worth the time and investment to put together. The world is changing and the opportunity for independent creators to live sustainably is bigger and more possible than it has ever been. Technology like Patreon appears to be leading the way and I’m excited to dive into the system and put it to good use (also their API as well…). There’s something inside all of…

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Sharing to Medium Publications

Something that I’ve been doing for a little bit of time is sharing my content that I create to other Medium Publications. I was, at first, a bit anxious when the first publication requested to use my content and I declined invitations for a long time before I finally said “Yes” to one. Now, a good portion of the content that I write not only goes to my profile (via a very handy and simple WordPress plugin) but many of the posts get submitted to other, much-larger publications. One that got published last night was in the queue for nearly 6 months before it finally went public: via Free Code Camp! I wrote the original on March 16th and submitted it for review. Now, Free Code Camp is one of the largest publications in Medium with over 300,000 subscribers. Nice. Consequently, it gets a lot of attention and press and…

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How we pay people at Basecamp

It’s just better business to pay people fairlyThere are no negotiated salaries or raises at Basecamp. Everyone in the same role at the same level is paid the same. Equal work, equal pay.We assess new hires on a scale that goes from junior programmer, to programmer, to senior programmer, to lead programmer, to principal programmer (or designer or customer support or ops…) We use the same scale to assess when someone is in line for a promotion.Raises happen automatically, once per year, when we review market rates. Our target is to pay everyone at the company in the 95th percentile, or top 5%, of the market, regardless of their role. So whether you work in customer support or ops or programming or design, you’ll be paid in the top 5% for that position.If someone is below that target, they get a raise large enough to match the target. If someone is already…

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Chicago, Be Chicago

Yuck! Enough with the Silicon Valley worship, Chicago!🎶Hey, Chicago, what do you say? Can we stop talking about wanting to be the next Silicon Valley today?🎶If you pay attention to the Chicago tech/media scene, you’ve probably been hearing for years that Chicago is poised to be the next Silicon Valley. The storyline continues in this recent Inc article: Why Chicago will be the next Silicon Valley tech hub.There’s a lot of good in this article. And we’re honored that Basecamp is held up as an example of something positive happening in Chicago. But the notion that it’s now Chicago’s time to grab someone else’s torch is where it falls apart for me.It’s certainly true there’s more entrepreneurial excitement in Chicago these days. More optimism, more opportunity, etc. This is great.But what’s with all this this fetishizing of Silicon Valley? To be next in line to be them? What about being us? What about being original?…

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Trickle-down workaholism in startups

“And then I said anyone not willing to break their backs working for me was a tourist!”If you want to understand why so many startups become infected with unhealthy work habits, or outright workaholism, a good place to start your examination is in the attitudes of their venture capital investors.Consider this Twitter thread involving two famous VCs, Keith Rabois and Mark Suster:These sentiments are hardly aberrations. There’s an ingrained mythology around startups that not only celebrates burn-out efforts, but damn well requires it. It’s the logical outcome of trying to compress a lifetime’s worth of work into the abbreviated timeline of a venture fund.It’s not hard to understand why such a mythology serves the interest of money men who spread their bets wide and only succeed when unicorns emerge. Of course they’re going to desire fairytale sacrifices. There’s little to no consequence to them if the many fall by the wayside, spent…

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Launch: Our Knowledge Center!

I’ve always believed that getting to know your company better requires more than using a piece of software alone. Yes, Know Your Company has been helpful to thousands of people all over the world…But if you want to foster a sustainable culture of feedback within your team, you have to change how you do things day in, day out. You have to shift your mindset. You have to practice a methodology.We’ve spent the past three years developing that methodology. And finally, we created a resource to share it with you.Today, we’re launching our brand new Knowledge Center — a place for every employee, manager and CEO to learn our methodology on how to cultivate open, honest workplace environments.Based on insights and data we’ve collected from over 15,000 employees at hundreds of companies in 25 countries, we’ve distilled all our learnings into 21 chapters I’ve written for our Knowledge Center.These chapters are organized into six…

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I live my podcast life a quarter hour at a time

How we found our ideal episode length for The DistanceIn the communities of podcasters and aspiring podcasters that I frequent on Facebook and elsewhere, a frequent topic of debate is the ideal length of an episodes—25 minutes? An hour? I also get asked from time to time how we came up with 15 minutes for The Distance. I’d love to tell you that we thoughtfully deliberated episode length during the planning process for the show, drawing on years of collective storytelling experience to arrive at our decision, but the truth is that the 15-minute guideline just kind of happened—and then became a useful constraint that’s guided our production ever since.The Distance started in 2014 as longform written stories of about 2,500 words each. At the end of that year, as Serial was wrapping up its first season, we started talking about trying audio for our stories about long-running businesses. The consensus was…

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What Not to Wearable: Part 1

With every advance in connected technology, potential new features abound. Sensors monitor your fitness performance or sleep quality. Haptic vibrations in insoles guide you to take a left or a right, allowing you to navigate without looking at a screen. NFC technology in a ring allows you to pay for a purchase without fumbling around in a bag or combing through pockets. These technologies allow our accessories to become devices for input and output. All this sounds exciting, freeing even. These innovations could allow us to turn our focus away from screens and back to the material world, to be simultaneously connected to technology while also present in the moment. And that’s incredible. However, this also presents new challenges. Besides the multitude of complex technical problems we must address, from charging and battery life to data networks and security, we will also have to solve some key strategic and design problems. When Fashion and Tech Collide Connected technology has migrated from appliances,…

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Searching for Clean(er) Searches

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily If there is one year for positive change, look no further, it’s 2017. Because there’s no better time than now to do something, but also because this world, on so many levels (well, you know, you’ve been there too) was seriously derailed in the past couple of years. You are probably involved already, struggling with small or large steps to make a difference in the world, to have a positive impact, minimize your carbon footprint, leave the air breathable and the water drinkable for your kids and their kids. You probably cycle, volunteer, decided to run for office (yay!), sign petitions, enjoy the outdoors. But by the end of your life you will still have spent a few good years staring into a screen. Due to nature of work or for entertainment only, it’s gonna be years, trust me. They add…

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They Know What’s Up

Here are 3 parenting principles that my wife and I talk about more than others: Kindness Thoughtfulness Respect These clearly aren’t unique and, I imagine, are universally shared with every parent on the planet. But why I know that they matter to us more than other similar ideas and ideals is that we continually use this language with our children. In other words, when they do something poorly or make a mistake or ask a question or encounter something new… we almost always use one of these words in our response. Are you being kind? Were you thoughtful in that decision? Are you being respectful or disrespectful? Many of our response(s) are framed in questions rather than telling our children if they are or aren’t being / doing something well. We want them to think through their thoughts and actions. We want them to be critical of themselves, the biggest (healthy)…

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The Future | Inspired by Nature

Inspired Magazine Inspired Magazine – creativity & inspiration daily Nature* feeds us, purifies the air we breathe and the water we drink. Unbeatable booster, it cures stress, sadness, reenergizes humans. It’s all around us but most of us fail to appreciate it or even notice it, which is a bit like turning the back on our own selves. No, we’re not going into a philosophical discussion about nature, and how our own beings are (part of) nature. We’re just trying to remind you of the importance of looking at nature – an incredible source of endless inspiration on top of everything else. Look again, or maybe for the first time, with the curiosity of a child. Sure, the occasional romantic strolls help too, but don’t forget to study, explore, examine, through a magnifying glass if needed. Be amazed by the universe at our fingertips. “Glance at the sun. See the…

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Moving Posts to Self-Hosted WordPress

Recently, WordPress announced the ability a new import tool to move posts to And, of course, the #1 request was to have a self-hosted tool to do the same thing. There is a plan for it but there’s no official ETA on a self-hosted plugin or the integration with JetPack… so for now we’ll just have to wait… right? Eh… well, you don’t have to. A “quick” solution is to simply just migrate your posts to your site and then export those posts to self-hosted. Yes, this is about double the amount of work but it’s not that bad. I did it this morning. Watch: 0 – Make Sure You Have a Clean Site No posts…! What I mean by this is that you should have a fresh site with no posts. I think this makes it easy to manage and then when you have…

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Don’t Stop the Presses

Illustration by Nate OttoIn 1989, Deborah Maris Lader had recently moved to Chicago and was looking for a studio where she could make prints and meet other artists. She couldn’t find a place like that, so she opened her own: the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative. Deborah also took the unconventional step of setting up the print shop and gallery as a business rather than a non-profit. She’s learned how to run a sustainable enterprise without grants or donations, which are the lifeblood of other arts organizations, and to balance her dual roles as business owner and artist. WONG: In printmaking, there’s a technique called linocut where you carve a design into a sheet of linoleum, roll ink over it, and then press a piece of paper on top, transferring ink from the raised parts of the design to the paper. I’m at a studio and gallery called the Chicago Printmakers Collaborative watching a…

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Why we choose profit

We’re outspoken about running a profitable company in an industry that so often eschews profits for potential. So why? People ask us why all the time. Why choose profit?So I thought I’d detail some of the reasons why we designed Basecamp, our company, to be profitable as quickly and consistently as possible. And 17 years into it, we’ve been profitable for 17 years straight. Being profitable is a feature of our company (companies are products too).To set some context, since we launched the company in 1999, our revenues have grown every year (2016 being our best year yet), and for years we’ve been generating millions in annual profits. We currently have just 51 people at the company (the most people we’ve ever had).Reasons, in no particular orderA non-comprehensive list, but a complete-enough one:No one ever went broke taking a profit. Unlike companies that reinvest all or most of the money back into the…

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How some people walk into to Basecamp

Different businesses, similar paths. From scattered to orderly, from cobbling it together, to seeking out a system designed to work.Most companies start small. A person or two, maybe three.They need to work together on something. That something may just be their company — putting it together, getting it set up, hashing out early ideas for what they want to do.So they begin shooting a few emails back and forth. Maybe they use Dropbox or something to share some files. Maybe they use Google Docs to share some notes, or put together a simple spreadsheet.Maybe they find a free to-do tool or maybe they don’t. Early on, basic communication may be enough to handle tasks. Maybe they use Google Calendar or Apple Calendar or another free shared calendar tool to start keeping track of deadlines ahead.Then email starts to feel a bit inefficient, so they try out a free chat tool or two. Something as common…

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Join Basecamp as our new Rails programmer

Basecamp is hiring! We have a rare opening for a Rails programmer to work on new product development within our General Practice team. We haven’t had an opening for this kind of work for a few years, so we’re excited to welcome someone new to the team!This is a position for an experienced Rails programmer, but you don’t have to be a rock star, a ninja, or a superhero to apply. In fact, if you self-identify in any of those categories, we’d rather you don’t!We’re looking for someone with a strong track record of putting Rails to work and bringing products to life. This is not a junior position, but, imposters everywhere, this is in reach to YOU. If you ship solid work, you have the experience we’re looking for.We want strong, diverse teams built from different backgrounds, experiences and identities. We’re ready for the ongoing work that goes into building an inclusive,…

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