On this episode of the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman speaks with Jason Fried, co-founder and CEO of 37 Signals, as well as the co-author of several books such as Shape Up and It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work.
As soon as Jason was old enough to work at the age of 13, his parents encouraged him to do so. From a young age, he was able to observe – and learn from – various management styles. Jason also took on an early interest in developing software, and freelanced and sold his own products throughout college. By the time he co-founded 37 Signals in 1999, he had an informed opinion of what strong leadership looked like.
One of the things that has made 37 Signals stand out is their willingness to share what’s in their (not so) secret sauce. Jason says that he’d rather out-teach his competition than out-spend it, and part of that is being public with their company decisions and thought process. This outlook caused controversy for the company in 2020, but ultimately Jason stands by his and his teams’ commitment to transparency.
Tune in to this episode to hear Jason and Paul talk about the lesson that chefs can teach business leaders, the future of work, and the founder’s role in taking risks.
06:30 – Building a brand with a stance
09:00 – 37 Signal’s existential risk
12:55 – Lessons in management styles
20:45 – What’s next for 37 Signals?
25:30 – The future of work
29:30 – “Profits buy you time, and time is a hard thing to buy.”