Jason Fried is an Internet pioneer who has massively influenced the web application development industry. In 1999, he co-founded a web design company and in 2001 hired a Danish programmer, David Heinemeier Hansson.
Together, Fried and Hansson made internet history. In 2003, Hansson first adapted the then-obscure programming language, Ruby, to create an application development framework known as Ruby on Rails, which was released into the Public Domain in 2004.
Ruby on Rails has since been widely adapted (and loved) by companies of all sizes, creating a huge following all around the world. Hansson, now known as simply DHH by the “community”, teamed up with Fried to apply their new system to code their own product, Basecamp, a widely-used productivity service used by millions around the world. With only 57 employees, Basecamp itself is not a huge company, but Fried and DHH are highly revered as pioneers in the web development world.
On April 26, Fried wrote a blog article that shook the world. He stated that Basecamp’s internal workplace tools could no longer be used for “societal and political discussions”, calling them “a major distraction”. He further explained, “You shouldn’t have to wonder if staying out of it means you’re complicit, or wading into it means you’re a target.”
He summed up the new policy by stating, “We are not a social impact company. We’re in the business of making software.”