#93 - AMA with Jason Fried: Work-life balance, avoiding burnout, defining success, company culture, and more

The Peter Attia Drive - Private Subscriber Feed (🔓 for Dave Jones)

Feb. 17, 2020

In my first interview with Jason Fried, Jason explained his overall philosophy about work-life balance and how exactly he optimizes for efficiency. For this special follow-up AMA, we've decided to release the full episode to everyone (including non-subscribers), so all can hear Jason answer questions from listeners that dive deeper into topics such as work-life balance, the role of luck versus hard work in success, specifics around Basecamp’s unique process-oriented approach to projects, 4-day work weeks, practical tips for people searching for the right company culture, tips on writing and parenting, and a whole bunch more.

We discuss:

  • If Jason had taken his own advice about work-life balance at the start of his career, would he have achieved the same level of success? [1:30];
  • What is Jason’s definition of success, and what is he optimizing for? [9:40];
  • Basecamp’s policy on email and expectations for a quick response, and why Jason believes in sleeping on big decisions [14:00];
  • How Jason implements “true” work-life balance in his life and at Basecamp [18:45];
  • Does work and life have to be separated in order to have balance? [31:30];
  • How Jason makes time the fixed component to avoid the compulsion to keep pushing forward on a project perpetually [33:45];
  • Jason’s tip for physicians who may be facing burnout [44:30];
  • Signs of “burnout” if you do the same thing for work and pleasure, and tips to avoid and manage that feeling [49:15];
  • Is a 40-hour work week the correct amount? [53:15];
  • How to evaluate a company’s culture when looking for a job with the right work environment [58:30];
  • Jason’s take on salaries and alternate incentives like equity, profit sharing, etc. [1:06:15];
  • What traits does Jason look for when hiring new employees? [1:13:15];
  • Does Jason believe in process-oriented work or outcome-driven work, and Basecamp’s unique process for completing projects [1:15:45];
  • How does Jason handle a project that results in a failure? [1:19:30];
  • Advice for people in situations where they don’t have full control of their time and work demands [1:23:15];
  • How much of success should be attributed to skill versus luck? [1:29:00];
  • The importance of writing skills, and tip to improve your writing [1:42:45];
  • Lessons learned from parenting, and Peter’s top priority when it comes to raising kids [1:51:45];
  • An important skill: the ability to say “no” to things [2:00:45]; and
  • More.

This episode is from The Peter Attia Drive - Private Subscriber Feed (🔓 for Dave Jones) whose proprietor has full ownership and responsibility on its contents and artworks. It was shared using Castamatic, a podcast app for iPhone and iPad.