Basecamp cofounder David Heinemeier Hansson.
Ralf-Finn Hestoft/Corbis via Getty Images
“Right now is the wrong measure of the moment,” writes Basecamp CEO in blog post responding to critics. Cofounder David Heinemeier Hansson told Insider that employee reactions have been split. The company’s council on diversity, equity and inclusion had to end days before its first meeting. See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Several Basecamp employees lamented the company’s controversial workplace policy changes, including a move to bar social and political discussions at work, calling it “disheartening” and “sad.”
“Over my 11+ years at Basecamp, my coworkers have made me a better person through thoughtful and respectful societal and political dialog,” wrote John Williams, a systems administrator at the company, on Twitter. “Todays [sic]policy changes are disheartening and fill me with sadness. I’m angry for my friends that have lost their voices.”
Basecamp cofounders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson responded to the criticism in new blog posts. Fried wrote that he had thought long and hard about the potential consequences of his decisions.
“Whenever I make decisions, I don’t think about now, I think about eventually. How will this feel then.”, he wrote. “Right now is the wrong measure of the moment. Later is the right one.”
In his blog post, Hansson wrote that work does not provide a good environment for political discussions.”We need vigorous debate in a free society,” he wrote. “But as the joke goes, ‘Sir, this is a Wendy’s.’ Not every place is the right place. Not every time is the right time.”
On Monday, Fried announced that he would outlaw “societal and political discussions” at work, end “paternalistic benefits” like fitness and education allowances, and disband internal committees, which includes a council focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
David Heinemeier Hansson, Basecamp’s cofounder and chief technology officer, told Insider that he and CEO Jason Fried had discussed the issues addressed by the new policies with some employees in advance.
After the changes were announced,