Out of Hours: The Podcast


DHH: Building Basecamp and Ruby on Rails as side projects, with David Heinemeier Hansson

Season 2, Ep. 7

Brought to you by Out of Hours- the community of people with side projects.

Today on the podcast is David Heinemeier Hansson: the co-founder and CTO of Basecamp, a NYT best selling author, and creator of Ruby on Rails.

Ruby on rails is a free open source web application framework. and some of the biggest companies in the world were built with it: Airbnb, Shopify, Twitch and Square to name a few.  

He’s also built hugely successful businesses: Basecamp - which started as a side project for him and his cofounder Jason. It has since made him a millionaire, and served millions of users.  

Alongside all of this, he is also an author. He’s written three books, including New York Times Bestseller Rework. He’s also a Le Mans class-winning racing driver.

Even though he started all his biggest projects as side projects, this is not a traditional podcast episode - we talk much more about the other meaning of ‘out of hours’ - the fact we are running out of hours and life should be meaningful. We talk about everything from:

  • open source
  • why intrinsic motivation matters
  • why he was a terrible employee
  • how to build your internal sense of control
  • why he doesn’t set goals
  • how he found out money doesn’t make him happy
  • whether he’ll ever go into politics
  • climate change

Huge thank you to our sponsor TRIBE!

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More Episodes


Palouse Mindfulness: Building a meditation course, with Dave Potter

Season 3, Ep. 2
Today on the show we have Dave Potter. Dave is a retired psychotherapist, and he specialises in anxiety, stress, and trauma. He created his side project, Palouse Mindfulness, when he was a working therapist, as a way to share a particular meditation practice that has changed his life, called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction.MBSR, it’s a meditation therapy, originally designed for stress management, and it is used now for treating illnesses including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, diabetes and immune disorders.Dave Potter had been interested in meditation since the 70s, and received his training as a MBSR instructor while he was a therapist, through University of Massachusetts Medical School - which was actually where Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of MBSR, founded the Center for Mindfulness and began MBSR.MBSR is a life-changing course, but if done in person - like all courses it can be expensive. Dave wanted to create a free version of this life-changing course - to bring the lessons to everyone who needs it. Single-handedly he leant on his previous experience in software, to create the Palouse Mindfulness website. The result is a true labour of love. He has personally recorded meditation sessions, curated online teaching content, and painstakingly written up exercises and built the website - all for free - all so people who need it most can access the benefits of MBSR through a free self-paced course. It has helped thousands.Dave is an incredible person, and I was moved by this conversation. We talk about why people procrastinate with meditation, the benefits of starting something on the side, altruism, dealing with difficult situations and why meditation is as important as sleep.Check out Palouse Mindfulness here.Sign up to the Out of Hours Substack newsletter here