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


Building a 50-year passion project: Vanishing Asia, with Kevin Kelly.

Sign up to the Out of Hours newsletter here.Today on the podcast we have Kevin Kelly - the founding editor of Wired Magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor for its first 7 years. He's also:-Written a New York Times bestseller on technology and written books on the economy and on decentralization. - Been the publisher and editor of Whole earth Catalogue - an American counterculture magazine.- Founded the popular Cool Tools website in 2003, which has published a cool tool every day for past 18 years. - Co-chair of the Long Now Foundation - which aims to provide a counterpoint to what it views as today's "faster/cheaper" mindset and to promote "slower/better" thinking.Kevin Kelly also has another side project - spanning over the past 50 years - where he has travelled to 35 Asian countries photographing the disappearing cultural traditions - and recently he put his curated works in a book called ‘Vanishing Asia’.Today we talk about everything from how and why he writes (and why he’s different from Neil Stephenson, the author of Snowcrash, who has to write every day). We also talk about why he’s interested in crypto and projects that don’t make sense, why he believes the centre of gravity of culture will move to Asia, why becoming too big as a company or too good at a skill holds you back, and why he wants to be a youtube star. I hope you enjoy!Buy Vanishing Asia here or check out Kevin Kelly's site.Or, sign up to the Out of Hours newsletter here, or email hello [at] outofhours.org.