💾 David Heinemeier Hansson on founding Ruby on Rails and Basecamp, and why it does not have to be crazy at work.

David Heinemeier Hansson is the founder of Ruby on Rails and co-founder and CTO of Basecamp. He is an outspoken defender of living a fulfilling life, and a true believer that it does not have to be crazy at work. When not writing code, David enjoys endurance car racing and time with his wife and two kids.

Over the years, David has become a very influential person in technology and business, and has developed a number of philosophies which are helping him live a happy and fulfilling life, a life in which there is time for business and pleasure.

As you will hear for yourself, happiness is a simple secret. You too could have a great life and ensure that you kids have one too. David does not try to hide what it takes to be truly happy. At the end, it is on you to give it a try. Are you ready?

Key discussion points:

What drives DHH to come to work every day (01:00)
Can you be at a place where you are only doing things that you like? (06:00)
Happiness, the stoic philosophy and the concept of existentialism (08:30)
How to be satisfied with life and work (13:00)
The power of intrinsic motivation and how David nearly failed high-school (17:00)
Benefits of growing up in a socially democratic state, Denmark (28:00)

ReWork - New York Times Bestseller (32:00)
It Does Not Have to Be Crazy At Work (39:00)
When enough is enough (44:50)

How to make a fortune in car racing (50:00)
Entrepreneurship and the value of balancing risk (58:00)
The goal of living and free-range children (1:03:00)
Modern parent obsession with obedience (1:09:00)
Parenting and equal and how to teach your kids about money (01:15:27)

Books by David and 37Signals / Basecamp

Rework - New York Times Bestseller
Remote: Office not required
It does not have to be crazy at work

Books that David mentioned during the show

Finding Flow: The Psychology Of Engagement With Everyday Life
Punished by Rewards

Popular blog posts by DHH

The day I became a millionaire

To see an amazing car collection, as well as beautiful hills of Malibu

DHH on Instagram

Lastly, other podcasts with DHH that were thoroughly enjoyable to hear:

The Tim Ferris Show (warning: very-very-very long)
The Unmistakable Creative (my personal favorite)

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Clips & Recasts

What are you going to do with your life and why? Lamborghini isn’t the answer. But what is? Great to hear DHH talk about this (start around 55m).
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This is perhaps THE most important takeaway for all the young parents out there. Literally the matter of life and death.
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David and I have talked at length about his philosophy on life, work, how his life shaped him into who he is. The way he parents is (hilarious) a culmination of those thoughts and experiences. This guy is rad. I wish we had a few more hours to chat!
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  1. This is a great episode!
    1. Really? Do you think so? It’s always hard for me to listen the second time and evaluate.
    2. @kirill absolutely. I think you opened with an EXCELLENT question, and you kept the convo going nicely. DHH can be super cocky/prickly, but I didn't get any of that from this recording, which made me enjoy it all the more.

      I've been a big fan of Fried and DHH since the early days of 37signals, so I may be a little biased 😀

      OOC, how did you land this interview?
    3. @james like the best things in life - I asked, and he said yes :)