Numbers Can’t Always Measure Success


Jason Fried is one of my heroes in business—he runs a 55-person software company based in Chicago called Basecamp—who, along with his co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson, just published It Doesn’t Have to be Crazy at Work, their third book. I haven’t read it yet but I did just listen to Fried talk about it on Chase Jarvis Live and I’ll be picking it up soon. As I wrote back in Issue 106, their two previous books, Rework and Remote, have had a huge influence on me and how I work, and I have a feeling this one will as well.

“You don’t need to measure everything to be proud of it,” Fried tells Jarvis. “Work is so much more than hitting that number. It’s about, ‘What was that experience like?’ ‘Did I enjoy working on this project?’ ‘Was it fun?’ ‘Did I learn something new?’ It’s that kind of stuff I think that really matters.”

Fried also happens to be a runner and includes a great anecdote along this same theme about trying to break a 6-minute mile, running 6:09, and losing sight of all the positive things he learned and took away from the experience because he was so fixated on hitting a specific number. Give it a listen

Here’s an old interview with Fried from The Great Discontent that provides a more detailed looked at his background, his influences, and how he operates in both business and life.

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