Out of Office Replies

How to lose a company in less than 10 days

Stories which deserve to be heard.

After 5 years there, I am leaving my job as Deputy Head of Customer Support at Basecamp.

— Elizabeth G. (@elizgramm) April 30, 2021

Monday, May 3 will be my last day at Basecamp.

— Daniel J Colson (@dodecadaniel) April 30, 2021

I left my job at Basecamp running the Brand & Experience team after 5 years today.

I’m going to take some time off, but if you’re looking for seasoned designer, I’d love to chat. DMs are open, or email me at adam@aaadaaam.com.

— Adam Stoddard (@AdamStddrd) April 30, 2021

I left my job at Basecamp today.

— Javan Makhmali (@javan) April 30, 2021

I’ve resigned as Head of Customer Support at Basecamp. I’m four months pregnant, so I’m going to take some time off to build this baby and hang out with my brilliant spouse and child.

— Kristin Aardsma (@kikiaards) April 30, 2021

I have left Basecamp due to the recent changes & policies.

I’ve been doing product design there for 7yrs. The last 3yrs I led the iOS team working alongside @dylanginsburg and @zachwaugh — they are the best 💜.

If you need a product designer, please DM or email me: hi@conor.cc

— Conor Muirhead (@conormuirhead) April 30, 2021

I joined Basecamp just over a year and a half ago. Today I am leaving. Technical support, digging into logging to find out what happened, and building the technical skills on my team are things I’d love to keep doing.

— 💖🦇 willow moline (@wcmoline) April 30, 2021

Yesterday was my last day at Basecamp ❤️

I made a choice to leave to, for now, be gone fishin’ 🐟

In time there’ll be more of what’s next when when’s next 😊💫

— Kasper Timm Hansen (@kaspth) April 9, 2021

After 9 years, I said goodbye to Basecamp today. I’m looking for new adventures, likely in support, trust & safety, privacy or communications. My DMs are open, and my email is in my pinned tweet – I’d love it if you said hi 💚

— Jim Mackenzie (@mackesque) April 30, 2021

I resigned from Basecamp today due to recent changes and new policies.

I’m going to go help @zoenoblephoto with her incredible project @wearechildfree_

Check it out!

— James Glazebrook (@yolkbae) April 30, 2021

Given the recent changes at Basecamp, I’ve decided to leave my job as Head of Design.

I’ve helped design & build all of our products since 2011, and recently I’ve been leading our design team too.

Will be looking for something new, so please reach out / RT. DMs open.

— Jonas Downey (@jonasdowney) April 30, 2021

Monday, May 3 will be my last day at Basecamp. I’m sad and I don’t plan to talk about it publicly. Instead, I’ll share one of the highlights of my time at Basecamp. I wrote this in answer to a check-in question soon after HEY was released.https://t.co/pManKC9jhz

— Dylan Ginsburg (@dylanginsburg) April 30, 2021

I’m leaving my position at Basecamp, where I’ve worked for 4 years, due to the recent changes and new policies.

I work in Customer Support and I love it; any job leads would be so welcome and helpful! (DMs open/personal website with contact in my bio)

— Lexi Kent-Monning (@lexicola) April 30, 2021

After 7 years, today is my last day at Basecamp. I plan on taking a little time off, but if anyone is looking for an iOS engineer, I would love to chat, my DMs are open.

— Zach Waugh (@zachwaugh) April 30, 2021

I left Basecamp today.

— George Claghorn (@georgeclaghorn) April 30, 2021

I have officially resigned my position at Basecamp. I’ll need some time off, as most people do between jobs. But my DMs are open for anyone looking for help with Finance/Bookkeeping/HR. rahsfan@gmail.com

— Navid نوید 🥑👨🏻 (@Rahsfan) April 30, 2021

As a result of the recent changes at Basecamp, today is my last day at the company. I joined over 15 years ago as a junior programmer and I’ve been involved with nearly every product launch there since 2006.

— Sam Stephenson (@sstephenson) April 30, 2021

I have resigned from Basecamp after 7.5 years and 100+ podcast episodes.

Thanks to the listeners of The Distance and The Rework Podcast for tuning in all these years.

Thanks to my colleagues for being some of the kindest, smartest, and most empathetic humans I’ve ever met. ❤️

— Wailin Wong (@VelocityWong) April 30, 2021

After nearly 8 years, given the recent changes at Basecamp, I’ve decided to leave my job as an Android programmer there. Will eventually be looking for something new, so please feel free to reach out / RT. DMs open.

Thank you all for your support and kindness. It means a lot. ❤️

— Dan Kim (@dankim) April 30, 2021

Relevant The Verge link: Basecamp implodes as employees flee company, including senior staff.

Florida bill would restrict social media platforms from banning politicians

From The Verge:

Florida is on the verge of passing legislation that would fine social media companies like Twitter and Facebook that “knowingly de-platform” political candidates. The bill was first proposed in February by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a supporter of former President Trump, although Florida Republicans insist the bill has nothing to do with the former president, a famous denizen of social media who was banned earlier this year by major platforms.

[…]

Republican supporters of SB 7072 say the measure is intended to protect the free speech rights of Florida residents and “is not about President Trump.” But the bill’s provisions seem tailored to GOP grievances about social media and the 2020 presidential election. Trump was permanently banned from Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms for inciting the rioters who attacked the US Capitol on January 6th.

And yet…

The bill also contains a very Florida-specific exemption for any “information service, system, internet search engine, or access software provider operated by a company that owns and operates” a theme park or large entertainment complex. Republican state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia said that exemption was included so that the Disney Plus streaming service “isn’t caught up in this.” The Disney World park in Orlando brings in significant tax revenue for the state of Florida, which relies heavily on tourism dollars.

SB 7072 also bars social media platforms from restricting “journalistic enterprises,” which the bill defines as entities that do business in Florida and have at least 100,000 monthly active users or 50,000 paid subscribers. And the bill includes provisions for conservatives’ favorite social media bogeyman: shadow-banning, which it defines rather opaquely as “action by a social media platform, through any means, whether the action is determined by a natural person or an algorithm, to limit or eliminate the exposure of a user or content or material posted by a user to other users of the social media platform.” Users must be allowed to opt out of shadow banning, and platforms can’t shadow ban political candidates or news websites.

Only in Florida, apparently.

AAA Membership Expiration

Man, am I now painfully aware that my AAA membership is going to expire in the next 2 days.

Letters. Emails. A text message.

Be better, AAA. Be less desperate.

Cost Benefit Analysis of J&J Vaccine Pause

From this Medium article I’m forced to quote because I spend too much time criticizing John Gruber and Daring Fireball:

Now, you might look at this story [the two-week vaccine pause] and assume that, as they say, “The system worked.” But it’d be more accurate to say that the system worked as it’s designed to work, and not as we might want it to work. While the initial decision to pause the vaccine was praised by many as evidence of the seriousness with which regulators were taking safety, that doesn’t mean the decision to extend the pause for almost two weeks represented a sensible balancing of costs and benefits. Instead, as medical ethicists Govind Persad and William Parker put it in The Washington Post last weekend, “slowing down vaccinations was a deadly mistake.” It was also, in some sense, a predictable one.

Consider this guesstimate / analysis:

Now, in the grand scheme of things, the costs of this delay were not great. There may be some impact on people’s attitudes toward the J&J vaccine, but it’s not clear how large that impact will be, and there seems to have been no impact on people’s willingness to take the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. But saying that the costs were not great is not the same as saying they were not important. At Friday’s meeting, the CDC’s Sara Oliver said that over the next 6 months, the J&J vaccine would be expected to result in 800–3500 fewer ICU admissions, and 600–1400 fewer deaths, while causing 26–45 cases of clotting. If you extrapolate from those numbers, they suggest that if the pause had ended 10 days earlier, somewhere between 33 and 75 lives would have been saved, at the cost of 1–2 cases of clotting.

Now that may be a overestimate. But the point is the same: the pause cost many more lives than it saved. That may have been a reasonable price to pay in order for regulators to be more sure that the vaccine was safe. But it’s important to recognize that a price was paid — and it wasn’t paid by the people who made the decision to pause the vaccine.

When the numbers are in the range of +-100 lives when all is said and done, who would fault those at the time who followed the rules and played it by the book? In a pandemic which has claimed lives on the magnitude of 500k, how can we look at 100 (possible) deaths and say “yeah they fucked up”?

I don’t think we can.

Instead, we can think that in a public health crisis that the rules were followed and the best guidance we had at the time was applied and a decent outcome was reached.

In the next pandemic – maybe we’ve learned something and the behavior will be different. That’s ok! We can learn and grow. But if the vaccine pause ends up being the most rational choice which could have been made, let the armchair critics eat crow.

Giving the author, James Surowiecki, his due:

Surowiecki’s writing has appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Motley Fool, Foreign Affairs, Artforum, Wired, MIT Technology Review, and Slate.

Opinion | Extending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine pause for a week was a deadly mistake

From The Washington Post:

At its meeting, ACIP analyzed vaccine side effects with admirable transparency. But there was no rigorous analysis of the risks of not being vaccinated. Rather, ACIP insisted that because “alternative covid-19 vaccines (mRNA vaccines) are available,” the tradeoffs are inconsequential. This shows a profound disconnect with the reality many Americans face.

When the pause began, millions of Americans were still ineligible for vaccines. And universal eligibility on April 19 will not mean immediate access; obstacles to vaccination will remain, especially for people who can’t travel long distances. This undermines the blithe assertion that unbounded supply of other vaccines makes pausing one irrelevant. Plus, the J&J vaccine requires only one appointment instead of two and can be delivered in settings where others can’t. The pause has stymied essential efforts, such as outreach to homebound D.C. seniors at far higher risk from covid-19 than from vaccination.

Looking at ACIP’s roster helps diagnose its mistake. Its voting members are almost all doctors far more familiar with rare vaccine side effects than with marshaling scarce public health capacity to respond to a surge of infections. The committee lacks comparative effectiveness experts or health economists familiar with weighing inevitable tradeoffs at a population-wide scale.

Took me a bit to put into words my thoughts on this. I think this is where I’ve landed:

  • Making a decision quickly which is not 100% obvious and includes the reasoning that “this might hurt some people, but it will benefit more people” feels wrong.
  • Making that same decision slowly, over time, with plenty of open debate feels fine.

There’s something to the process of debating and discussing, prior to endorsing, an idea which carries with it the chance of harm for some subset of people who are impacted. Perhaps it’s just the rationalization that the debate itself will hopefully inform those who stand to be harmed that “hey, this is happening, think about it!” and if by the end of talking it through the decision is still made then some duty has been met to properly inform the folks the decision is being made against.