Joel Spolsky says: "Never rewrite your software from scratch". DHH says: "Rewrite your damn software". In this interview, he explains why.
United States


00:00:00unix software we're here to help you do it I'm open to what you're listening to the business of software put coast where we shot talks from all conferences and discussions with software people that would make you think you can find out more businesses software total in this episode
00:00:16we talk today behind in my hands inventor of ruby on rails co founder of base camp chasing freed on why you shouldn't be afraid to to re write your code base scary up I'm joined today by two very interesting people at firstly David Hartman Hudson which can say
00:00:38hi new I'm David damn I'm sure everyone knows the secrets of ruby on rails is the co founder base camp and started to learn to drive racing because how many years ago eight yes only that makes an nine nine you were little along with us I'm quite annoying
00:01:02because maybe star good looks at all of that kind of stuff and dad just the sort of person that you read me would like to not like but we come out and the thinking is a great guy and also another great guy ever Bologna this is holding hello
00:01:19everyone tell us about yourself tell the well I read the rules of the company Caldwell sonic and %HESITATION I am here to try to ask some questions today but I'm totally intimidated because he is really good at arguing people my Twitter has been %HESITATION wealth and absolutely absolutely
00:01:48okay I'm David tell surprising you talked about your talk was talking rewrite %HESITATION gave it to you you were the opening act keynote that business software this year I'm what was the thinking behind the talk because this is a new thing and it's really been kind of born
00:02:05out of your experiences of rewriting code base to base camp three times yeah so we're in the twelfth year base camp now well the twelve year working on it start working on it in two thousand three and %HESITATION that's longer than I think most working on their sap
00:02:28software and there's a lot of information out there around how do you start a new company how do you start a success offer product how do you deal with all that stuff we've been putting out a bunch of it %HESITATION work was a lot about how do you
00:02:44get started and what do you need to look out for and so forth I think now we're entering a phase with base camp where both as the product and if the company been around for a long time %HESITATION a decent internet years twelve years is a very long
00:02:58time which presents us with the new challenges that we just unhappy for any given his interesting for me to realize that some of the ideas that I held dear early on in the life cycle of base camp and in my career word holding up for the long term
00:03:16%HESITATION not to say like everything I knew was small but there are some things I knew there were and those are the most interesting things to no that aren't so I think it's a mistake so what we knew there wasn't so with this notion is the eternal code
00:03:33base a transcendent software that we could use he about working on base camp the original code base for ever and that that would be a good experience in other words we rewrote base camp the first time seven years after we launched it and now we have for the
00:03:52second time you read the whole thing from scratch %HESITATION started with rails new base camp DC three actress would call it of and build everything up again like started with a clean slate in terms of the user experience in terms of the features we wanted in the product
00:04:11and basically just take everything that we've learned over those well we started BC three almost two years ago so ten years of running base camp to all that over all the things we do to and that into a into a brand new corporations a brand new product and
00:04:28and we're just on the cusp of releasing at and through that whole process I just I came to a bunch of new conclusions so I wanted really to get that information out there because it seems like two days the standard notion of how you deal with rewrites and
00:04:44so on still wrapped in his eyes effectively and that was what I was trying to thwart that there are other reasons to re write the shop building technically bankrupt on the implementation there's a few dozen little washes talking comebacks in a number of questions which are all come
00:05:06back to win the match if you're spending years you've built kind of banks use and spend a long time tweaking it and sticks and boxes were suddenly on the run you running the risk of creating just a whole new section box inside out and I just wanted to
00:05:23add to the list ones also questions are in the top right hand corner of your screen if you're watching the ship she when I bought my arm and you can ask questions a James replaces ready last question which is more of a statement but I'll let this one
00:05:39guy I've been looking forward to this site I welcome James yeah so I have a all the software that was trying to get rid of me so I am I really like your talk and I was off and we are very much inspired by you guys and and
00:06:03we're we're in the process of doing something similar cell so I have some questions that actually maybe I want to ask separately that will help me specifically might but will get maybe this time we'll get those so the first question though is yes the rewrite is a good
00:06:22thing in your in your view but it takes a long time right it took he said it took about two years to to to work on be on on a base camp three of the first question is how much of your team work from the new stuff verses
00:06:41the %HESITATION the old stuff yes Sir when we get started on a new re write since you've been through it twice now I think the key thing that we've learned is that start with as few people as possible for us it's usually around three people %HESITATION to designers
00:07:01and just me on programming and the reason that works well in the beginning is you don't know which building and until you know when you're building it doesn't make a lot of friends who have a lot of people on it %HESITATION so we kind of just from the
00:07:20beginning said well let's just have a small TV playing with ideas because the thing with starting to re write is it's not really %HESITATION this is kind of distracting people I'm not quite sure what I'm saying the lights are not anyway I'll I'll carry on here %HESITATION screens
00:07:44it'll talk without looking it up basis looking at the el Capitan mountains except for thing with them small team until you figure out what's going on and what you want to build and how are you going to build it it just doesn't make sense to involve the whole
00:08:04company not only sell because you still have a product even though we started faces of building it years ago we couldn't just stop working on the conversion of basic right if we had done nothing for two years and no new features no improvements and so on that would
00:08:22have been a terrible waste and our existing customers would not happy about that at all so I think the key is to take a splinter group a question then somewhat from the operations of every day running and give them the freedom to explore what that was like so
00:08:40when I say we started two years ago we started on two years ago was the initial designing rations and I think we went through at least two windows that got to a fairly level of fidelity and the design phase that we did decide that that's not the right
00:08:55direction and then we pull things back and we started on another direction that we did finally got enough confidence into thing okay something here let's try to build something so that was when I jump in on the technical side of things and set the first was actually could
00:09:10be we use what we have these design ideas can maybe we use to a point where you can use existing code base maybe just make a duplicate of the existing code base and start tweaking things and I was the first to you two weeks of the technical exploration
00:09:25was me trying to retrofit the new ideas onto the old as we called it chassis and we quickly realized that it was yes he which is not going to hold up war but we wanted to do with the new design so that's what led me to basically say
00:09:39okay no let's just start from scratch and that was maybe let's see a year and a half ago a little more than that I think %HESITATION more we got started with what ended up being the final code base and then we had a very slow roll onto I'd
00:09:54say it's not just like a you figure out what you want to build in the pool everyone is on %HESITATION we started adding people very sort of slowly and methodically first at one two people then add a few more people and it wasn't really until maybe six months
00:10:08ago where we said okay we're not fully committed to this version of what we're building let's get everyone on it and that's when we stop working on new features for a basic okay so now if there's a if there's a problem with the current the with base camp
00:10:29to who jumps on it is there one dedicated person that is like legacy person or or anyone who knows that code because they originally wrote it I was at work we have what we call on call which is the every programmer and will rotate through on call and
00:10:49they'll be on it for one week and their responsibility among all this to fix all the things that come up by customers which is consistent customers might be finding bugs or they might be finding other education is that we haven't fix of that to deal with the data
00:11:02but it's something sort of everyone cycles through product I mean OKC we will have to think somebody among called will stumble into something that's a bigger deal than what they can fix within that week and then they just have to pull someone it and it always takes precedence
00:11:17like the new product never takes precedent we have to service the existing customers that we have first so it's not like somebody hit the bargain like any sorry guys we're in most likely six months that's right one of the beautiful things about not having an outside investors or
00:11:36you know deadlines stuff can wait the stuff that bring in the money as is always more important now so when you're when you're in the middle of that old and new do you ever have to duplicate the same feature almost code bases because you think I'll get the
00:11:54good feature for the current but also by the way this is going to be important for the future as well as our we thought about that actually so we've spent about a year building a brand new %HESITATION text editor called tricks which is from the ground up rewrite
00:12:14that doesn't use content edible in almost every other text editor tiny MC and and all the others use because we wanted more control in one of the better ending experience and the initial idea was that we were going to introduce that expeditor on both platforms on both the
00:12:32current version base came a new version of base camp but it's just didn't pan out that way in and out of the way were wants to move this is to be free of the amount of things we're fixing on the under current version base camp they kind of
00:12:49they took a step back and ambition that we weren't going to try to make major new things the required big migration since one S. introducing a brand of text editor would because you have to update all the existing tracks that we had in the database to deal with
00:13:03ways to make them call excess %HESITATION so we we basically just decided we're just not going to do that so there was not a whole lot development where we're trying to introduce a future at all although some of the smaller we introduced in the current version of base
00:13:20camp of which were very well received there was actually in some instances haven't made it to the new version of yeah there's always gonna be like a little bit of weirdness there you are what features makes sense to push where and when but I'd say our level of
00:13:37ambition for the commercial base camp shrunk considerably once we had a good platform to using base camp three ourselves which we've been using our self but he maybe nine months the company internally has been on the new version of base camp maybe nine months I don't actually member
00:13:54that precisely so it's just kind of a gas but once we Swedish switched over and we were using peace can three primarily to do our own work well that's kind of where the level of ambition when and where the interest with so it's pretty pointed you don't do
00:14:08that too early because it's pretty easy to point you in your new sparkling code base in your sparking product to be down of the existing person I don't think there's anyone who brand new this is the best ideas that we have version of the product then and still
00:14:24think that the old version justice but it would be just as well be using that no of course not and I think that's a good driver too so when we started nine months ago to use that person based in three internally didn't take very long to like this
00:14:40is so much better I want this out there I want this to be a product in the market and only selling nonfiction so I think it helps build up that one will urgency which is important to finish anything because one of the problems with making a new person
00:14:54is this notion of second system central or in our case third system center where you kind of take over every single bug every single educate everything feature that any customer never asked what was going to be a new printer right which is a great way to embark on
00:15:10a five year American project and then give you cancer under its own weight and yet you know you make a person with your past that you wish not to make compromises you should do tradeoffs you can't have it all in there and to make those trade offs I
00:15:26think you need a sense of urgency it's hard to say yes what is the state of Delaware when it's done right I guess how you end up with Duke Nukem forever work and then when it comes out or was that guns and roses guide to put out a
00:15:44new album that to ten years and just like it nothing worked waiting ten years on the west talking Hoover dam or something most of this month where current the right I was in another six months that money can you make I'm a question about the six months of
00:16:14that sure easy enough for you guys at around twelve years in Europe giant checks coming in month after month that's a that's a luxury right not a lot of people learned that in in that %HESITATION position where they can just basically stop mixing things or you know other
00:16:34than major things or security thanks stop fighting features and %HESITATION people will just continue to stick around or do you think that that that will happen regardless because of the nature that whole questioning goes through the security third most suffer the builders have around the product because they're
00:16:53so close to it that they think like or who don't improve the product for just six months as you say the world's gonna end of people gonna lead to another competing products not how the world works it just isn't nobody cares that %HESITATION nobody cares that much about
00:17:10and minor temporary stop in the introduction of new features in fact %HESITATION we've had customers from time to time sort of been like a don't change things too fast so I think the natural tendency is for makers to think I have to keep tweeting have to keep improving
00:17:27at this rack rates are right otherwise people going to they're going to go away noted not like there plenty of major software packets that %HESITATION don't see any change for a year iOS is kind of on a yearly schedule %HESITATION Austin is only years give you plenty of
00:17:45other pieces of software are and will two years get right all we can updated at any moment so if we don't update it and all the moments were failing that's one to me is that the way you were going towards which is you know one major release every
00:18:06couple of years and then little small things that I used to know that the software world work when I worked right we were eighteen months in prison release cycle and then to see the what should we have known for a few months ago and nothing else right on
00:18:27anything what will Cyrus is going to move towards that yes and I think that's one of those to be sort of funny twist where you go like okay we have the freedom to do anything so we should and then you realize how no wait a minute like those
00:18:43constraints of the Old World the constraints of having to burn gold masters and not being able to send them out all the time maybe they were actually good constraints and it's funny because I particularly remember it from the gaming world where there is all this about %HESITATION well
00:18:56when the gold master's **** the product has to be pretty damn good %HESITATION looking games these days wouldn't it didn't yeah just track the game from the marketplace because they put up such a shitty version because they thought it doesn't matter what the qualities we can just keep
00:19:11updating it after it gets out that right I think it leads to this sloppy thinking that well you can just change anything at any time quality kind of doesn't matter that much %HESITATION and you end up in a place that's worse so yes you have less constrained there's
00:19:27fewer constraints need you to be just up small and customers are not better off court again that's putting things a little bit on the next because of course there are benefits to being able to update critical bugs after something shipped right but I think the whole close to
00:19:45it it change too much with too much in the direction of the us or we can change anything at any time therefore we should where we've learned that %HESITATION there is actually a great advantage to just saying let's take a step back let's work for a long period
00:20:01of time on a major revision of the major operate which is not the right thing to do when you just want to add a single feature which is why when you say %HESITATION we do this every couple years it's not entirely true like we started version working on
00:20:15the our first record the first rewrite a base camp maybe like what happened years ago so the current version of making we're selling is more like four and a half year old ideas right which is a long time I mean for five years between major product releases that
00:20:32feels right to our business %HESITATION may depend on your industry and and how that moves and and maybe you don't have that many new ideas that warrant this radical re write of the whole thing that often maybe that's something you do want to pretend years at the main
00:20:51point of my talk was to basically open people's minds to that being an option but a lot of people have taken that option entirely off the table I thought I was well we rights is only for technical bankruptcies they're not for rejecting a product right so let's get
00:21:08to the let's go to bed that one partner was the most scary about your talk which is the Louis C. K. you have to make a hole in you can't ever use any of that because of that journals and has all the history and it's all those little
00:21:26bugs that we're yet knowing all that away and then you do it again up their fury is add salt first of all why did it seems crazy and %HESITATION and also every five years is not just the design ideas the vision for a product that changes but the
00:21:47cryptology world every five years is it's a major think so %HESITATION so I guess I have another question is why thrown away and does the changing technology are your decision to say Hey maybe we should start over because now we could do it so much faster so much
00:22:06better because of these new technologies yeah so for the first question why throwing all the way I think if you're not turn it all the way you're not changing enough and it's not worth it and you shouldn't be throwing it away I think that's work jobs point makes
00:22:20sense like if you're basically again it goes back to the technical that right like if you basically just wanting to throw away your code base because you programmers cannon sick and tired of the technology stack the odds based on or whatever I think you should be extremely hesitant
00:22:34about that are more likely than not that is a poor idea and not something you should be doing and that's why it's right where it fails these new if you don't do that if you don't have that option on the table I don't think you're gonna think spring
00:22:48you know like the metaphor that I was using was so if your current software is at the table and you want to make a chair yet there is a pathway you can hack and slash or add on to taking turn it into a chair but she chair not
00:23:01only to your product so don't do that it might better table then but do you start from zero like re writing %HESITATION user authentication right some things in our case we have shared systems that are not tied to the existing out we for example have to federal ID
00:23:26called a thirty seven ninety dead we used across all our applications highrise and backpacking camp are and so on so we leaned on those systems to some extent but every single system that was in the current version base camp base camp to let's just call that to be
00:23:43clear everything that was in the main base became too we basically didn't poured over on until we had to until we knew that there were all that subsystem needs no changes yeah copy code and all it's just that it should be you go to you should not just
00:23:58like duplicate the current repository and then just start tweaking in there okay well you're sort of figuring out whether it's worth doing right at all as I said that's what we actually did with bass and I did not I've branched off base camp two and try to hack
00:24:12and slash net friends to figure out what I could twist base camp to into for filling the new things we needed from base camp three and I couldn't I couldn't do that in a way where I felt good about it right it very quickly turned out to be
00:24:26on that out on a high chair to the table instead of my beautiful new sting right gonzo so instead of taking in every factory and start from zero a copy over things that you need and only the parts that you once you've committed to this is going to
00:24:42be a new product is going to be a new twist this is not to me it's like two weeks I think that is where sort of it separates the waters even if you just don't have enough new ideas that a radical enough that %HESITATION sort of it's gonna
00:24:55be a brand new product what they should be doing all this its immense amount of work it's absolutely not worth doing it's not worth putting your customers through it it's not worth anything if what you're putting out is not substantially and significantly different than what you have and
00:25:11if it is substantially in significantly different it also be clear that the same could be felt that so for me it was never about technology technology was the side effect and the sort of cherry on the cake %HESITATION since we started guys anyway because we want a different
00:25:27product one a different take on the same product we can use the latest and greatest now and I me I won't hide that that's a for media and very rewarding side effect that this whole thing because there's nothing that sort of gets me more excited about moving rails
00:25:42for it than just starting from a clean slate and just %HESITATION %HESITATION saying okay let's use the ladies let's use web sockets for Chad let's use %HESITATION %HESITATION job services a lot more let's put in red is in a bunch of places like use all the the best
00:25:58and the greatest that we can currently do let's rewrite trickling from scratch and make a version that works beautifully across mobile devices as well and we had a lot of freedom to do those things because we were starting from scratch and and that worked out well %HESITATION but
00:26:13it should be the driver unless you're again unless you re writing because of the technical bankruptcy and then you should be extremely skeptical about doing that but usually just program is saying I don't wanna touch code I haven't written myself %HESITATION that's the point Jones making right there
00:26:27is also an institutional knowledge in the code base and all this sort of seemingly all the code is only because of recent got there one step at a time and got there for fifteen Bucks and so forth so you just throw that out you're gonna end up with
00:26:39the worst for the customer problem %HESITATION all the **** is only worth it if you're making a few different so this something about you David and I think Jason neither of you really get excited by school problems small challengers have you also reviewed that right there because it
00:27:06is funny I get exceptionally excited about small tweaks when they have impact so what I don't get excited about is changing things that don't matter like once we get to the point where the changes will have no impact yet didn't abort but there's a lot of small changes
00:27:24I actually save many of those sort of do you think the put the biggest smile on my lips is when we take out a lot of hobbyists sentence and we could just ever so slightly and also it's clear I go like that's awesome and I do that all
00:27:39the time to I think some people are absolutely addicted to the green field experience of let me build this major new castle from scratch and that is that your limit I just wanna say that that's not where where I'm coming at this from I just wanna make sure
00:27:54that might impact per minute is high enough to state that I could if I could just as well not be there yet I'm not interested like that that doesn sustain my motivation %HESITATION but as long as I'm there and making a difference it doesn't even matter how small
00:28:09the changes some of the things it's funny some of the things we celebrate the most in turn the base camp is preferable put in some major new feature right and it'll take a long time to build a future and will start working on it and working with him
00:28:21we like and it's not quite right so we rip the feature out right like that's your work eight it's like almost nothing in the cheers and we can conjure internally when we ripped out and unlike feature in louder than anything else pretty much right with real each of
00:28:36the weird kind of ended up hating instead who right now that like there's not a great deal of technical insight required to the leading code but oh my god is sweet and satisfied the other question I have have you ever been tempted to come up with a new
00:28:58ready well you're using me yes No Way Out in terms of programming it's funny because I'm new I wonder how to put this but I'm not interested in Graham languages in the same way that some other programs or interest in programming so some members they just in Jordan
00:29:22running a bunch of different programming languages because it does give them a different perspective and that's like a fun I think for them right I don't fall in that camp like I found ruby now and ruby continues to amaze me and I continue to be able to spend
00:29:38it in ways that that I enjoy where I haven't run out of steam there so I'm not in the market let's let's put it like that right now I'm not a programmer who's in the market for a new programming language because the current programming language that I have
00:29:51not exceeded my abilities might interest my motivations which is like the perfect spot you want to keep your customers right making your customers on a product that fills all those things where they're not even in the market like allocation look at other programs I looked at at and
00:30:07swift on some of the functional stuff and like it's great I can take care of your ideas in a in a corporation ended up really building anything in anger with them because I haven't needed to at the main diet in it so beautifully suited for ruby will be
00:30:22just such a perfect fit for web applications on the large broad swath of that work at least dad down not in markets here something about the technology like I spent so much time improving rail still to make it current and see if the challenges that we're facing when
00:30:44we're building a brand new from scratch modern even though I kind of hate that her application is going to use the latest and greatest right so keeping up with all that and making it better that's very rewarding but %HESITATION yet alright but if you ask me twelve thirteen
00:31:01years ago are you still gonna be programming routes and ruby now I say now this could be something else it's better than will come out and and change things and one of the things where I realized over there was what fifteen years so I've been doing this that
00:31:16nothing seems to change very quickly right so we have this tendency in technology to paint that brat rob rush the technology is moving this incredible space or pace if you're not %HESITATION keeping up every second of it you're gonna miss six one man time different jobs for bloggers
00:31:35now you have a lot of truth in very sort of isolated little pockets there's tons of **** distaste saying today if you look at the ruby we're working with today versus the ruby that started in what ninety three year whatever right like more than twenty years they would
00:31:53look almost identical to think we are really at the edges those major breakthroughs just don't come along that often and for me even looking at all the stop and paying an obscene amount of attention to it and experimenting with things like this happen in this breakthrough through it
00:32:12said like %HESITATION let's throw out everything we know because technology basis change I think the reason for that is that the one platform hasn't change as long as we're still delivering a female which is NCSS like all things got better jobs and better but they're still very much
00:32:27the same kinds of things that we've been working with for the past four years so the tools to produce those things are also similar and for me in a joyous way not as in the motion to go with this **** stupid ruby again whatever we just wrote from
00:32:43scratch when you re write new applications catch you with holy eligible to go back in the market and say let's use new technology you there's nothing that would have kept us on movie does nothing to put a cap on rails for peace and three if we hadn't set
00:32:58and decided this is what we want we're picking ruby and rails right now because that's gonna be the best environment frosted branded version base camp and we can take any shelf in the store it was entertains me to see you and %HESITATION typing from shop with fire swapping
00:33:15messages on torture was not a thing recently about ability I'm not a thing you were doing about showing off let me dive in and take care bye slightly trying to not which is a great I I look a lot another note this is a degree of and a
00:33:38competition or other any other organizations that are using using about such a scattered what what what was the limit so it's funny because it's rare that we hear about these things right like the first time I actually heard about Shopify doing what was it seventeen thousand rats request
00:33:57a second or something I would like holy **** that's a large number and again I understand it's not large numbers in web scale on by with delegates based Twitter and Instagram or whatever is some of the things that have %HESITATION like many hundreds of millions of users they're
00:34:13gonna have complete different usage numbers right I found it interesting that both for for Shopify now are a public company %HESITATION doing very well like I don't know how many stores they happen long history they been around almost as long as he can pass safely pervasive right like
00:34:31both of these things in nature incredibly successful software companies and these are the ones with hitting and they're not just like the biggest compliment that I got on that whole thread used to people so **** nothing but that's nothing like two thousand records to second that's nothing but
00:34:50you know that's nothing and I just feel like making that we can build this fantastic business and we're not even tapping into close to the cutting edge of what %HESITATION scalability issues like these days I love that I looked at it not me I love that parking Twitter
00:35:08and Facebook and Instagram and wherever else or at the bank are dealing with these issues such that their progress on on some of the infrastructure level things they just trickle down to the rest of us and we never have to deal with it I'm so people see that
00:35:24in light of that means like mural for Yap is somebody actually call based on its way up I thought it was awesome I'll yeah %HESITATION sort of it's kind of pathetic thing we should be ashamed I just feel like to bass is more successful than like ninety nine
00:35:41point five percent of every hosted internet application ever walked still rails and ruby is a perfect fit for like the ninety nine point nine percent Hey that's one thing I could not get a better divorced men saying or your friend more was not the right thing for the
00:35:58zero point one percent of us %HESITATION okay reporter one percent I mean golf build your own rocket ship that's is your parts with the rest of us owned but for the rest of us it can manage that we're collaborating about building these rocket ships because it's a tremendous
00:36:18amount of work I mean you spent over a decade owning and improving rails to get to the point where somebody could go based in the toy right because it's not doing anything interesting and and they're not scale that it's sustaining done interesting wow demand better compliments and a
00:36:35more positive view for anyone starting a company today like if you're launching a new application today and you can look at base tendency like talk with all their success and they're welcome to business they're not even scratching the surface of what's hard to scale skill you stole from
00:36:52me there ought to be turning into to the Facebook send %HESITATION what is of the world that need to do pioneering work at the infrastructure level is nonexistent bigger chance of being **** struck by lightning while you're holding up power ball winning lottery ticket while you sleep in
00:37:10a banana peel right cell fantastic I think it it's such a positive message for everyone building software today okay untested few questions coming in I'm gonna pick on a a few hints of theirs that no arrives and here says almost customer input you got one building this major
00:37:30release seems like possible talk one to fall back to building you cannot seem to change day to catch up yeah so what we did is to keep things secret right we've only just started talking in three like what in the past two months or so while we've been
00:37:47building it for two years and I think that's part of the the trip here if you announce if we had announced two years ago you were building a brand new version of base camp well first of all we're going to run the risk of are supporting ourselves which
00:37:59is announcing new major version of your product while expected customer to continue to buy your old product for the next two years that's a bad idea to do that on so that means that the level of input we're getting to diverse base camp is based on the older
00:38:15we get tons of input everyday I think we're getting one of getting six hundred emails a day from customers good amount of those includes suggestions and how we could improve the software to fit them better the key is to work on these people to be happy not in
00:38:33their requests we get requests almost exclusively in terms of his button here each week this feature here can have this view of the business of the things people not describing the problems you have to stick to uncover their problems and uncover problems is how you console the whole
00:38:51categories of issues for different people at the same time so if you just counted Ralph feature requests for base camp probably now there's no way we can fill thousands of feature requests and do a good job of that and come out with a private teams with these have
00:39:07been %HESITATION something you would want to buy right but we can do is we can do those thousands of requests and you can start mining patterns in the problems that they have and then we can solve the large swaths of the those problems are for example when the
00:39:23base camp three is %HESITATION tracks so somebody will request in base camp to all I really like to draft for for like gotten messages right anyone that just just for that message is while we can step back and see over react rejecting distinctions crafting at a base level
00:39:39just everything in the system documents and other things can happen straps feature right and that's an example of trying to solve sort of somebody's pointing out like appointing a blast like what they're looking through a keyhole to see the problem right and they can't really see the whole
00:39:54thing five we can open the damn door just like a drug to look through the deal like look at the whole deal with it there so cost me a huge part of it instrument bunch of directions but at at abstract level where somebody requesting it feature might not
00:40:11even need to be able to recognize that their feature request actually something that we put into the product we just we try to attack their problem not just the request do you have some I mean look we've got plenty of questions in are on the right we can
00:40:30talk on the phone last of others and if you want to ask questions is an icon in the top right hand corner of the screen share and check out get culinary and also questions the votes from some of the ones that have a knack so %HESITATION bringing us
00:40:49back a little bit on some of the talk and re writing you talk a lot about since nineteen year old version is a bad thing been around as a way to alter your like this right yeah but then you also say with a new one you target new
00:41:07people and also you said them in bags come three there's not gonna be any import %HESITATION for older projects so you got a massive amount of users that love you and with maybe you know there's a percentage of those that would love to go to and they might
00:41:27even go any which their own stuff their own data to the conversion why prevent that from happening I know that is not going to want to one but is that is the risk of them going back to it I think it's incredibly important you always have to consider
00:41:45both the practical and the sensibility aspects of your existing customer base because those are the ones have been with you for doesn't want to pay the new version if you didn't have all those people paying for the old version working to build a new bridge so you have
00:42:00to treat that incredibly seriously and that's what we're actually trying to do with this first no content rules there will not be a sunset for him version you will keep the lights on for as long as anyone wants to use it so the second thing that is then
00:42:17how do you deal with someone who wants to operate do want to go on which why I think most makers overestimate the number of people who do there is certainly still a substantial slice of customers and the way we've decided to do that is %HESITATION look at the
00:42:34whole problem don't look at just a request the requested is how to move all my data over that's not really the problem actually that lead to a lot of problems we tried that strategy at the last right and we're lucky to move data over and what they did
00:42:48was they started moving in flight projects over and while that might have worked with the person moved it over because they were willing to best all the time in understanding how the system works didn't work for any other collaborators everyone was just like Hey why is everything changed
00:43:01and why isn't this exactly the same you got all those problems that you would have gotten in the same way as if your forced everyone sorry everyone to move over right he was a mess and it didn't make anyone happy even though what they thought and what they
00:43:14thought what they wanted was to move all the data over turned out at like they did again lead to more problems so informed by that pastor set up we decided to do the new version isn't that say for all existing products or projects all the things that you
00:43:31have going on in life right now the worst thing you could do is upset the apple cart keep those where they are didn't create all of the new stock whenever you start up a new project whenever you want to start up a new base camp you do that
00:43:44in the new version now the trick is not to make that a nice reasonable experience one of the product with money so what we're doing is we're basically along someone to keep any person based in that they had and if they are on just wanna keep around to
00:44:02the archives just to the inside stuff and not want to create new based on those old versions they can happen for free so that the economic incentive article we gotta hurry over and over our data over the second issue is that we have this ID system where you
00:44:19can jump back and forth between the versions of the software action which in fact that's exactly how we've been running a base and we still have in base camp to that are active and ongoing and it is good to talk if they just continued to live there I
00:44:36I think that actually lots of cuss words used to having babies bits of their data in various different systems it seems on the surface this though obeisance is just one thing it's just all beings in system and it is to the extent of the lock and jumping back
00:44:50and forth but it doesn't have to live under the same feature set just like lots of our customers don't have one filing like Dropbox don't have some important information in there email holder it turns out that it's at least from our perspective and our experience I'm more of
00:45:06a problem of the feeling one one on my feet and that same system I wanna hold boarded all over not too much thinking through what would actually happen what with day to day look like if you try to order rates like system or in five dot projects so
00:45:21that's where we are part of it is also just want to make sure that anyone starting on a base camp three do so from the perspective of starting something fresh part over something system the first thing you're gonna notices all the things that are different one out there
00:45:37again needing you right back into that trap all of the forced migration in the sunset in the first place that customers are gonna feel like I can use this anymore like ad doesn't do these things all I drop this data is not a good experience and ultimately at
00:45:51the end of the day we got a realizes this is all trade out you're looking at all the order ills that come from not allow people to do it windows up against sort of and mediating all the main concern sort of have to pay for sex two systems
00:46:08or stuff like that can I keep my head around %HESITATION and then just thinking like that on the balance scale just has to be that there's a lot of I think decisions are wrong in the past in either how do we make this perfect eat what you don't
00:46:23sorry it's not gonna happen migrating introducing new version of the system is a messy process to some extent unavoidably so inherently so but still totally and absolutely positive you worked there and that's what's interesting to me make I hate the systems we talk about life all you just
00:46:42gonna fight the right answer as though you can run all the numbers and like Hey Sir this is forty two and the others started with forty two right it just motivations in business and in life not like that there around like suddenly weighing things and figuring out which
00:47:00is the better path to go not because it's overwhelming me an absolutely better but because you've weighed all the trade offs on the consequences of that choosing between these two I choose eight and for us choosing between not rewriting continuing to sell not harvest their best ideas continuing
00:47:19to be stuck in now in either two thousand and three or two thousand ten not an option right we don't want that so we really to suffer some pain to avoid that fate speaking of men may be my last question how do you deal with if you're running
00:47:36two versions of the same software how do you read the only documentation how do you avoid people getting confused you know searching on your website for something and then they end up with the wrong product version doctor Christian yet with great looking about it we're rolling out a
00:47:55new helps like for example %HESITATION so we'll be base camp dot com slash help I think it is and when you go to that site we have three screens you say are you on base camp classic are you in base camp to are you going to be a
00:48:06base camp and not just those words because for a lot of people they like what base camp to on the base right we have a screen shot of what the application looks like exactly look different enough that you can pretty quickly and easily tell but even so it
00:48:23it's the same problem that every other software and hardware company in the beginning of time it's ever happened right like if you search on how do I do something in life and you have Lightroom five and if you just describing a light room seven featured well that's a
00:48:38problem if you're trying to think like %HESITATION dismissed us three D. touch work on my iPhone oh no you don't have an iPhone six so it doesn't work on that right design novel problems in that sense but they are important problems in you do have to take him
00:48:51seriously is it is very easy for someone to get confused in fact case in point apple well I have a macbook late two thousand fifteen not the likes like the two months old when he didn't name the thing and we actually in part made that mistake the last
00:49:09three right was that we road is thought maybe this is the only regret will ever do right now we so we just called the new version basically right imagine if every iPhone ever which is called I feel it's pretty hard to distinguish between the versions of the capabilities
00:49:26that they have so we just come back in like Hey you know what %HESITATION nineteen seventy five called I don't know when the part she she's introduced for soccer maybe was more like a fifties but that's a good idea right it's actually a good idea to version software
00:49:43if it is incompatible different implementation of the same soccer yeah it's not like Instagram to probably right because for them it doesn't make sense to a full rewrite they're just doing an inclusionary job but for us and anyone else you want to do the full we right just
00:49:59eat it up and go but versions song one of well he emails that come in and support customers don't know what version of the rain just sending an email to support at least not yet how do you know what it is that in the first round trip Virginia
00:50:14right because you might have both looking at your email address we've already solved that issue in the sense that we never just get cold emails I think you need to level up your support system as as soon as you have in this year's number be mountain the first
00:50:30level of you should do is that you should send the meta data along just you never have the right round trip so within base can we have a real tap we clicked and it's a help button and we have a field where you can fill in what your
00:50:41issue is and as part of that form submission what we said the longest like what's your name what your account ID which browser you're on all these bits of information that you would use to help diagnose an issue you have to stop though social don't ask the customer
00:50:55that this system already knows like they're sitting in front of the system that's why they're calling you or that's right they are writing the right to have a problem so for the vast majority of all help request that we get we get them through that follow let final
00:51:07decorates the question all the meditative including which version of base can argue all well almost all the ills we put some more but the audience with your machine add que se %HESITATION ruler again doing the right are you planning base camp format you have the best ideas which
00:51:35will not make it into base camp three absolutely no like I shoot myself right now if I already have to think about like what my software five years from now should should look like on we're trying very hard to get all the best ideas that we have energies
00:51:50outlines a options on the very best ideas that would happen to this version of the code base %HESITATION there's nothing fundamental I would say that we're looking at like **** is going to be possible to do in base camp three that's gonna have to wait to base camp
00:52:05for what I do actually think it is a nice mental tricks you know you do not have to get things perfect I think it's so hard to think of like %HESITATION based in three was to be the last version of base camp ever and I had to look
00:52:17this corporation makes some good years who should the pressure and now that I know yes there will be a base camp for at some point in the future might be four years from now it might be seven years from now who knows but there will be a day
00:52:32it takes a lot of pressure off getting things perfect which I think is a healthy place to be I'm just a question is not assigned what do you hope is gonna be the single fire about base camp three that your existing user prices are about what what what
00:52:53could be the single thing that they can walk single wound thing from hope your customers well just love what what's the thing that yeah it's hard to pick a single thing I think one of the major changes been on the market notion of adoption so one of the
00:53:13top reasons quit using base camp is because they can't get other people to use it with that and a lot of that is on a very simple thing so for example when you invite someone to base camp that they have to go to a form that you feel
00:53:25about that pick a password and they have to write down the down remember it through whatever and then use a system that's an incredible barrier to entry when people don't care about the system up front so we do have made him three years we're basically allowing someone to
00:53:41get straight into the system without filling out a form the person who invites them will stop out and don't get the invitation and that they can get straight into base camp no passwords to pick no nothing so that a lot adoption was call it I think it's gonna
00:53:58be a huge deal on second I'd say that %HESITATION it's kind of like a twitch that on the one hand we're rolling out this new version of base camp with some incredible mobile apps best mobile apps that or should we never made and I think some of the
00:54:13best in me black that I use I am literally in the mobile app or a base camp another android or iOS large swaths of the day whenever I go racing or whatever I'll be in base camp like after the date on which is also now the flip side
00:54:28of that is that that could be just a terror in the way of work if you constantly have your phone buzzing with convicted based could do this do this do this I'm not so we have this awesome feature called work can wait which is basically a way to
00:54:45hold all your calls will you notifications all your anxiety inducing on red batches on the action stuff like that on a schedule so for example after five PM I'm not reachable by becoming more I'll get all those messages when I drop back in in base camp tomorrow at
00:55:03eight AM until then I'm off more think that's that's really been incredibly nice to be on the one hand super reachable we have admissions for example in base camp so you mentioned someone in a in a to do item on this happened just the other week so I
00:55:18wasn't in the cab in Japan on the way to to the track and Ryan had an issue or a question about something that was was a blocker right and he was trying to get some future done and he just asked in the chat room hate David you know
00:55:32what this is about getting on my phone I swipe it luminous chat room I see all the context of what your problem I ran back to line up Walker knows no longer blocked an issue you can continue to do his work and I close the app and I
00:55:46go like holy **** we living in the future like how could that happen before that would have been such a different process of all you have to send me an email and have to recap the contact you have to want to stop right and in the same time
00:56:02I'm being a different sort of time so everything I flip the apt to work can wait and then I don't get anything from it doesn't bug me at dinner doesn't bug me when I'm playing with called it doesn't bug me at any of these other times where works
00:56:14you just wait I think it's really nice to allergy and I think a lot of people going to take that and see %HESITATION walked up to me to be different in my life so this is the it's the antithesis of just about every apple I have on my
00:56:30phone say round I'm easily distracted very easily distracted first thing I did was switch off every notification forever manage I got an update on the thing enjoyed say okay that I get a new version of android and learn to hold every single out she switched all the notifications
00:56:49back I'm not distrust me for about a day just turn the mobile for everyone I think we live on this journey of everyone went to gauge meant it when I was eight and not everyone can have hundreds of the gate everyone should like if you have twenty after
00:57:07all one hundred percent gauge meant they're going to tear you to shreds they're gonna take care like to strip it's such a double edged sword to have notifications haven't happened engagement cool and and tricks and everything that everyone wants a piece of you are when you just gotta
00:57:24realize that's not a good life to try to push back against that work in weight is a major aspect of that that done be respectful of women workers over and night base it doesn't need to hunt a person of your game and how to present that's very on
00:57:39Silicon Valley all of you do anything surely surely everybody wants to work twenty four seven three six five three six six I'm maybe that's a different way of doing things never take off your back are you off to a re run the code base if I if I
00:57:58was I wouldn't tell you because I just learned you have to keep it secret let's take very good Catholics everybody thanks for listening to businesses of all because for more information on the business of software total

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