David Heinemeier Hansson on Digital Security, Company Culture, and the Value of Schooling (#203)


David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson (@dhh) is the creator of Ruby on Rails, founder and CTO at Basecamp (formerly 37Signals), and the best-selling co-author of Rework and Remote: Office Not Required. Oh, and he went from not having a driver’s license at 25 to winning, at 34, the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world. It is often called the “Grand Prix of endurance and efficiency.”

Listeners had a million questions we didn’t get to last time, so he’s back for round two because his episode is about to cross a million downloads — and that’s in barely two weeks!

In this episode, DHH discusses:

  • Digital security
  • The value of schooling
  • Three questions you should be able to answer
  • Company culture
  • How bladder relief happens in a 24-hour race
  • And much, much more!

Please enjoy my round 2 conversation with DHH!

#203: David Heinemeier Hansson on Digital Security, Company Culture, and the Value of Schooling

Want to hear my first episode with David “DHH” Heinemeier Hansson? — Listen to this interview, which has already been downloaded almost a million times. In this episode, DHH shares his thoughts on the power of being outspoken, running a profitable business without venture capital, Stoic philosophy, and much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#195: David Heinemeier Hansson: The Power of Being Outspoken

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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

  • Connect with DHH:

Website | The Distance Podcast | Twitter | Instagram | Medium | Basecamp | Ruby on Rails

Show Notes

  • What skills are most important today? [05:22]
  • Will the days of AI (artificial intelligence) writing its own code be a reality soon? [13:49]
  • Thoughts on creating and maintaining a company culture. [19:13]
  • How does DHH ensure his own digital security? [26:21]
  • How (and why) did DHH and Jason Fried make the decision to sell off a lot of 37Signals’ portfolio products and double down on Basecamp? [32:07]
  • How have DHH and Jason Fried resolved heated disagreements and maintained their thriving partnership for so many years? [40:37]
  • What DHH has learned about effective parenting and his thoughts on raising a rebel vs. a compliant child. [45:45]
  • What was DHH’s opinion of himself as a child? [52:51]
  • How does DHH stay alert during a 24-hour Le Mans race? [57:18]
  • Does a 24-hour race take bathroom breaks into account? [1:02:56]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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17 Replies to “David Heinemeier Hansson on Digital Security, Company Culture, and the Value of Schooling (#203)”

  1. I really hate these lazy ass podcast. It feels so 4 hour work. Meaning, how can i squeeze out another episode without doing any more work? I know, have my guess talk themselves answering questions sent in from their last episode.

    The only reason I listen to podcast like yours is for interaction with each other. Not wanting to listen to an episode WITHOUT THE HOST, AT ALL!!!

    1. For the record Tim. I like these episodes. The ones with you are definitely the best ones but I enjoy these also. So please keep them up. Those who don’t like them can always not listen right?

      1. I also like the episode, but what I appreciate the most is how Tim regularly tries new formats. Some work, some don’t and Tim seems to react to the response of the listeners and adjust! Thanks Tim, keep innovating.

  2. DHH is a Top 5 wise person on the TF show! In particular, I think the perspectives on work culture, and parenting will sit in me forever…cheers guys.

      1. Stefano, I clicked through to your website. So funny, that’s an area I have been thinking about working with young people to help them interpret, re-frame and make career decisions. I’ve added my name to your email for news on release and look forward to following! Kevin

      2. Hi Kevin, thanks a lot 😉 I must say writing the book is bringing me to territories I hadn’t thought about. I am going deeper than usual “self-help” you can find on the theme, but I am not sure people will find it comforting!

  3. Wow – thanks for using my question!

    DHH has accomplished so much and is an inspiration to all.

    Thanks for the follow up podcast.

  4. Hi, not related to this podcast but I didn’t know where else to suggest (neigh, beg) for a Tim Ferriss Gift Guide 2016.

    I like all the weird products you use and love when you suggest new ones.. Can you compile a list of your favorite’s from 2016?

    It can be like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop but less sad bullshit and more cool toys!

  5. I’m writing a small book and I wanted to hear DHH for inspiration and for his point of view on many things, so thanks Tim for doing it for me haha! Two intense episodes, couldn’t have asked for more!!

  6. Thanks Tim. I enjoyed listening to this episode. I appreciate the perspective, but have a difficult time getting on board with some of the ideas.

  7. Textbook Asperger’s Syndrome individual aka HSP. Big miss! Would have liked to understand better how he overcame some of the negative aspects of that type of nervous system. I’m glad people appreciate the positive aspects, though.

  8. 1password saves your passwords, for everything, all in one place – that is not under your control – ie, someone elses cloud server. This is beyond disingenous. And this guy gets to talk about ‘digital security’ ? This is the opposite of security..

    a password manager should be free open source software (FOSS) which is the opposite of closed source, proprietry code that you have no idea what it is really doing, who owns it, who controls it, where they are or what their names or credentials are. You have no idea what infrastructure they use or other vulnerabilities exist in their so called fortress

    Oh and tech news articles just stated, 1 password just got majorly owned ie hacked – massive breach of its data. Goodbye, millions of safe secure passwords all saved on a third parties cloud. They don’t belong to you any more. They belong to someone else. You just don’t know what their name is. 1 password didn’t seem particularly willing nor prompt to let users know about it, either. Which is always nice. Save your ass – stuff the customers private data leak!

    Want to upgrade this blog post, Mr Hansson? Or perhaps, edit out your bits about knowing something about digital security?

  9. sorry forgot to add – aside from being FOSS (free open source software) a password manager should be stored by you, locally, under your control exclusively.