Getting to Shape Up 2.0 – Ryan Singer (Author of Shape Up & Founder at Felt Presence)

#1: Today I am speaking with Ryan Singer, former Head of Strategy at Basecamp. Ryan went through nearly every role in the product development stack during his 17-year tenure with the company: from UI design to programming to product management and, most recently, product strategy. In 2019, Ryan formalized the way that Basecamp was working into a framework that other companies could use, resulting in the release of the book "Shape Up – Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters".

Since then, a lot has happened and many teams have adopted and adapted Shape Up. Ryan, in turn, has taken the learnings from those teams to reshape the framework and decouple it more and more from the specific context of Basecamp – a bootstrapped and stable business with a high share of senior people.

In our conversation, we explore some of the initial reactions to Shape Up, including common criticism of the framework. We then go deeper into the evolution of Shape Up 1.0 into the 2.0 version, which Ryan is now teaching in his course "Shaping in Real Life". You'll probably get the most out of this interview if you're already somewhat familiar with the Shape Up framework. If you want to catch up on context first, check below for some links to get started.

I'm particularly excited to have Ryan on today, because this episode actually kicks off the first season of the Shapers & Builders podcast, where I'll be speaking with teams of all sizes and stages to hear their stories of adopting Shape Up, how and why they've introduced it to their companies, and the tweaks they've made along the way. If you're curious to hear some real-life case studies of teams working with Shape Up, make sure to subscribe and check out the other episodes of the show.

Ryan's website:
Ryan on Twitter / LinkedIn: |
Shaping in a nutshell:
Shape Up book:
Shaping In Real Life course:
Kent Beck (The Engineering Room Ep. 16): 
Ryan & David in 2020 on the Project A podcast:
Shapers & Builders job board:

Creators and Guests

David Arens
David Arens
Product Manager, Maker, and Host of the Shapers & Builders Podcast
Getting to Shape Up 2.0 – Ryan Singer (Author of Shape Up & Founder at Felt Presence)
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