Partly a marketing move, for sure, but this move to ethical business is encouraging. See also Buffer’s transparent salary calculator. The next move for companies like this would be for employees to be co-owners.
Starting 2018, Basecamp is paying everyone as though they live in San Francisco and work for a software company that pays in the top 10% of that market (compared to base pay + bonus, but not options).
We don’t actually have anyone who lives in San Francisco, but now everyone is being paid as though they did. Whatever an employee pockets in the difference in cost of living between where they are and the sky-high prices in San Francisco is theirs to keep.
This is not how companies normally do their thing. I’ve been listening to Adam Smith’s 1776 classic on the Wealth of Nations, and just passed through the chapter on how the market is set by masters trying to get away with paying the least possible, and workers trying to press for the maximum possible. An antagonistic struggle, surely.
It doesn’t need to be like that. Especially in software, which is a profitable business when run with restraint and sold to businesses.
Source: Signal v. Noise