More Praise for
“In typical 37signals fashion, the wisdom in these pages is edgy yet simple, straightforward, and proven … Read this book multiple times to help give you the courage you need to get out there and make something great.”
—Tony Hsieh, CEO, Zappos.com
“The brilliance of
is that it inspires you to rethink everything you thought you knew about strategy, customers, and getting things done.”
—William C. Taylor, founding editor of
and coauthor of
Mavericks at Work
posed a new challenge: stifling the urge to rip out each page and tape it to my wall … Amazing, powerful, inspirational—those adjectives might make me sound like a fawning fan, but
is that useful. After you’ve finished it, be prepared for a new feeling of clarity and motivation.”
—Kathy Sierra, co-creator of the bestselling Head First series and founder of javaranch.com
“Inspirational … In a world where we all keep getting asked to do more with less, the authors show us how to do less and create more.”
—Scott Rosenberg, cofounder of Salon.com and author of
Dreaming in Code
“Leave your sacred cows in the barn and let 37signals’ unconventional wisdom and experience show you the way to business success in the twenty-first century. No MBA jargon or consultant-speak allowed. Just practical advice we can all use. Great stuff.”
—Saul Kaplan, chief catalyst, Business Innovation Factory
“Appealingly intimate, as if you’re having coffee with the authors.
is not just smart and succinct but grounded in the concreteness of doing rather than hard-to-apply philosophizing. This book inspired me to trust myself in defying the status quo.”
—Penelope Trunk, author of
Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success
“[This book’s] assumption is that an organization is a piece of software. Editable. Malleable. Sharable. Fault-tolerant. Comfortable in Beta.
. The authors live by the credo ‘keep it simple, stupid’ and
possesses the same intelligence—and irreverence—of that simple adage.”
—John Maeda, author of
The Laws of Simplicity
is like its authors: fast-moving, iconoclastic, and inspiring. It’s not just for startups. Anyone who works can learn from this.”
—Jessica Livingston, partner, Y Combinator; author,
Founders at Work
We have something new to say about building, running, and growing (or not growing) a business.
This book isn’t based on academic theories. It’s based on our experience. We’ve been in business for more than ten years. Along the way, we’ve seen two recessions, one burst bubble, business-model shifts, and doom-and-gloom predictions come and go—and we’ve remained profitable through it all.
We’re an intentionally small company that makes software to help small companies and groups get things done the easy way. More than 3 million people around the world use our products.
We started out in 1999 as a three-person Web-design consulting firm. In 2004, we weren’t happy with the project-management software used by the rest of the industry, so we created our own: Basecamp. When we showed the online tool to clients and colleagues, they all said the same thing: “We need this for our business too.” Five years later, Basecamp generates millions of dollars a year in profits.
We now sell other online tools too. Highrise, our contact manager and simple CRM (customer relationship management) tool, is used by tens of thousands of small businesses to keep track of leads, deals, and more than 10 million contacts. More than 500,000 people have signed up for Backpack, our intranet and knowledge-sharing tool. And people have sent more than 100 million messages using Campfire, our real-time business chat tool. We also invented and open-sourced a computer-programming framework called Ruby on Rails that powers much of the Web 2.0 world.
Some people consider us an Internet company, but that makes us cringe. Internet companies are known for hiring compulsively, spending wildly, and failing spectacularly. That’s not us. We’re small (sixteen people as this book goes to press), frugal, and profitable.
A lot of people say we can’t do what we do. They call us a fluke. They advise others to ignore our advice. Some have even called us irresponsible, reckless, and—gasp!—unprofessional.
These critics don’t understand how a company can
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