ETech – Basecamp

Jason Fried, 37Signals – How to build web apps:

  • Reducing mass – need to find the right people (hiring). Need to work with people that are positive, well rounded (people need to be able to do a lot of different things), quick learner, trustworthy, good writers (so people can communicate effectively).
  • Embracing constraints – forcing yourself into situations where you have to constrain is good. Like use small teams. Be self funded–you care about your own money, right? Lack of proximity–meetings are bad. You can be more productive working apart for periods of time. Building less software–build less features, allows less tech support, less qa, give people just enough to solve their own problems. One example is Tada lists (simple ToDo list manager). Other ideas: say no by default, listen to the product and add features when users ask for it, decisions are temporary you can always change them later.
  • Getting real – There’s an illusion of agreement. There’s nothing functional about a functional spec. It’s a political document. Allows people to point fingers at each other. Graphic design should drive your product development. Make most decisions just in time (JIT).
  • Managing debt – Don’t need to worry about scalability (when you start building your first web based app).