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http://gettingreal.37signals.com/

Chapter 1

In big companies, processes and meetings are the norm … with the goal of everyone reaching an agreement on what is the "right" thing for the customer ... That may be the right approach for shrink-wrapped software, but with the web we have an incredible advantage. Just ship it! Let the user tell you if it's the right thing and if it's not, hey you can fix it and ship it to the web the same day if you want. ... Specs should have the foundations nailed and details figured out and refined during the development phase. Don't try to close all open issues and nail every single detail before development starts.

If there are minor bugs, ship it as soon you have the core scenarios nailed and ship the bug fixes to web gradually after that. The faster you get the user feedback the better.

Chapter 2

There's a myth that goes like this: we can launch on time, on budget, and on scope. It almost never happens and when it does quality often suffers.

If you can't fit everything in within the time and budget allotted then don't expand the time and budget. Instead, pull back the scope.

The ability to change is key. Having everything fixed makes it tough to change. Injecting scope flexibility will introduce options based on your real experience building the product.

(Basecamp) We realized project management isn't about charts, graphs, reports and statistics — it's about communication. It also isn't about a project manager sitting up high and broadcasting a project plan. It's about everyone taking responsibility together to make the project work.

it's also important to not get too obsessed with the competition. Overanalyze other products and you'll start to limit the way you think.

The problem is that once a consumer has bought someone else's story and believes that lie, persuading the consumer to switch is the same as persuading him to admit he was wrong. And people hate admitting that they're wrong. Instead, you must tell a different story and persuade listeners that your story is more important than the story they currently believe.

Chapter 3 - Less Mass

The leaner you are, the easier it is to change.

The more massive an object, the more energy is required to change its direction. It's as true in the business world as it is in the physical world.

When it comes to web technology, change must be easy and cheap. If you can't change on the fly, you'll lose ground to someone who can. That's why you need to shoot for less mass.

Chapter 4 - What’s The Big Idea

Work from large to small. We're crazy about details. Success and satisfaction are in the details. However, success isn't the only thing you'll find in the details. You'll also find stagnation, disagreement, meetings, and delays. These things can kill morale and lower your chances of success.

Just Wing It. People often spend too much time up front trying to solve problems they don't even have yet. Don't. Heck, we launched Basecamp without the ability to bill customers!

The best software has a vision. The best software takes sides. When someone uses software, they're not just looking for features, they're looking for an approach.

Chapter 5 - It Just Doesn’t Matter

Most of the time you spend is wasted on things that just don't matter. If you can cut out the work and thinking that just don't matter, you'll achieve productivity you've never imagined.

So what do you do with all these requests that pour in? Where do you store them? How do you manage them? You don't. Just read them and then throw them away. Yup, read them, throw them away, and forget them. It sounds blasphemous but the ones that are important will keep bubbling up anyway.

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