Many bootstrappers look up to the guys from Basecamp (prevously known as 37signals). A design studio turned privately-owned and directed software company with a (relatively) small staff, great work environment and multi-million dollar revenue.

Is the 37signals to Basecamp story a bootstrapper’s myth? Are we chasing an unachievable dream?

The Myth of the Design Studio Turned Product Company

So here’s an interesting article about the design studio, @freshtilledsoil about the distraction of trying to become a product-focussed business.

There’s good stuff in here about focus and required skill sets, but the hyperbole does not serve the article well… as we’ll see below.

There’s No Myth, Only Years Of Hard Work

@allanbranch of LessAccounting, another self-funded software business gets busting some of the myths of the SaaS product.

There’s a lot of hard earned wisdom in here…

37signals isn’t mythical, you’re not paying attention

@amyhoy is in less generous mood. She takes apart the original article by pointing out the lack of understanding of what 37signals actually did to become the product company they are today.

As her original article on building a small product points out, 37signals originally packaged up knowledge into ebooks and sold them.

The Great Discontent: Jason Fried

A terrific career spanning interview with Jason Fried, one of the co-founders of Basecamp.

It’s interesting to compare this interview from 2005 with the more recent one. There hasn’t been a great change in Jason’s modus operandi. Perhaps merely greater focus.

One Hit Wonder

Here Basecamp’s other founder. @dhh writes what I’ve heard him say in interviews before… being happy with a ‘one hit wonder’.

Let’s face it, it’s tough enough to have the single hit in the first place.



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