Monday, September 22, 2008

Lessons from 37 Signals

One of the company I really admire is 37 Signals. Not only that it has amazing products but truly inspirational leaders working there and a revolutininzing working philosophy. A new startup can learn a lot by just watching and learning from this company. 

I personally have not used any of their products but have read a decent amount of review to know that they are solid products. What I have used from 37Signals is RubyOnRails, a framework for developing web applications. RoR is such a good framework that you just don't have to worry about the nitty gritties of web server. You just develop your application with amazing simplicity and  RoR takes care of the rest. It's really fast to give life to the small idea that you were having in your head and did'nt know how to implement it.

Both David Hansson and Jason Fried are quite an inspirational leaders. One of the video of David Hansson from statup school helped me nailing down my ideas about a startup and what I would want from it. He is also the main person responsible for creating RoR, which he admits he created as a hobby not as a product. Recently Jason Fried spoke about Lessons learnt at 37 Signals at web 2.0 expo. There are a lot of good things one can learn by just reading about these lessons. They are not the usual abstract talk people give about a successfull company, but down to earth and really simple lessons which we all admit of knowing but somehow don't seem to implement them.

One thing that impresses me about a small company is how much cash they are able to generate by remaining small. I don't know the revenue of this company, but am pretty sure that the revenue divided by the number of employees would be one of the highest if not the highest in software industry. I doubt if microsoft or even apple can match that figure. Forget the cash for a second, Even to imagine that a company of 12 people can successfuly run these many products is itself mind boggling.

I hope we can learn from this company and follow their path to a successfull revolutinizing company from India. That would really be my dream.

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