LAUNCH: Selfimportance by 37signals Jason 01 Feb 2006

72 comments Latest by Self Publishing

We’ve been working on a top secret project for a few years now. We’re finally ready to unveil it. Introducing Selfimportance, a new fragrance by 37signals. Inhale.

72 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Dante 01 Feb 06

This is awesome! I’ve been waiting for something like this! Oh, wait … inhale. Mmmmmmuch better.

Mike Rundle 01 Feb 06

Looks like somebody cheaped out and used Blue Highway instead of Interstate. Lame!!

SH 01 Feb 06

Mike: You’ve made my day for noticing that flaw. Indeed it is a generic Interstate, and don’t even get me started on the centering of the logo.

Anonymous Coward 01 Feb 06

I found the page that links to the image

John Kopanas 01 Feb 06

And I got excited over nothing :-(.

Chris S 01 Feb 06

Chuck Norris launched at birth.

Joshua Blankenship 01 Feb 06

Ah, the internet… finally a consequence-free environment where we can “say” things we’d never actually have the guts to say in person.

N. Godbout 01 Feb 06

The greatest part about that image is that it’s a screencap of Windows computer trying real hard to be a Mac.

Kendall 01 Feb 06

Hilarious.

Jason. Thank you for having the sense of humor to post this.

Egoiste 01 Feb 06

I need a case-load of that product. Where should I send my assistant to purchase this?

Diego 01 Feb 06

:’(

I was specting a new product… snif

Randy J. Hunt 01 Feb 06

Good one, Jason, appropriating it for yourself. Negative energy gets us to well…a boring image and not-very-funny poke.

Love or loath 37 Signals’ success, that last thing I really care about is someone less successful attempting to inflame some hostility toward them.

I’m satisfied with all the products and love them for the most part. More than I can say for most things I pay hard-earned money for.

JCRogers 01 Feb 06

My ISP is blocked or something. Oh well… I’d click his email like the thing says to, but he blocked me, and I have a tendency to hold a grudge. At first, I was like “ooh, a link” but then I was like “I didn’t want to see your stupid link anyway!” — stupid Kevin Leitch.

Hi, You’re getting this page as I’ve set up a script to attempt to kill referrer spam on my blog. Or you’ve done something to annoy me that prompted a ban. The script that detects this is automatic and therefore there’s a chance it made an error in your case. Please email me at kevleitch@gmail.com to allow me to recify the situation. When you do mail me though, be sure to include the name of your ISP. I’ve had to ban some people from Verizon and AOL (US) so if you use those ISP’s it might be that - just let me know and I’ll try to sort it out.

brad 01 Feb 06

The greatest part about that image is that it’s a screencap of Windows computer trying real hard to be a Mac.

Actually I think it’s Safari but with a different font and some sort of geeky newsreader toolbar that I haven’t seen before.

Anyway, when lesser mortals start broadcasting their jealousy like this, you know you’ve arrived.

indi 01 Feb 06

Besides giving me a good laugh (thanks JF), this post demonstrates the difference between self-importance and self-confidence.

37shingles? 01 Feb 06

it’s a good poke.

Platte 01 Feb 06

I laughed way too loud.

Thanks for posting this and the explanatory comment on Matt’s earlier “Four things” post. It helps to understand where you’re coming from.

tracey 01 Feb 06

@brad: hehe, thats not safari, that’s FF with the ifox theme. I use it myself. (but not on Windows)

:)

Eric Coleman 01 Feb 06

Brad,

Are you kidding? That’s firefox. It’s ugly as fuck, and that gives it away.

SpreadSafari!

Eric Coleman 01 Feb 06

My bad… didn’t refresh before posting :)

Jon 01 Feb 06

its firefox with the ifox theme….

Alex Cabrera 01 Feb 06

Ah, the internet… finally a consequence-free environment where we can “say” things we’d never actually have the guts to say in person.

I’m sure everyone should be worried about the 37Signals guys jumping you in the parking lot in real life.

Kyle Posey 01 Feb 06

Hey, 4-5 geeks can still kick the ass of 1 geek… Unless that 1 geek is me, then it would take 1-2 geeks at most.

chad 01 Feb 06

ROFL. this is great. keep up the good work - “dicks” =)

paulo 01 Feb 06

funny stuff!

now that is out of the way can we have Sunrise? Please?

Geoffrey 01 Feb 06

I’ve had 37shingles before. I’ve also had rickets and Legionnaires’ disease.

Kev 01 Feb 06

Thanks for having the good grace to see this in the spirit it was intended. Well, most of you.

A few clear ups: The font is Expressway. I did think about Blue Highway but decided to up the creation time from 7 to 8 mins and install a closer face.

It is indeed a Windows PC with Firefox installed with a theme. I thought the idea of reproducing 37signals on a PC added a certain irony - no?

I also fear that your commenter who noticed I hadn’t quite centred the alignment is quite right. 8 mins 30 secs is just too long to invest in a bit of fun. Its about the same length of time it takes to complete a meme for example.

Javier Cabrera (CSSelite) 01 Feb 06

ha ha ha, very funny!
But hey… I think it’s 50%/50%. They are a little bit like that and it’s ok… it’s normal. Just don’t cross the line and end up with a full 100% of “self-importance madness”.

Believe me; one day I was the King of Uganda… but that’s another story.

Javier Cabrera

tomas 01 Feb 06

ironic, as i just blogged yesterday that i thought you guys were becoming self important (workshop 2 sold out in 19 hours!).

you guys should reel in your giddy schoolgirl behaviour a lil bit…true, you got it goin on, but we dont need to be told that, umkay?

JF 01 Feb 06

you guys should reel in your giddy schoolgirl behaviour a lil bit…true, you got it goin on, but we dont need to be told that, umkay?

Love it. You are telling US what to say and how to act (and finishing it with the condescending “umkay”). And you’re calling US self important?

We’re just excited the workshop sold out in 19 hours and proud to share that fact. It’s great for the people who made it in before it sold out. Everyone who’s involved gets more excited about the event because of it. That’s a good thing.

Anonymous Coward 01 Feb 06

“Sold out in 19 hours” is no different than studio’s sharing their box office numbers after the first weekend of opening. It’s excitement, marketing, and promotion all in one. That’s smart business, not “giddy schoolgirl behaviour.”

Dan Boland 01 Feb 06

I swear, for some folks, it seems like the 37s can’t do anything right. =/

tomas 01 Feb 06

like i said, you guys DO have it goin on….you are smart folks with smart ideas…but your condescending attitude is a turn off, as is your incessant self congratulatory high fiving. i’m not trying to be an ass, i am a fan…you should think about what i have said.

Evil ZEN Scientist 01 Feb 06

Two months early.. :)

Anonymous Coward 01 Feb 06

tomas, have you been watching the SvN feed numbers? They keep going up. Over 19,000 now. How do you square this with the notion 37s is turning people off or doing the wrong thing?

Kyle Posey 01 Feb 06

Tis a shame that you can’t actually please everyone…

tomas 01 Feb 06

i dont doubt that this blog and 37 in particular are getting more popular…and maybe i am just speaking for myself here…but i am sensing an increasing attitude/tone lately, not unlike that wacko that heads up jboss….after a while, i just tuned that jboss guy (and everything he had to say) out……and i have noticed myself getting that same feeling with this blog lately, which is a shame.

Henk 01 Feb 06

Well, as an ‘early-days’ entrepreneur I try to learn a lot from some older entrepreneurs. What I realised is that there are two types of ‘older entrepreneurs’. The ones who have 10+ years experience behind them and who are willing to share the knowledge… and the ones who have 2 or 3 years more experience than you, and want to rub your nose in it.

It’s the ones with 2 or 3 years experience who are smelling the most of SelfImportance.

Anyways, does this ephiphany on 37’s behalf indicate that they might listen to the folks out there (beneath them?) and actually make Writeboard usable to non-techheads?

JF 01 Feb 06

Henk, most people who use Writeboard are non-techheads. Most people use it to collaborate on a few paragraphs of text. They don’t use formatting codes because they don’t need them — they’re just there to collaborate on some plain text. It works really well for them and they’re really happy with it.

Jonas Haurum 01 Feb 06

Ha, ha, fucking priceless guys!

Jeremy 01 Feb 06

Guess this is pretty cool, but I don’t think I’ll be leaving off my sweet knock-off 37signals app Travel Skillet for this one just yet. Well, until it’s out of beta anyway.

Swati 01 Feb 06

I ought to be the only one who doesn’t get it.

adam 01 Feb 06

I would need a reason to attend. At this point I guess I assume it will be just like your blog - full of hype, whining, and ego-masturbation.

“Yeah, so hey guys. Welcome to the workshop. Sorry I am a little late. I just dropped my mercedes off at the shop to get it worked on. Fucking thing takes 5 minutes to warm up!! Can you believe that? Actually, you probably wouldn’t know(snicker). My popcorn popper was made by a bunch of child laborers for less than 4 cents, yet they somehow got it right. Simplicity I tell you! Less wages is more! Those stupid child-labor laws just confuse people anyways… But, don’t even get me started on Rolex’s… shit… When a lay down 10 grand on a watch, I expect quality, damn it, like the applications we write”

“Okay, so now here is a list of all the people that think we rock! Notice how I used big text? Isn’t that fucking awesome? Check out this quote by Scoble - did you know he works at Microsoft? Yeah, we will probably get bought out soon - we have been getting a lot of offers. But don’t let DHH know… shit, we aren’t even covering his health insurance. (snicker snicker)”

“So thanks for attending everybody. I will be providing autographs and pictures next to my private jet for $50. Last time I ran out of pictures in the first 15 minutes (did I mention Kinko’s sucks?), so hurry up!”

JF 01 Feb 06

Adam, here’s what people who’ve attended have to say about it. No mention of hype, whining, or ego-masturbation. But hey, why listen to them, they’ve actually been there. Just listen to your imagination.

adam 01 Feb 06

straight from your link, JF

” Having media available immediately after the workshop (a CD of slides, an email of the campfire conversation, supporting literature, a file containing links you use regularly and why) would have been fantastic. Participate more with the attendees. Have each 37 person sit at a different table at lunch. We paid money to interact with you, not to just listen to you tell us how great you are (yes, you are great, yes, we love listening to you, yes, your energy is infectious, but talk _with_ us one-on-one, not just _to_ us). Have a drink at the end with us at the end instead of leaving in your own clique. Provide a way for us to know who the other attendees were. Not 100% how to do this, so, nothing more than a vague suggestion (this one you may discard, keep the rest of these though). Hire someone other than young, white men. I have no idea if this submitted correctly. I have no feedback on the submitted page.”

adam 01 Feb 06

And that is the image I get, based on your blog.
That is the reason I would never attend.

If that means anything at all to you.

Rabbit 01 Feb 06

The 37S team is tough. And thank god. If people like Adam cause us to lose comments again… bad things…

Don’t listen to them JF, they’re just jealous and bitter. :)

JF 01 Feb 06

Yup, that’s one comment. We’ll take that into consideration — I think that person makes a good point about lunch. We’ll do a better job with that next time.

Unfortunately we can’t make everyone happy all the time. We do our best to make most of the people happy most of the time. I think from the results of that survey most of the people were very happy with the workshop and 86% found it definitely worth their time and money to attend.

adam 01 Feb 06

I am not jealous of anything. I am not a troll either. I have been subscribed to their feed for the last year and a half . I have read all of their blog posts. I was happy for their success. I thought 37 was fantastic until their tone started changing.

If you want to ignore negative comments from potential customers that you have lost, then please, do disable comments.

JF 01 Feb 06

Rabbit, it doesn’t get to us. We like to have fun with folks like Adam. They hate us and they come here to tell us. Fine with us, but we’ll have some fun biting back too. We enjoy what we do and don’t take it too seriously. That’s why we have a good time.

Anonymous Coward 01 Feb 06

adam, I see responses to your comments. how exactly is 37s ignoring you? you’re point keeps getting duller and duller.

RyanA 01 Feb 06

I think some people forget that 37signals is a business run by professionals. I suspect that some people think that 37signals represent their demographic because they ‘blog’ and ‘make web pages’.

I haven’t seen this kind of BS since I stopped playing onine FPS when I was 17… !

What you guys could do next is start putting each others heads on offensive photographs. That’s a good way to get a ‘one-up’!

Adam: I’ve read blog posts from SVN a year, two years ago, and I didn’t notice a significant change in ‘tone’. Go get your head checked.

Rabbit 01 Feb 06

Woohoo! Keep on rockin’ then guys. :)

Sunrise needs to come soon! Glad your book is almost ready! I can’t afford it, but I’m getting it anyway! XD

Lindsey 01 Feb 06

Actually I think it’s Safari but with a different font and some sort of geeky newsreader toolbar that I haven’t seen before.

It’s the Web Developer Extension for Firefox. It’s quite useful.

Anyway: funny!

Michael Doan 01 Feb 06

Why do these people complain so much? If you don’t like 37s, don’t read their blog, don’t subscribe to their service, and don’t buy their books. This will free up your time to bitch about something else.

I read svn almost daily, and I don’t agree with everything they have to say and not everything they say is interesting, but I don’t bitch about it. 37s constantly say that what they do works for them, it doesn’t work for everyone.

zurb_finder 01 Feb 06

Don’t forget about about BugSpray

“Dreamed up, written, drawn and delivered during the Getting Real Workshop in Chicago, Friday, January 27, 2006 with our new Ruby on Rails toy.” -Zurb

Bob Aman 01 Feb 06

I must admit to being envious of typographically-inclined persons. Maybe it’s just because I’m a programmer who doesn’t spend all day looking at fonts, but I just don’t understand how people manage to recognize fonts other than the 20 or so major ones that are installed everywhere. And well, Mike Rundle’s catch there just boggles my mind. How do you guys do it?!?

tim 02 Feb 06

@Michael Doan:
Ignoring “problems” leads to bigger ones. Adam is right to complain, maybe he didn’t choose the best suited method to do it, but at least hr made it public so everyone can give their opinion.

This blog is a good one. Sometimes posts are not as insightful as we’d like them to be, but they post on a daily basis and to me that’s pure gold.
Jason (and the rest of the team) speaks his mind everyday. he doesn’t have to care if you like it or not, he writes down his toughts. you don’t like all of them ? take the best ones and throw away what’s left. You’re not forced to read and agree with everything here. But if you have complaints, at least, make them constructive.
@ JF: your sense of humour is a breath of fresh air in the blogosphere (did i write that word ?) - keep it up

J 02 Feb 06

As long as they’re producing innovative products that I want to use, I could care less what their attitude is.

Taking such an attitude however, does not garner customer loyalty on any basis besides the merit of the delivered product.

So keep producing good work, and they’ll be fine. Make a misstep though, and don’t expect a soft landing.

To extend the drug dealer metaphor: if you stop delivering the stuff, I’ve got no reason not to narc on yo ass.

Ryan 02 Feb 06

Your language is unprofessional. Why swear to communicate? It turns people off.

J 02 Feb 06

Just sticking to the local paradigm.

Ref: http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/creative_tries_to_redefine_podcast.php

August 02 Feb 06

This is an interesting discussion. I liked the parody; clever.

I’m concerned by all this talk about any and all comments that reflect negatively on the 37Signals crew being construed as jealousy. We have a similar situation existing in Canadian literary circles. Any and all criticism against Margaret Atwood is immediately dismissed as jealousy, anti-feminism (which in the popular press might as well be misongyny, even though it isn’t), or “ignorance” of her work and its influence. And to be fair, a lot of it is jealousy. What writer or critic wouldn’t want her success? The problem is that the jealous aren’t necessarily wrong. Atwood’s success has only made it easier to spot the fact that she is unnecessarily abrasive, self-aggrandizing, arrogant, and condescending to anyone that doesn’t view the literary world the same way she does. The effect is ultimately that it becomes impossible for any genuine and meaningful criticism of her work or behaviour to get recognition, even by those who would be sympathetic to it, or would benefit from it (Atwood herself, in many cases).

I’m not saying that the 37Signals situation is a direct parrallel. It obviously isn’t. The 37Signals crew is neither as popular nor as abrasive and arrogant as Atwood. But it is becoming (or has already become) impossible to say anything at all about the crew or their work that is in any way remotely negative without being called a troll, or jealous, or being outright dismissed in some other way.

The buzz that a firm generates has always been a valid topic of discussion here, and the 37Signals folks have dug out some subtle ways that other firms could be hurting themselves and causing their own “bad” buzz. I just hope you aren’t becoming blind to your own.

Some dude 02 Feb 06

I would need a reason to attend. At this point I guess I assume it will be just like your blog - full of hype, whining, and ego-masturbation.

“Yeah, so hey guys. Welcome to the workshop. Sorry I am a little late. I just dropped my mercedes off at the shop to get it worked on. Fucking thing takes 5 minutes to warm up!! Can you believe that? Actually, you probably wouldn’t know(snicker). My popcorn popper was made by a bunch of child laborers for less than 4 cents, yet they somehow got it right. Simplicity I tell you! Less wages is more! Those stupid child-labor laws just confuse people anyways… But, don’t even get me started on Rolex’s… shit… When a lay down 10 grand on a watch, I expect quality, damn it, like the applications we write”

“Okay, so now here is a list of all the people that think we rock! Notice how I used big text? Isn’t that fucking awesome? Check out this quote by Scoble - did you know he works at Microsoft? Yeah, we will probably get bought out soon - we have been getting a lot of offers. But don’t let DHH know… shit, we aren’t even covering his health insurance. (snicker snicker)”

“So thanks for attending everybody. I will be providing autographs and pictures next to my private jet for $50. Last time I ran out of pictures in the first 15 minutes (did I mention Kinko’s sucks?), so hurry up!”

Classic, best laugh I’ve had in weeks

Jordan Wollman 02 Feb 06

Way to go!

I can’t wait until someone gets angry enough at my success (and really great products, by the way) to take the time out of their day to mock me!

I toast to your future success and many more jabs!

Mathew Patterson 02 Feb 06

Seems like a good time to point to this article again: http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/08/37_signals_pass.html

She was spot on then, and even more so now.

Mathew Patterson 02 Feb 06

In combination with
http://headrush.typepad.com/creating_passionate_users/2005/08/physics_of_pass.html

For further explaination of all the negativity arising

James 03 Feb 06

I remember a similar discussion to this recently. Hype backlash - a switch from underdog to leader.

When we think of individuals who are leaders, we look for a particular set of attributes; I for one appreciate humility.

Companies are no different. 37signals is in a position of leadership. I come here because they are leading the way in an industry I take part in.

I appreciate the advice given on good, simple, usable design. The self-promotion and product line hype often just disappear into the background. Occasionally it grates on me though.

I feel well within my right to comment on this - in the hope that 37signals can mature into a real leader.

Some dude 03 Feb 06

Position of leadership? Why? Because they built a few ajax apps? You funny…

will 04 Feb 06

Does anyone else remember when Wired listed itself under the ‘tired’ section of it’s own magazine?

it was a rebirth of sorts.

Steve 04 Feb 06

I don’t use any of the 37Signal products. I don’t need to or don’t want to for any of the projects I am currently working on. I do see well-designed solutions and may well start to use them in the future. I don’t like groups or individuals who have a self-inflated sense of importance. In fact, I hate them. Still, I give everyone their right to say or do whatever they want. I don’t bitch about it or start whining when someone says something bad about a product I like or something I admire.

Over time, those at 37signals will need to change their attitude. They will fall from grace with a very loud bang and their future success will be measured by how well they can recover. The way they treat their customers/users will govern how well they fair and they currently treat their user base extremely well. 99% of users don’t care about what goes on in the company or about what the employees say - unless it is something bad about the users directly.

I will watch what happens. Use the products I like and ignore the rest. If 37Signals fails, then the one thing that will be missed is the products they produce and they will be missed by those who used and liked them. I, like so many others, will move on to the next big thing and start evaluating them accordingly.

I have no interest in tea except how good it tastes. I’m not interested in how the leaves are produced or the name of the ship that brought them to me. I’m not interested in the person who picked them. I just want my tea. If it tastes good, I will drink it again. If it tastes like shit, I won’t use that product again.

In reference to the AJAX comment:

The AJAX apps are exactly right. Oh, and the other well crafted, simple yet functional software solutions that are wrapped around them. The applications that seem to do exactly what users want and get things done quickly and effectively.

I still don’t like 37Signals. I agree with almost all of the bullet points in the screenshot. However, I still don’t care. Some arrogant prick in a Merc isn’t going to stop me using the right product for the job. If it works, I’ll use it. I’ll still read what they have to say because sometimes, they are right.

Self Publishing 17 Feb 06

Nice one Kevin…

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