Bezos Expeditions invests in 37signals Jason 20 Jul 2006

152 comments Latest by Movies

Today we have a very special announcement to make: Bezos Expeditions, a personal investment company of Jeff Bezos, has made a minority private equity investment in 37signals.

Here’s some background on the decision.

Over the past two and a half years we’ve accomplished a lot on our own. We’ve released 5 products (Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire, Tadalist, and Writeboard) which over 500,000 people have signed up for so far, wrote Getting Real which has sold nearly 20,000 copies in less than six months, changed the web development world by writing and open sourcing the Ruby on Rails framework, presented at conferences around the world, and more. We’re proud of what we’ve been able to do without outside help. But we think we can do even better with the right kind of help. And we’re picky.

Since we launched Basecamp we’ve been contacted by nearly 30 different VC firms. We’ve never been interested in the typical traditional VC deal. With a few exceptions, all the VCs could offer us was cash and connections. We’re fine on both of those fronts. We don’t need their money to run the business and our little black book is full. We’re looking for something else.

What we’ve been looking for is the wisdom of a very special entrepreneur who’s been through what we’re going through. Someone who sees things a little differently and makes us feel right at home. Someone with a long term outlook, not a build-to-flip mentality. We found a perfect match in Jeff. Jeff is our kinda guy.

It will be great learning from Jeff as we build 37signals into one the great companies of the next 20 years. Daniel Burnham, the great visionary architect of Chicago, said, “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized.” We agree. We hope this boost of ambition, and Jeff’s personal vote of confidence, will help us achieve our big plans.

So here we go.

152 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Phil 20 Jul 06

Congratulations guys…but one question… what do you need the money for? If your book alone brought in $200k, your job board probably another $100k this year, and thats before we even get to your products. What can you do with Jeff’s money that wouldn’t somehow contradict the principals you’ve laid out in your “Simple” philosophy? Hire more people? Spend money on advertising? Perhaps he will take you on the road to going public?

Marc Hedlund 20 Jul 06

Congrats, you guys! This is validation you completely deserve.

jerry Richardson 20 Jul 06

Finally, my “37Signals as the Beatles” meme can be completed! Jeff B. is George Martin.

Mike 20 Jul 06

I’m curious to hear answers to Phil’s questions. Amazon is the anti-37s when you think of it’s progression over time. They grew recklessly, lost massive amounts of money, gobbled up VC money, went public, and is showing a profit occassionally through accounting trickery. Seems like 37s doesn’t need help like this.

Dave Morin 20 Jul 06

Congrads to you my friends.

Ken Walker 20 Jul 06

Oooh, oooh, I get to be the first to call you guys “sellouts!” Bring on the dunce cap!

Seriously, though, congratulations you guys. I’m really looking forward to hearing about what 37signals + Bezos is capable of, after having seen so much great stuff already.

Benjy 20 Jul 06

Congratulations guys…but one question… what do you need the money for?

Jason’s probably got his eye on this

audi dealer 20 Jul 06

I guess this means a round of new Audis is in order? Call me!

Ken Walker 20 Jul 06

Oooh, oooh, I get to be the first to call you guys “sellouts!” Bring on the dunce cap!

Seriously, though, congratulations you guys. I’m really looking forward to hearing about what 37signals + Bezos is capable of, after having seen so much great stuff already.

W3matter 20 Jul 06

I’ll answer Phil’s question (pretending that I work at 37signals).
Any business can always grow. With the money, we can attract those last few extremely talented developers that we’ve had our eye on over the last year or so.
We can also get them working on one or two of the strategic simple ideas that have been rolling around our heads for the last year while we’ve been busy with Backpack and the rest.
And we can always rub shoulders with Jeff, he’s been there and done that with Amazon — which helps us to learn from his successes and mistakes — from the horse’s mouth (sorry Jeff), so to speak.

Kevin Finn 20 Jul 06

Congratulations. I’m sure you put plenty of thought into the decision and are confident it’s the right move at the right time.

I do wonder though… Does this mean the end of self publishing for 37Signals?

Kendall 20 Jul 06

Congratulations guys. I look forward to what this combination of experience and innovation will turn out next.

Keep up the great work.

Brandon 20 Jul 06

Congratulations… I think.

I like Amazon and everything - but they do seem to be sort of the opposite of everything you guys represent. Maybe I’m wrong.

I just hope the “Getting Real” approach doesn’t become a “Getting Corporate” philosophy as you guys become (m,b)illionaires under the wings of Bezos.

A lot of us like you because you’re small, uncomplicated and you solve our problems. If you stop, we’ll leave.

I’m sure that won’t happen, and instead you’ll just become another Google or Amazon keeping your principles… maybe.

Best of luck to guys.

Alan Jacobs 20 Jul 06

Wait a minute … how can there be a dozen comments without someone saying, “That’s great, but when are you going to release the calendar for Backpack?”

djd 20 Jul 06

Congrats fellas! Looking forward to more from you guys in the future!

Kendall 20 Jul 06

Congratulations guys. I look forward to what this combination of experience and innovation will turn out next.

Keep up the great work.

Rabbit 20 Jul 06

Umm… I think everyone here who has harped on money missed a few important parts…

We don’t need their money to run the business and our little black book is full. We’re looking for something else.

What we’ve been looking for is the wisdom of a very special entrepreneur who’s been through what we’re going through. Someone who sees things a little differently and makes us feel right at home.

They didn’t say anything about accepting money. Perhaps money wasn’t even involved. =P

Congrats to you guys! My expectations have always been high, but it’s time to raise the bar again. ;)

djd 20 Jul 06

Congrats fellas! Looking forward to more from you guys in the future!

Andrew 20 Jul 06

Why take his money if you don’t need it? Why not come up with way to generate more revenue on your own without having to link yourself with a company like Amazon. While it makes sense to take that kind of VC from someone in the tech industry, there are plenty who will see this as a sellout. Hope the money was worth the backlash.

Mike G 20 Jul 06

Grats guys,

I can’t wait to see what is conceived from this, very interesting! Not your typical partnership.

Good luck!!

Mike

sj 20 Jul 06

After years of showing young, talented web professionals how to build a successful, self-funded, passion-filled company, a hearty congratulations is in order. Here’s one person looking forward to seeing what the next phase brings.

JF 20 Jul 06

Since it’s been brought up a few times, this deal has nothing to do with Amazon. It was a personal investment from Jeff.

s. zeilenga 20 Jul 06


They have had their eye on a 38th and 39th signal for awhile now.

seriously though, if you keep your ‘simple’ philosophy and suddenly have a bunch of money to play with imagine what you could do with everything you created so far.

z.

Mike G 20 Jul 06

Grats guys,

I can’t wait to see what is conceived from this, very interesting! Not your typical partnership.

Good luck!!

Mike

Mike Drips 20 Jul 06

Does this mean that Amazon is going to carry your self-published book now? ;)

Mike G 20 Jul 06

Grats guys,

I can’t wait to see what is conceived from this, very interesting! Not your typical partnership.

Good luck!!

Mike

Cameron Moll 20 Jul 06

Wow, very cool. All the best, guys.

Matthew Blest 20 Jul 06

Nice to know that 37 Signals is going to be around for a while to come, congratulations to everyone involved, I’m glad you held out for the right deal.

Josh Williams 20 Jul 06

It’s all about space: http://www.blueorigin.com/ : )

Seriously though, this should be interesting to watch. Good stuff.

Bill Litfin 20 Jul 06

Has anyone considered that to get insight, advice or doors opened by a guy like Jeff Bezos (who’s time is surely at a premium and attention span ), 37S would have to give a little something up?

Jeff’s not going to help out just because he’s a nice guy… and 37S is not going to bring in a partner without getting something out of the deal.

In this case, 37S gave up a little piece of the business… and I’m sure they got fair market value (or perhaps a premium for it - you know the Internet is hot again I hear). What they got back was presumably some cash and access to Jeff.

Jason said it was a minority share — you know what that means… exactly what it says — a minority owner, who shares in the success of the business. He can’t fire the guys, wrreak havoc on the board of directors (what board of directors?) or change the direction of the company. What he can do is provide advice because he’s likely made a lot of mistakes, learned from them and can help 37S avoid them. Additionally - he scaled a business from something quite modest to something quite ubiquitous. Maybe 37S wants to scale and scale smartly?

When it gets down to it, Jason, David and co. are still 100% in control of where the business goes, what it does and how it makes money. Jeff is just along to help with advice and color commentary.

Smart. Pure and simple.

Bill Litfin 20 Jul 06

That should have read “who’s time is surely at a premium and has the attention span of a gnat”

Ari Mir 20 Jul 06

I couldn’t be more proud of you guys. We are big fans of 37Signals over here at mojungle.

37Signals Believer 20 Jul 06

Slightly confused: stay small, no vc said your “getting real” book.

are you guy’s changing track?

James 20 Jul 06

That’s great guys! Does this mean you’ll be hiring (me) soon?

Others who have made the Amazon comments here don’t seem to understand the difference between Amazon the corporation, and Jeff Bezos the individual. Jeff is a great guy, and I think he’ll do good things for 37sigs.

--Josh 20 Jul 06

Congrats guys.

Could this be a signal that you want to seriously take on the big boys with Sunrise?

Hiten Shah 20 Jul 06

Congratulations guys!
I think this will really take things to the next level, I can’t wait to see what comes of it. Many people have already began wondering what this means but I’d agree with Bill, this is just a smart move.

B-I-G-P-O-P-P-A 20 Jul 06

There goes the neighborhood

Emily 20 Jul 06

Hey! What an exciting announcement. We’ve all been wondering when the inevitable will happen. You guys are talented, NICE, no-nonsense, and develop great products (bottom line) that I’m sure you’ve been beating these VCs off with sticks.

Maybe you can hire some more folks, eh? Our resumes are ready! :)

Enjoy! This internet thing - it’s HUGE! Champagne corks pop! Crowds cheer!

You all deserve it.

Andrew Lin 20 Jul 06

Congratulations 37 Signals! Looking forward to what’s ahead.

Pete C 20 Jul 06

This is a really great move - Bezos’ experience will be invaluable to you. I just hope some of your fans don’t see this as a change of direction.

Jesse Wilson 20 Jul 06

Great news. Congratulations are definitely in order!

Maybe now you guys can afford to invest in internationalizing your products.

Booga 20 Jul 06

@ Alan Jacobs: true. ;)

looksmart 20 Jul 06

stay small, no vc…= “getting real” book

But nerds will always be nerds;) they will buy anything that sound different…Jason is samrt and you are not! he lead you into the trap and got the $$$;)

go jason

go audi

it’s real

Peter Cooper 20 Jul 06

The intriguing thing, though, is how the philosophy will change because of this. When you’re taking a company from the $X million universe to the $XXX million universe, outsourcing becomes essential. Nike doesn’t make its own shoes, McDonalds Corp doesn’t cook hamburgers.. all that stuff is outsourced and franchised. That’s how (most) big business works.

And.. this seems a little at odds with the 37signals approach so far. So I’m looking forward to seeing how the ethos changes, ever so slightly, to accomodate this move into ‘big’ business.

JP 20 Jul 06

Congrats to the entire 37Signals team.

I am surprised both at the negativity and the anticipation. Reminds me of when America tears down a sports star or hollywood actor. It must be hard to be at the top.

The Burnham quote spells out exactly where this crew is headed. The have big plans and are smartly building the capacity and potential to bring those big plans to reality.

Jeff Croft 20 Jul 06

Congrats, guys. I’m sure you’ll find some great things to do with the new cash. Looking forward to it.

Deepak 20 Jul 06

I have had disagreements with the 37S philosophy in the past, but this seems like a sound business move. Hopefully the results will be even better (like that backpack calendar)

Andrew 20 Jul 06

There’s no reason this means 37s “must” grow in unreasonable ways. The Robot Co-op (43Things, 43Places) also benefit from Bezos’ personal and financial interest, and are still only 8 or 10 people.

billt8 20 Jul 06

This investment probably won’t result in radical changes to the business model or the other byproducts that often come with outside funding, such as bloated board of directors and new management teams.

That said, investors are invariably interested in earning a return on their investment and having an exit strategy.

Whaddya say, JB?

billt8 20 Jul 06

This investment probably won’t result in radical changes to the business model or the other byproducts that often come with outside funding, such as a bloated board of directors and new management teams.

That said, investors are invariably interested in earning a return on their investment and having an exit strategy.

Whaddya say, JB?

Mark 20 Jul 06

Jason and crew -

I think you guys have made a brilliant move here. Access is what it’s all about, and now you have that.

Congrats, it’ll be fun to watch this develop.

deb schultz 20 Jul 06

Congrats guys!!! Can’t wait to see what you do next.

Andrew 20 Jul 06

I don’t know if this is a good thing or not yet. I hope its good, and I’ll be checking back regularly to see whats happening.

I really hope you can hire more great developers, sounds like 37s is a great place to work.

Tim Norton 20 Jul 06

Nice 1,

No surprise that you’d be getting someone of the highest caliber and profile ivolved at some point, its great that you’ve connected with someone you feel right with.

Its clear that the brand you’ve built thus far is going to flow into many more areas of the world. This connects you to one of the biggest marketplaces around, and someone who knows how to build them.

In the meantime we’ll all keep bulding our own simple and loveable little businesses, we’ve all gleened plenty from you to date, and I’m sure theres plenty more to come.

SR@TCS 20 Jul 06

Congraduations… in someways it is rather sad, but I can’t wait for more cool stuff from the you guys.

Hopefully you will write a longer post explaining how you will put these new assets (money & people) to work.

Matt W 20 Jul 06

I’m pleasantly surprised at most of the comments here being positive. I expected a VERY negative reaction but it seems people trust 37s enough that they’re making the right decision.

Congrats, guys.

MikeInAZ 20 Jul 06

Congrats.

If you guys need a janitor at 37signals, I’ll send in my resume.

I keep it real and I think less is more.

I just want in early. :)

Tim O'Reilly 20 Jul 06

This is a very good move. FWIW, of all the companies that I consider leaders of “Web 2.0”, Amazon is the one that I tell people to study the most. Unlike say, Google, who discovered a couple of big things about the internet that gave them extraordinary leverage, Amazon has gutted it out, through dint of persistence and consistent innovation in involving their users to build their product. That’s a testament to real vision on Jeff’s part.

When I look back on my history at O’Reilly, I started with very much the corporate philosophy that Jason has espoused for 37signals — stay small, stay focused on mission, keep control so it doesn’t become just about the money. And I’ve succeeded as a result in remaining both successful, and I hope interesting and innovative for many years. But of all the things I regret, the biggest is not getting help from more experienced people when I was young and inexperienced. In particular, I regret that I never answered the letter I got from Warren Buffet (no kidding) when I wrote to him exploring whether he’d be interested in investing — not because I needed the money but because I needed the advice. For whatever reason (and I can’t think what it was through the mists of time), I never got back to him. Jason didn’t make that mistake!

Getting help and advice from people of special accomplishment is a really good thing. Jason and crew, and Jeff — nice one!

Karl 20 Jul 06

The key is to look at this as Jeff Bezos paying 37signals to do something fun with his time. He needs them, they don’t need him.

Long Time Listener - Repeat Caller 20 Jul 06

You know, maybe with the extra money coming in they can pay someone to focus on getting that calendar in Backpack up and running. At the rate they put out updates for everything other than BP, I’m beginning to think 37S considers it to be their red-headed step-child.

JF 20 Jul 06

You know, maybe with the extra money coming in they can pay someone to focus on getting that calendar in Backpack up and running.

Good one. We should be launching the Backpack Calendar next week. Maybe Microsoft can hire a few people to fix IE 6 (and don’t say IE 7 cause that breaks everything too).

Sid 20 Jul 06

So how does


“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will themselves not be realized.” We agree. We hope this boost of ambition, and Jeff’s personal vote of confidence, will help us achieve our big plans

jive with “Less is more” and “Don’t make plans”? Do these “big plans” include (gasp) hiring a lot of people now?

shane 20 Jul 06

Congrats fellas on an obvious great move!

… and hey if we were all Jeff Bezos and had that much coin wouldn’t we want to get in on a fresh firm like 37s just for the ride in watching the little guys move in on the big boys?

On a different note, in the future, I just hope people don’t think 37s made it because of Jeff Bezos. The destination was already set for these fellas, Jeff Bezos will only make the ride smoother.

JF 20 Jul 06

The destination was already set for these fellas, Jeff Bezos will only make the ride smoother.

That’s kind of you, but there’s no such thing as a set destination in business. There are tough competitors, business cycles, and mistakes. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get where we want to go.

We feel good about where we are, what we have coming up, and what this deal brings to the table, but the moment we rest on our past achievements is the moment we lose steam. Instead, it’s full steam ahead.

daniel Lord 20 Jul 06

So freakin’ what. This guy has so much wealth he can throw it down rat-holes without denting his net worth. So the significance to him is in the ‘noise margin’ of his portfolio returns and therefore it should be viewed as inconsequential. He’s just diversifying his portfolio and the greater the wealth base, the farther a field the diversification.

Bill Seitz 20 Jul 06

time to patent that yellow fade….

Jeff Croft 20 Jul 06

Maybe Microsoft can hire a few people to fix IE 6…

I dunno, I think maybe Microsoft should “stay small,” because that’s what the guys from this one web company told me you should do.

Shane Perran 20 Jul 06

Someone didn’t just say Amazon only makes money via creative accouting did they? - that was funny.

Congrats guys - keep your simple and usable software vision at the forefront and you’ll do great things. I’ve watched silently as 37 has grown over the last couple of years - it’s been great.

Well deserved.

Kevin Burton 20 Jul 06

Interesting…… I’m going to blog about this in a little bit but one point that i’ve been really thinking about since I launched Tailrank is that if you raise money on YOUR terms then things could work out pretty well.

The problem is that a lot of companies raise funds when they’re not in a good position to get decent terms which means they end up loosing too much of the company. Since you’re already profitable you can change the equation around a bit and approach the table with bargaining power.

w00t!

Onward!

Tim 20 Jul 06

I don’t think “big” is the same as “complicated” or “more”. I think “big” in the quotation refers to the impact on people’s lives. One of Burnham’s best plans was no buildings along the lake.

I’m so curious what level of involvement Bezos will end up having.

nacho libre 20 Jul 06

congrats, much deserved. now it’s time to kick more ass.

Evan Wired 20 Jul 06

Cool. So that’s where you’re getting the money to host at Rackspace, eh?

Fred Wills 20 Jul 06

I still don’t know what Basecamp, Backpack, Campfire, Tadalist, and Writeboard *ARE*, or what benefits those products could give me.

Nathaniel Winn 20 Jul 06

Fred Willis: Links on the home page might help!

General Note: It’s “congraTulations”! “CongraDulations” and variations are likely derived from punny graduation cards and balloons that appear every Summer, but they’re still wrong.

Ethan 20 Jul 06

Congrats Guys,
But what I want to know is what is the investment money going to be used for. And may I suggest releasing a new chapter of the getting real book entitled “How to Take VC money and still Get Real”

Once again Congrats.

Bill P 20 Jul 06

All the best to you. Congratulations! (for the 1,000th time)

I don’t expect anything to change - the way I see it, you’ve have had plenty of opportunities to sell out on a massive scale and have resisted.

To me, I expect it’ll be like adding another team member. A really, *really* smart team member. Has anyone thought to consider that maybe Jeff Bezos can get a thing or two out of this kind of partnership?

Now, when is Jeff going to be a guest contributor to SVN?

adam 20 Jul 06

Looking fwd to the wisdom of Jeff to appear on svn

TruthTEller 20 Jul 06

What FUC*IN Hypocrites, and i say that after following 37signals for nearly 3 years. Practice what you preach.

O and by the way good luck :D

Jack Shedd 20 Jul 06

This is infinetly interesting.

Wesley Walser 20 Jul 06

I rarely comment, but I just must say congradulations. I hope that the advice serves you well.

Chris Busse 20 Jul 06

Congratulations gentlemen! Looking forward to see what comes next…

TruthTEller 20 Jul 06

What FUC*IN Hypocrites, and i say that after following 37signals for nearly 3 years. Practice what you preach.

O and by the way good luck :D

FredS 21 Jul 06

Ah, Bezos wants some help with S3. Nice move. Though, I was hoping you guys would actually get to design a cellphone UI.

Another James 21 Jul 06

When I saw the headline I thought maybe 37signals had been hired to redesign Amazon, pare it down highlight the good stuff. But then I remembered they don’t really do that any more… oh well.

All the same, I’m curious to find out what this *does* mean.

jonnie 21 Jul 06

Congratulations.

I’m sure bezos is experienced enough to leave a good thing keep growing…

John Koetsier 21 Jul 06

When I think of Bezos I think of this encounter between Bezos, Jobs, Doerr, and the as-yet-unreleased Segway:
http://hbsworkingknowledge.hbs.edu/archive/3533.html

Seems like more of a conciliator, cooperator, let’s figure it out together type than the brilliant but mercurial genius Jobs.

I hope that’s what you need at 37Signals. Maybe so, because maybe Jason is your Jobs … albeit a kinder, gentler Jobs.

Congratulations you guys 21 Jul 06

I hope for your success.

Learnt a lot from your work.

Good luck

Meriza

Tony 21 Jul 06

It seems to me that all Jeff really wanted out of this is a free lifetime Backpack account.

Congrats guys. Great to see you guys constantly evolving and improving in surprising ways - it’s inspirational and admirable.

Holy Cow 21 Jul 06

This is a very smart move… getting the wisdom of a guy who built a huge company but just couldn’t figure out a way to make a profit out of it.

Oh yeah, his wisdom is definitely worth having. I think 37Signals is currently more profitable than Amazon. ;)

Lee 21 Jul 06

The problem with this minority private investment is that this guy could pull the majority of the strings eventually, because he has the most money. And as you get bigger, and you will, you’ll need more of it [money] and so you’ll be compromised. You will at some point, if you’re not careful, have go in directions or do stuff that you’re not really ok with. Watch out and good luck.

Cameron Reilly 21 Jul 06

Congrats mate, brilliant move.

Eric Mattson 21 Jul 06

Most of the comments so far have been focused on the business aspect of this deal. And while I think that is extremely important, let’s not overlook the personal aspect.

Yes, JF and 37 Signals team appear to have no immediate cash flow problems (20,000 copies at $19 each all of which went straight into their pockets, dear god, can you hear the sky crashing down on the publishing industry?) but this deal might have brought them something else very important. Something that all smart people and investors seek.

Diversificiation.

How much equity did they sell and for how much $? Who knows. But if the deal put $250K or $500K or $1 million into each of the pockets of the small team without affecting their control of the business, their love and ability to build great apps, and perhaps a larger payout down the road, isn’t that something worthwhile?

That money might buy a house. Pay off personal debts. Let them focus even more on the long term. Or simply make them sleep better at night.

Just another way of looking at it.

Regardless, congratulations and best of luck.

Ryan Allen 21 Jul 06

Tony: It seems to me that all Jeff really wanted out of this is a free lifetime Backpack account.

Haha, that made me laugh :)

Nice move 37s. I imagine it would be very handing having the counsels of someone like Jeff Bezos! Congrats.

Milan Hawkins 21 Jul 06

Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing more exciting developments on the Basecamp front.

Niket 21 Jul 06

Time for Getting Real II

cc 21 Jul 06

http://www.euwowgold.com

see it

good site

Ryan Coleman 21 Jul 06

Eric, I think you’re more down the right track. This sounds a lot like Jason & co. went down the “Founder’s Shares” route he mentioned they were considering when he was on the stage @ Mesh. Some (well deserved) bucks in their own pockets and a great addition to their team.

Either way though, congrats guys - to have the invested ear of someone of that calibre is a great asset. Good luck!

Tomas Jogin 21 Jul 06

To those who’ve reacted to the fact that 37s has now accepted investments when they’ve earlier recommended that one should not, etcetera, I have only this to say: Nothing stays the same, everything changes. You should not heckle or question 37s for adapting to their changing situation, nor for the fact that they keep learning new things and aren’t too proud to realize this fact.

37s continues to be the model example of how a business can grow and thrive _sustainably_, based purely on good ideas and talent, as opposed to VC capital and frivolous spending.

Very nice work so far, congratulations and my very best wishes for your continued success. Oh, and thank you for Rails. You’ve fundamentally changed my (professional) life.

Mike 21 Jul 06

Now that you have all this money, can you release Getting Real: the Book for free?

Zelnox 21 Jul 06

^5 ^_^V

Dhrumil 21 Jul 06

This is great. I feel like our firm needs to get real-er. Reading your blog always helps motivate us.

Dhrumil 21 Jul 06

Jason - Ricardo Semler went from $4 million in 1982 to $212 million in 2003. That’s 21 years. I think 37 can beat that timeline.

P.S. I think they may need a rapid re-design:
http://semco.locaweb.com.br/

Long Time Listener - Repeat Caller 21 Jul 06

“We should be launching the Backpack Calendar next week. Maybe Microsoft can hire a few people to fix IE 6 (and don’t say IE 7 cause that breaks everything too).”

1) Hooray!
2) I’m part of the 2% or whatever who doesn’t give a flying monkey crap about IE.

Anonymous Coward 21 Jul 06

Tim O’Rielly>>>>Quit trying to hog the 37s spotlight ….who cares if you think JF is just like you ten years ago ….that is like driving in the rear viewmirror.

Good going 37s …..you deserve it . Great strategic move …..
cheers

Mark Haliday 21 Jul 06

To: Anonymous Coward

I happen to like Tim O’Reilly’s comments. He has good advice and great insight on the heartbeat of the Tech industry.

To 37s: Can you please clarify why you have picked this path after informing us countless times that VC funding was a bad thing? I’m just curious why the change now.

Nick 21 Jul 06

I am really surprised at the number of people crying that you’re not adhere to what said before in Getting Real (staying small, not accepting investments).

For me, Getting Real always was the definitive guide of how one could start own (webapp) business and start getting something real from it (such as money, satisfaction, recognition). But that’s a start, not the end. There must be something more. And what’s good for a start rarely is good later. Even while reading Getting Real I couldn’t get rid of a feeling that you described how it WAS, not how it IS.

Just to be short, I await something like Getting Global in a year or so.

Kinan 21 Jul 06

I think this move is very important. Sometimes you need help to take your company to the next level. At least you admitted that you need the outside help and Bezos was the right choice. Whatever people think about amazon, I think the company survived one of the worst periods in IT history and they still lead the e-commerce industry with innovative ideas…. oh wait maybe soon the space travel industry too

Arnie McKinnis 21 Jul 06

Short and simple - congrats! if nothing else, money is validation - so consider yourself validated!

JF 21 Jul 06

Thanks for everyone’s well wishes, they mean a lot to us.

For those wondering if this means BIG, slow down. This deal isn’t about hiring lots of people or having more resources so we can do a bunch more things.

We continue to believe there’s power in small teams, creativity in constraints, and real benefits in simpler software. That’s the path we’ve been following and it’s the path we’ll continue to follow.

Stay tuned — we’re excited about what we have in the pipeline and we hope you will be too.

David 21 Jul 06

good luck

() 21 Jul 06

Does this mean everything in Rails will now be patented?

“Method and apparatus for kicking ass”

The Wog 21 Jul 06

And so they evolve, like every other successful entity in the universe.

37 Signals application are wonderful, but the real question is “What happens to Rails now?”. Will this vote of confidence by Bezos be favored by the enterprise comunity? Will most of us now be able to push Java and .NET out of our corporate lives and adopt Rails with managements blessing? Will DHH now be free to concentrate on making Rails even more wildly successful than it already is?

My fingers are crossed!

Jacques 21 Jul 06

Congratulations Signals. Can’t wait to see what’s next ;)

Don Schenck 21 Jul 06

I was the very first “guest poster” here.

So let me say, “I knew you when…”

*sigh* I’ll be a forgotten footnote somewhere in the log book on Jason’s yacht…

Scott 21 Jul 06

Wow! Exciting to be on board as a Basecamp user, the future should be really interesting with such an investment.

You guys are doing great! Keep it REAL!

Varun Mathur 21 Jul 06

Congrats ! The right move…it was inevitable. Looking forward to your IPO one day… you just need to find something mass-market, and more smart people. Looking back at history, you were the champions of “Web2.0- without-VC” mindset. That has changed now, since now you have external equity investment in return for some stock in the company. That’s what VCs do.

Maybe ‘tis the time for another 37signals :)

J 21 Jul 06

For all this that think this is “VC,” see Rex. As someone mentioned above, there’s a difference between VC and an investment. When you buy stock in a public company you are making an investment but you aren’t a VC. Jeff seems to have bought stock in a private company. That’s not a VC deal it’s an investment. Venture capital is money used to run the business. This post stated they didn’t need money to run this business. It’s different.

CP 21 Jul 06

Even though I believe it goes against everything that you guys stand for and have told everyone else to stand for, you guys made the decision you thought was best. So good luck with it and I hope that you do not forget what got you here.

Tom 21 Jul 06

Congratulations!!!

So seems the new trend is to make business profitable first, then get investment :-)

Eric Mill 21 Jul 06

I don’t understand why people are saying this goes against everything 37signals stands for. They didn’t take VC money or hand over any control of their business. Essentially, they’ve hired an executive consultant, and as pay have given him a minor stake in the company, which gives him incentive to consult them damned well. Which Jeff Bezos is very capable of doing. This is much more akin to simply attracting some outside management talent than taking in investment money to turn profit.

You guys still rule. You have the firmest vision of any web company I know of short of Google (and they bring that into question occasionally), and I know you’re moving in a direction consistent with everything you’ve said and done to date.

Aneesha 22 Jul 06

Congratulations!

The big question is whether 37 signals builds web apps or will use the funds to totally push Rails.

D 22 Jul 06

A Personal note to Don Schenck: Do not fret! Knowing Jason as I do, it is more likely to be an non-descript sailboat than a “yacht!”

Don Schenck 22 Jul 06

Oh yeah, THAT makes me feel a LOT better!

:-)

Chris 22 Jul 06

Don, you should at least get the *first* ride in this non-descript sailboat. Or maybe at least be able to touch it.

Sa, 22 Jul 06

Any chance you could implement gravatar support?

Sifting through all the comments is becoming a chore but there are quite a few gems out there.

Paul Levy 23 Jul 06

It sounds like a good move. Especially since you’re dealing with Jeff as an individual and not the giant Amazon as a company.

That said, the next time you’re talking to Jeff, maybe you can broach the subject of a Rails connection to the Alexa web search platform. They launched it over 6 months ago, but it doesn’t seem to have gained traction. The progrmaming interface isn’t pretty. It needs a great programming interface like Rails to really make it work. http://websearch.alexa.com/

Prashant 24 Jul 06

Good luck . i hope that the money will not change you guys and the company . save that for drink and all other splurge . don’t let it spill over to your product

Prashant 24 Jul 06

Good luck . i hope that the money will not change you guys and the company . save that for drink and all other splurge . don’t let it spill over to your product

Prashant 24 Jul 06

Good luck . i hope that the money will not change you guys and the company . save that for drink and all other splurge . don’t let it spill over to your product

Prashant 24 Jul 06

Good luck . i hope that the money will not change you guys and the company . save that for drink and all other splurge . don’t let it spill over to your product

Prashant 24 Jul 06

Good luck . i hope that the money will not change you guys and the company . save that for drink and all other splurge . don’t let it spill over to your product

Jauhari 24 Jul 06

Congratulations… I hope will make better service and excellent idea. ;)

David 25 Jul 06

Congrats. You deserve it, but I can’t help feeling this comprimises the early philosophies that sold 37s so well. I don’t smell a rat, but I feel like I should do.

Niero 25 Jul 06

Disregard all previous comments. Here’s a summary:

We’ll all be watching in silent envy to see if you become evil or not. :)

bob corrigan 25 Jul 06

there comes a point in every business plan marked “validate business model”, followed by another point called “raise money to execute on next phase of business model”. 37 is at point 2, and has done a fine job of getting some cash from someone who understands something about building organizations for the long haul. now go sell something.. :)

bob corrigan 25 Jul 06

there comes a point in every business plan marked “validate business model”, followed by another point called “raise money to execute on next phase of business model”. 37 is at point 2, and has done a fine job of getting some cash from someone who understands something about building organizations for the long haul. now go sell something.. :)

Eric Mill 25 Jul 06

Niero, excellent.

Gareth Knight 26 Jul 06

Congrats Jason! - know you guys will make the best use of Jeff and his capital, and continue doing the good stuff you’ve been doing so far.

andy 27 Jul 06

Congrats. The cash is to buy Coudal, isn’ t it?

JF 28 Jul 06

Yeah, we are using the money to buy Coudal partners so we don’t have to pay them rent anymore for the space we sublease from them. ;) Sneaky, eh?

Sebhelyesfarku 03 Aug 06

WTF cares.

Wifi 03 Aug 06

Wifi

Wifi 03 Aug 06

Wifi

Wifi 03 Aug 06

Wifi

Rex Campbell 30 Aug 06

To Jeff Bezos;Are you intrested in the next energy fuel hydrogen? If so this may sound screwy but I believe that there is a inexpensive way to get there in a short time frame. As you are an E.E you may understand the princple to divide H-O-H by Electronic manipilation.I understand you have made a comentment in Van Horn Texas and you will need great amoumts of hydrogen and Oxygen.Rex Campbell El Paso Texas

Rex Campbell 30 Aug 06

To Jeff Bezos;Are you intrested in the next energy fuel hydrogen? If so this may sound screwy but I believe that there is a inexpensive way to get there in a short time frame. As you are an E.E you may understand the princple to divide H-O-H by Electronic manipilation.I understand you have made a comentment in Van Horn Texas and you will need great amoumts of hydrogen and Oxygen.Rex Campbell El Paso Texas

Anthony Kwame 01 Sep 06

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Health 21 Sep 06

Health

Jamie 02 Oct 06

A Tenant’s Guide to Renting

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Inspecting the condition and functionality of the following areas/features of the apartment before committing yourself as a tenant is highly recommended.
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Computers 07 Oct 06

nice site

Movies 07 Oct 06

Movies

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