Duck, Duck, Goose… cover story and more 10 Aug 2005

23 comments Latest by headless joe

Well, two outta three ain’t bad. 1. 37signals is’s cover story today (direct article link), 2. Kathy Sierra gives 37signals 9 out of 10 hearts on her must-read Creating Passionate Users site, and 3. Paul Scrivens, well, Paul has a different opinion. ;)

Thanks for everything, everyone. We’re passionate about what we do, we believe in what we do, and we’ll continue working as hard as we can to get better every day. And to keep Paul happy, there’s some new stuff on the way soon.

23 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Corey Harrison 10 Aug 05


Congrats on all your success. I went to today and read the article. It was very interesting and impressive. Best of luck…and drop me a line!


Scrivs 10 Aug 05

Damn I can’t get no love with the correct usage of my name?

- Paul
- Paul Scrivens
- Scrivs

Now all these folks are going to think I legally changed my nickname to my lastname. This oversight is going to be impossible to fix and could quite well cost me millions in endorsements.

JF 10 Aug 05

Whoops, my bad Paul. Fixed.

Dave Simon 10 Aug 05

I think that the passion you guys have for what you do comes through in your words on this blog as well as in your products. I don’t agree with Scrivs that you are full of yourselves. You are just promoting yourselves and when someone comes to this blog, they expect you to act like the experts that you are.

And put me on the list for a 37signals t-shirt. I’ll drink the Kool-Aid.

Mark Webster 10 Aug 05

Nice work on the Salon story. While you guys are on the front of the revolution, more and more it seems 37signals is becoming a religion, a belief, as well. Not a week goes where you guys don’t hit the nail on the head with your posts. And it’s great to see all the sites/products being launched by your believers.

Keep up the good work and keep spreading the word…

Fred 10 Aug 05

I’m not a huge fan of Basecamp or Tadalists. But I like what I see in Rails, and I love the ‘less software’ philosophy. I also like the ‘no BS, here’s what we do’ straightforwardness these guys seem to have in droves. Its certainly refreshing in our industry, which is dominated by corny “leveraging synergies” salespitches. I think the only real way to compete with larger firms is to generate your own buzz, so what’s wrong with that??

lonely heart 10 Aug 05

Kathy, why only 9 out of 10 hearts?

Ryan 10 Aug 05

I’m always amazed how you manage to jump on these posts so fast (I’m talking about the one from Paul Scrivens) and get your (usually long) comment almost at the top of the list.

How do you do that?

Ryan Latham 10 Aug 05

It’s because Paul is a robot. I think he can type 100 words a second and think about the next as he thinks about the next 100 words at the same time.

That or he has text typed out for every possible situation ready to be copied into a comment.

Tommy 10 Aug 05

I won’t say Paul is totally off. IMHO integration would be key. I don’t need to pay for two or three products and have different log-ins. I wish they worked together better.

But at the same time I look at the software 37 does and determine if it serves a need. If it doesn’t I walk away. So they build “buzz” on their blog. Heaven forbid. Don’t most of the “experts” in this area say that is the point of a blog.

I visit the Washington Post, NY Times, Salon, and then maybe 37 each morning. Why, their content is good. So they hype and tease their products. The other media outlets do the same. I am not cattle walking down a path (other then when I need to board a flight or buy something at Best Buy), if their software sucks I walk away. If it is useful I use it. Nothing more, nothing less.

JF 10 Aug 05

We’re working on integrating the apps. And the 3 other apps we’re working on right now will all feature integration into either Backpack or Basecamp (and possibly both).

Tommy 10 Aug 05

Just keep doing what you’re doing Jason. I don’t think you are “perfect” but I respect what you’ve done 24/7. When I talked to you (pre any of your products) about doing some web work for my firm, and I told you the situation, you told me you weren’t a fit. You turned away business.

You practice what you preach and that is key IMHO.

Ritz 10 Aug 05

I love it when someone tries to help someone else grow and learn and the first thing that comes back is the odd-ball scenario about how it won’t work and why your wrong.

Not much of what 37S has done has been the “First Time Ever”, but they are open with thier success and seem to really want to help people do better with thier work by relating what they have done.

Nothing anyone says should be taken as the only road to walk, but it’s nice to know someone that actually knows what thier talking about is trying to help. Thanks guys, you have definitely been a big influence on me and the people I work with! Building Basecamp Alumni - whooo!

James 10 Aug 05

In regards to the negative feedback:

I believe that we are seeing a transition in the public perception of 37signals from an under-dog to leader. What used to read as “scrappy spunk” is now sounding like conceit.

How the management handles this transition will be a good indicator of whether or not 37signals has actual staying power. It seems that this business lives on the public perception of the management and their philosophy.

An interesting comment I read paraphrased: “If Microsoft made the 37signals suite of apps, they would be skewered for their failings.”

To the point: If you keep evangelizing how great your products and development philosophy are, pretty soon people are going to try and find a reason to disagree. And as a small company in a small market any backlash could be devastating.

NotScrivs 10 Aug 05

I’m commenting here because “Scriv’s” site doesn’t permit me to:

Thank You for Commenting

Your comment has been received. To protect against malicious comments, I have enabled a feature that allows your comments to be held for approval the first time you post a comment. I’ll approve your comment when convenient; there is no need to re-post your comment. Return to the comment page

Hey Scrivs, why are you so afraid of malicious comments? What’s wrong with anonymity? If you don’t like it, turn the comments off, it’s the reason I don’t read anything on “your network.” Thanks though for the goofy logo, it allows me to exit immediately when I unknowingly follow a link to a “network” site.

Here’s the deal, of all the deadly sins, I find ENVY to be the least palatable. The extent to which it is displayed on your (Scriv’s) site, in your comments, and largely in the comments of SvN is absurd.

I don’t always agree with JF, I’ve even butted heads with him over some “small business advice” he was broadcasting a few months ago, but I still respect him, and I argued my point with civility. Taking someone to task in a public forum is a cheap traffic trick. You’re not doing anyone any good. Are you hoping to help the little sheep come out of their comas? Are you here to save us, and guide as back to your “network?”

Please, the tactic is annoying when Dvorak does it, coming from you (a veritable NOBODY in my mind,) it is insulting.

PS - I’m only anonymous if you’re too lazy to figure it out.

Robby Lansaw 10 Aug 05

Ryan said : “I�m always amazed how you manage to jump on these posts so fast (I�m talking about the one from Paul Scrivens) and get your (usually long) comment almost at the top of the list.”

Ryan Latham:
It�s because Paul is a robot. I think he can type 100 words a second and think about the next as he thinks about the next 100 words at the same time.

For the record, and I believe Ryan was talking about Jason’s comment in Paul’s post. The comment here by Paul, while near the top of the comments, has to be one of the shortest things he’s said.

Wesley Walser 10 Aug 05

The creating passionate users is an especially good atricle, as are many of the others on her site. It’s also about time someone voiced the opinions in Paul’s article.

Good linkage, props for linking the nagative article as well.

Dan Hartung 11 Aug 05

I think James’s words are well chosen. I don’t see 37signals as a religion, maybe a bit of a flavor of Kool-Aid, and definitely a heaping dose of a Steve Jobs style Reality Distortion Field. The way that you talk sometimes sounds like We just delivered Hammer, many people love it, and you should definitely use Hammer on your Nails without allowing for the fact that many people have, you know, screws. ;-)

I do think it’s possible to incorporate more, to be blunt, humility into your approach while remaining upbeat and focused. Joel Spolsky does it all the time.

For my money, though, Kathy Sierra really made some great points about how your passion is part of what lures people to try and buy your products. At the same time you have a practical side of features, user experience, and other factors that may or may not be as successful, depending on their importance to the user.

What I’m driving at is something like a recent comment I saw about a “100,000 sales ceiling” for indie rock albums. Only a few artists break through that, like Modest Mouse or the Arcade Fire, and other bands are forever limited in their market unless they really break through somehow. This is something that 37signals, and webapp developers in general, will have to watch out for. The market may simply have a top bound, and you’ll probably know immediately — the way you guys pay attention to your customers — when you hit it.

Don Wilson 11 Aug 05

“It seems you are recycling what is already out there, rewording it, and adding a bunch of links to Basecamp and Backpack.”


Scrivs 12 Aug 05

Mr. Not Scrivs,

Umm, what in the hell are you talking about? I have published every single comment in that entry so far. I even posted the one where I am called an “arrogant asshole”. I am using MT’s new 3.2beta and haven’t quite nailed down the spam prevention features of it yet so I have comment moderation on.

Comment moderation simply means I see if it is from a spammer and if not I publish it. Unfortunately for instant publishing I have to sit in front of the computer 24/7 which I do not. Why don’t you go back to see if your comment is there. Probably is.

I am not afraid to dish out the criticism because I know I can take it and I’m sure as hell not scared to post my name and url for everyone to see.

If anything I think my entry helped 37signals credibility a bunch and I am sure Jason would agree with me. As for not reading the sites on the 9rules network that’s your deal. I only write on 4 out of 48 so it’s a shame you think that because they are in the network that you should hate all of them as much as you despise me.

This snake will now crawl back under his rock.

headless joe 14 May 06

tried the loop of and foundit pretty useless (re corey h. 10/8/05) lookin for local syd sites to jump……love the speed ie racing cops and time wanna race it