Fly on the Wall: “Excelsior!” Matt 25 May 2006

12 comments Latest by adam

Some of the activity this week at our internal 37signals Campfire chat room:

We chuckled about a competitor’s web app screen that was 90% interface and 10% actual info. Jason said, “so much chrome for so little content…ANYHOW…we have our own stuff to make fun of.” Ryan took heed, “stops pointing at the fat kid and hops on the treadmill

How did we come up with the name for the new Basecamp Max plan (launches June 1, it’s unlimited projects and 5 gigs of disk space for $149)? The naming path was littered with failed offerings: Pro (rejected because it makes the other plans feel “not pro” plus we just blogged about “professional” being a buzzword), Platinum (doesn’t jive with the current naming convention), Elite (has the same issues as Pro), Centurion ;), Excelsior!, Enterprise (last three jokes), Diamond (same problem as Platinum suggestion but getting closer), Maxium (sounds like a prescription drug), Max. Wait! Max. Descriptive and short. “Max it is. DONE…announcing”

Paul Graham’s essay on How to be Silicon Valley provoked some thoughts. Jason said, “who cares about SV…there’s nothing special about it other than a lot of people waste a lot of money there…it doesn’t matter where a business is anymore…10 years ago, maybe…but not anymore…why you’d want to recreate that I don’t understand.” Ryan replied, “i bet environmental factors do matter…the cold places tend to be more organized…and the warm places more loose…also companies are cultures, and the place of each person bears on their personality and attitude.”

Graham also mentions some of “the most admired” Web 2.0 companies and uses this Reddit list as evidence. Shocker: Reddit is #1 on the list. Not exactly hard science. Marcel said, “funny that 2 of the top 3 in that list are bookmarking sites…totally auto affective and insular.” David added, “and, of course, unprofitable.”

Jason got a kick from this summary of 37signals that says, “37 Signals, as far as I understand it, is the brainchild of one guy. The guy who essentially came up with the Ruby on Rails framework for rapid web application construction. 37signals is his company.” Jason: “you are the man DHH. THE ONLY MAN! ; )” David: “haha…Aight, minions, now fetch me a sandwich! Leave pappa to do all the work.”

The How to build a Bulletproof Startup advice was so unbelievable that David didn’t actually believe it. David: “this gotta be a parody.” Jason: “THIS IS SERIOUS…cover story.”

Me: “i heard the worst song ever yesterday. country song. ‘honkytonk bedonkadonk.’ yes, as bad as it sounds.” Check the lyrics, if you dare.

Sam posted the first entry on his new blog and said about the bare bones design, “I wanted less blog.”

Someone wrote in and told us Basecamp saved his life! “Basecamp is, by far, the fastest easiest way to take control of your professional life and pave the way to amazing efficiency.” Pave it!

Jason changed the room’s topic to “Sometimes the truth of a thing is not so much in the think of it, as in the feel of it.” -Stanley Kubrick

Jamis told his kids he would cut the last cupcake in half so they could share it and his son said he wanted “‘the frosting’ i.e., the “top” half :)”

A note was posted from the inventors of the weirdest thing Getting Real has inspired so far: The Wingdipper, a uniquely shaped plastic cup that is specifically designed for dipping buffalo wings.

Since we were on a shoe string budget, but wanted a trade show booth that really stood out, we decided to “Get Real.” We ended up designing a great looking booth on the fly, experimenting as we went along, and making sure the design was flexible enough to allow for any changes later in the process (avoiding ‘debt’.) After the show, we’ll be writing up a full recap of the process, the materials used, and how the whole Get Real philosophy really helped us out.

12 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Christopher Lee 25 May 06

in regards to paul graham, don’t forget that the Y Combinator funded Reddit. Therefore, I would assume he’s getting some free marketing on his investment by plugging reddit.

Bizsnype 25 May 06

Jesus, you guys are so cool. Can I be just like you? Then maybe we can run around all day patting each other on the rumps…

Bring on the TROLL cap…

MMI 25 May 06

Just out of curiosity, are you sure the competitors Web app was ready for prime time? There’s a lot of talk generated about getting your first draft out the door and launching something. Maybe this was one of those cases?

Ken Rossi : 25 May 06

can someone take a guess at the competitor?

Jon 25 May 06

Ken: could you possibly whore out your company a bit more? I can’t tell what the URL is.

Nick 25 May 06

OMG! I heard Honkytonk Bedonkadonk in a chili restaurant last week. Worst song ever is right.

George 25 May 06

My guess, the competitor app that is referred to is

Which looks nice but ultimately, I still haven’t figured out what you really use the app for.

Anonymous Coward 25 May 06

The WingDipper? Now that’s culture. What I really want is ranch to be injected into each one of my arms (evenly, of course) and then released out of my gums the second the wing hits my tongue? Is that possible?

Jerry Steele 25 May 06

Ha! I first heard that song back in February, and was also forced to post on how awful it was.

To date, I’m still the only one to use the tag ‘badonkudonk’ on technorati and delicious.

Mike 26 May 06

Hey, at last has a calendar!

JF 26 May 06

It’s not Collective X.

adam 26 May 06

Wait a second! You guys just stole the name for your new version of Basecamp from your vacuum cleaner’s highest setting. I’m onto you!