SxSW 2005 Presentation: How to Make Big Things Happen with Small Teams 16 Mar 2005

50 comments Latest by qqq

sxsw 2005 presentationHere’s a PDF of my March 12th How to Make Big Things Happen with Small Teams presentation from SxSW 2005 (plus reviews/notes from attendees including Khoi Vinh’s thoughful The New New Methodology article at Subtraction). If you were in the crowd, find yourself and make a Flickr note. Thanks again to Hugh Forrest for asking me to be a part of SxSW this year. You rule, Hugh.

50 comments (comments are closed)

Peter Lindberg 16 Mar 05

(If you go into the privacy settings for that photo on Flickr, and click “More options,” you can give anyone, not just your contacts, the right to add notes.)

John Zeratsky 17 Mar 05

Thanks very much for posting these, Jason. I wish I could’ve been there.

(And if you don’t mind… what is the “Basecamp billing example” mentioned on slide 21?)

Ben Edwards 17 Mar 05

This was, for me, the best hour I spent at SXSW (well aside from the drinking) and am going to be relying heavily on the methods Jason discussed with my team and in my freelance work.

Ross Hill 17 Mar 05


Matt Stuehler 17 Mar 05

Thought-provoking, useful, and inspiring. Many many thanks!

Any chance of publishing an annotated version? It works great as it is, and annotations would give it a completely different tone, but I’m dying to know more about some of the cryptic phrases…

Best wishes to all!

Jake 17 Mar 05

“Start designing
Start prototyping
Start experiencing
Start changing

Rinse and repeat”

Best line out of the whole thing! When do you start audio blogging this stuff?

geeky 17 Mar 05

one of the best panels i saw at sxsw. i work in a small team that consists of about 5 main web developers / designers, and a handful of part timers. it was nice to hear you telling us to do so many of the things that we do already - good to know we’re on the right track! “i’ll take someone happy and average over a guru who is disgruntled and frustrated” is our new motto. great job!

Orange 17 Mar 05

I went in with a closed mind but I left with an open, inspired mind. Great talk.

Rich 17 Mar 05

That was a great session and I really took away some valuable, applicable stuff from it. I work on a small web team right now and the stuff you were saying was right on the money. Bigger is definitely not better. It was a great presentation. Thanks for posting it.

Also, I liked what you had to say at the Building Your Brand with Blogs discussion. That was directly applicable the minute I went to my first client meeting. Good things… good things.

Darrel 17 Mar 05

The problem with Jason being a good speaker is that the PDF presentation is lacking all the details. ;o)

wes childers 17 Mar 05

John… the billing example was that when they launched basecamp they didn’t have the billing system designed… but they didn’t have to. They knew they had at least a month to get it built since basecamp was a free trial for 30 days.

John Zeratsky 17 Mar 05

Haha, thanks Wes. Beautiful!

Leonya 17 Mar 05

Audio recording, please :)

indi 17 Mar 05

Make most decisions JIT

Just in Time decisions? Please give an example of what you mean by this? Do you mean don’t decide until you have to?

This is good stuff, even in the form of a minimalist presentation.

JF 17 Mar 05

Yes, JIT means Just In Time.

Mobil'Homme 18 Mar 05

Agree with Ben Edwards: Best hour of SXSW. Though I spent considerably more than an hour drinking.

Basecamp Billing example: Jason related that, since Basecamp has a 30-day trial period, they launched without any billing solution at all realizing that after launch, they would have 30 days to figure out what that solution should be and to build it. I.e., launch now, make decisions/additions “just in time.”

Darrel 18 Mar 05

How does all of this factor into issues of scalability and longevity for the product? I’ve seen JIT end up being ‘good enough for now’ solutions that don’t hold up over time, and, ultimately, require a rewrite. That said, I’ve seen projects that put too much emphasis in scalability and really become so generic that they aren’t terribly useful either, so I suppose it goes both ways…

Val Ann C 18 Mar 05

Question: What is “bloggle”?

Enjoyed reading the slides. Thanks.

Eric 18 Mar 05

Park you bets, sharks or jets, these bark mark targets where the barnacles rest. The audio here would be best.

Matt Turner 20 Mar 05

Apologies for something completely off topic, but!

Jason, i am so chuffed you’re going to be at FlashForward as i was just this week moaning to myself that i’ll probably never get a chance to see a lecture by you.

Are you doing any Q&A at all in your session or just talking about basecamp?

Ian Lloyd 24 Mar 05

Please, can somebody explain what this ‘F-Bomb’ reference is all about? I was at SXSW, but not at this presentation, and I /still/ don’t know what this F-Bomb is supposed to be about …

Ken Rickard 25 Mar 05

I have a .wav file [20.4 MB] of the presentation, but no good host for it. Jason if you want it, I’ll send it along.

Matt Turner 26 Mar 05

Maybe they could use it at ?

Justin Mandell 30 Mar 05

Hey Ken, if you do host it somewhere, please post back so we can get it. Or please let me know how I can get it ;) Thanks.

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