Recently we asked commenters here how they would describe 37signals to average civilians in 20 seconds or less. A quick recap below:

A lot of people turned to analogy. Some things 37signals is like…

“Just like you can use Gmail for email without installing Outlook on your computer, you can use our stuff to run your small business without installing anything on your computer.”

“If Steve Jobs was in the online apps market, his company would be 37signals.”

“A giant filofax in the sky.”

“The Lotus (cars) of business software. We build lean, compact solutions to business needs. Just like a Lotus, we’re great with everything you need, and we jettison away all the crap you don’t.”

“We do web based stuff like google, amazon or ebay. Except we focus on tools to manage projects, todo’s, sharing documents and contacts and working together – simple stuff that most people and businesses need. At 37 Signals – the BIG DEAL is simplicity. Up, running and effective in minutes.”

“You know the iPhone? It’s gotten all this attention for being so elegant, practical, and kind of fun to use. Imagine if the software you used at work were like that. You know, your project management and organization tools. Fewer menus, more results, kind of fun to use. We make software for the web that’s like that.”

“We are the Disney of software.”

A chunk of people thought we should get salty:

“We are doing anti-management kickass software.”

“37signals – we help people get their $#!+ together.”

“We take the sh out of IT.”

“37Signals makes products that take the bullshit out of communication so you can communicate.”

“P-roject management done right
I-ntranets for anyone
M-essaging that works
P-eople tracking on a whole n’uther level
S-implified for real”

And a few other succinct ones that resonated:

“We make meetings go away.”

“Lifestyle Software.”

“You protect us all from those 2 minute time wasters and let us get more actual work done.”

“37signals is a small company that makes great software which helps people do big things the easy way.”

“It’s all your organisational tools, such as your ‘to do’ list, your notebook, diary, contacts, all rolled into one, online.”

“We help you and your team get more done in less time.”

“You write web software that helps people organize their information and contacts. You reduce: paper, phone calls, and most importantly – meetings.”

Thanks to everyone who responded. Lots of good food for thought.