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Nothing gets you more focused on solving a problem than actually having that problem.
The stronger the motivation, the stronger the focus.
sounds like a lot of inventors.
No doubt, the old foot to the fire.
Its down! Its down! Its down! Its down! Its down! Its down!
“It” is basecamp.
Goodness yes. “Necessity is the mother of invention” and all that.
That was what drove the initial development of Graphomatic, my personal need for something to track my weight, my calorie intake, and exercise (and utlimatly a bunch of other stuff) online. So while it’s taken a while to get it to the more polished state it’s in now, the basic functionality was in place and working reliably within a month.
It’s also what drove some of the smaller features, like rolling averages and target setting.
The only danger with this approach is when you reach that point where your personal problem is solved, and you are really used to using your own solution. If you want others to use it then you have to be able to expand your view a bit. And sometimes it can be hard to spot that the way you’ve been doing something only makes sense because you built it that way.
you really felt that was worth sharing with 90,000 subscribers?
i have a great deal of respect for 37signals and am happy to be a paying customer, but some of these “insights” are banal beyond belief.
last time i’ll comment on such issues as it doesn’t bother me that much. perhaps i can automatically filter out anything mislabelled “insight: *” from you guys…
I agree that short is sweet but I like to know context and a little more glue to help the insight stick.
So what do you suggest @Jason, impregnate myself with problems so I can get good at solving them?
There are plenty of ways to take the quote, but one way to interpret it is that you have a comparative advantage when developing for a target audience that you represent. Whenever I’m brainstorming for a new project, I try to start by thinking of problems that I’ve come across recently. Most of the time, the ideas are so esoteric as to not merit pursuit, but if any of them seem generally useful, they’re fun and easy to work on.
Insight happens when you have insight.
Empathy towards end users can be used in lieu of actually having the problem. Most poorly designed software is caused by the lack of ability to “walk in the user’s shoes”. If you can empathize with the users and their pain, and if you really know how much they can benefit from your solution, that can be motivating enough.
@dustin Logically the better way to take this insight is to identify problems as you come across them, and then try to find/create a solution to it.
I love their latest album called 11:11 :) Try one and you’ll be hooked!
@Jesse – makes sense… I’m inferring that the advice is to try to solve your problems instead of just dealing with them?
Man, this insight is like a riddle and @Jason is the riddler ;)
Oh wow… So many people are missing the point here! :o
Read it this way: don’t try to solve problems you don’t have!
Get it now? FOCUS on what the actual problems are and leave the rest to its time.
What sucks is I can’t work for anyone that doesn’t follow the “37s way”, therefore my potential employers are very small.
Jason co-founded Basecamp back in 1999. He also co-authored REWORK, the New York Times bestselling book on running a "right-sized" business. Co-founded, co-authored... Can he do anything on his own?
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