I gave this talk at Paul Graham’s excellent Startup School and the fine folks at Omnisio synthesized slides and video. They have all the other talks from the school as well. Here’s Wired’s take on the day.
Update: Some folks are saying the video above isn’t playing correctly for them. If that’s the case, here’s an alternate version. It’s not as high res, but hopefully it will work.
Watch live video from HackerTV on Justin.tv
Dave Greineron 21 Apr 08
Awesome talk David. Your fear of terrorism analogy was so spot on. The entire presentation was very refreshing.
Now, back to surfing… ;)
JFon 21 Apr 08
Some hallway conversations with David are also on video.
Vladon 21 Apr 08
Great presentation…it really makes a lot of sense. I also love the simplicity of the presentation style.
Spencer Fryon 21 Apr 08
The video stops abruptly about halfway through.
Matt Wighamon 21 Apr 08
Great talk David, although I get a real kick out of all these people lost in the clouds.
T Bowcuton 21 Apr 08
Keeping it simple is definitely a constant theme. Even through out this presentation. Good job.
Jennifer Davison 21 Apr 08
Thanks, David. This is great!
Tim Truemanon 21 Apr 08
This was easily the best talk of Startup School. I had never heard David talk before but seeing him talk in person was very convincing and inspiring. Unlike several of the speakers he actually took the time to listen and talk with the attendees. I highly recommend this video!
Yaroslav Markinon 21 Apr 08
Really really great talk. Thanks!
Ross Hillon 21 Apr 08
Absolutely fantastic talk David, I’ve shared it with a lot of people. I’d be happy with a million bucks a year too :)
Joseon 21 Apr 08
Probably this is not the place, but as @Spences said, something’s wrong with the video…
Adityaon 21 Apr 08
You simple rocked there. It was a great presentation with great thoughts and presentation style. Thanks a ton for providing these insights.
Libor Fikron 21 Apr 08
Really. This is great. Thanks David.
Manuel, Æstheticrewon 21 Apr 08
Same here and the comments are kind of annoying imo.
Anonymous Cowardon 21 Apr 08
have no sound is it worthy? ?
Shivlee Aggarwalon 21 Apr 08
Really great post..
Deanoon 21 Apr 08
After that amusing remark the video shortly stops.
johnon 21 Apr 08
is it possible to get a copy of your powerpoint?
Fredon 21 Apr 08
Eisenhower said that “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”.
The process prepares you to make the right improvisations at the right time.
Jeff Atwoodon 21 Apr 08
Excellent talk! Loved the emphasis on sustainibility. Really inspiring for my own little startup, too.
Stefan Seizon 21 Apr 08
Great Talk. Was about time someone too the “ask a price” thing into the equation ;-) But please stop shouting at your audience.
Aaron Hueyon 21 Apr 08
Very inspiring and something that would be great for teen interpreneurs to see. Planning and direction should start much earlier than it currently does.
Ellioton 21 Apr 08
Any way to download this video so i can watch it on my ipop?
Emmanuel Paraskakison 21 Apr 08
Fantastic delivery there. You inspire!
ivanon 21 Apr 08
RedesignYourBiz.comon 21 Apr 08
Hey dude, awesome talk… thanks
Eoghan McCabeon 21 Apr 08
Great presentation, David.
Peteron 21 Apr 08
that omnisio video is a disaster.
Ben Murrayon 21 Apr 08
For those who had problems with the video:
click a little forward and the problem goes away.
Jeff Mackeyon 21 Apr 08
David, what an awesome presentation. Thank You very much, guys, for sharing it with the masses. Every time I get disillusioned, frustrated, and unmotivated with my business, posts like these slap me back on track.
BTW, the video played just fine for me. Having the option to turn off the bubble comments helped.
Sam Joneson 21 Apr 08
Really liked that and the slides were great. Thank you David.
Chrison 21 Apr 08
Great content. Worst video player I’ve ever used.
Vinicius Manhaes Teleson 21 Apr 08
David, I just want to say thank you. You and the other guys at 37signals have inspired me quite a lot. Just a brief story.
I have a company in Brazil specialized in Extreme Programming consulting. We’ve been doing this for the last six years. I wrote and published the one and only book ever written in Brazil about XP (2004). We’ve been doing well, but I wanted to spend more time coding and I really wanted to scale the company while keeping few people around. We’re just five people, and I’d love to keep it this way for as long as possible.
By December of last year, I decided to change everything. We quit the consulting world completely. Now we’re focused on creating web products using Rails. We’ve been using Rails for the last two years, and it’s always been a joy.
In January, we approached this small business and asked: what can we do, with our skills, to improve your business? We got an answer and we spent the next two months doing something simple. It proved effective and it made a huge difference for this small business. Now, we’re creating a commercial product out of it.
Having a real customer to work with was a wonderful experience and helped us to understand the needs this kind of business has. Doing something small and simple was a very hard exercise, but extremely rewarding.
Recently, we did a 3-weeks project and launched just-remind.us. It’s a free web app that solved a ridiculous problem that I had with some friends. It’s not commercial, so we’re not making money out of it. But the process of developing it taught us a lot.
Most of what we do these days is inspired by what 37signals has done in the past. You guys, most then anybody else, have been our inspiration. Your example is remarkable. Thank you very much!
Siddharthon 21 Apr 08
The video was amazing and really catering the article needs. :-)
Simonon 21 Apr 08
great video, good help for new startups, whether they are based in software or non digital products.
Thanks for this video
Abdulkadir Topalon 21 Apr 08
Great speech David,
just one thing though. There IS a difference between the italian restaurant next door and a webapp:
The restaurant is really only competing with the neighborhood, whereas the webapp is competing with the whole world. And using someone else’s webapp will take no more time than using yours. People don’t have to drive longer or wait longer to be seated or whatever.
And just one other thing: The restaurant has a limited number of seats, many great restaurants can compete even in the same neighborhood, whereas the webapp has no real limit, why would you need two of the same kind, if one works really good?
Analogies are mostly dangerous and in this case flat wrong, imho. Still, great motivational speech
Mojoon 21 Apr 08
PRICE!!!! TINY!!!!! AWESEOM!
JFon 21 Apr 08
Abdulkadir, I think the analogy works just fine. Your neighborhood is the market you know. And luckily your virtual neighborhood is much larger than your physical neighborhood.
And using someone else’s webapp will take no more time than using yours.
That’s never true. Switching costs are expensive. People have to learn something new, break old habits, move data over, deal with new uncertainties, etc. It’s almost never worth it if what you are using now is working well for you. If something is hundreds cheaper a month then it may be worth it, but saving $25/month to dive into something brand new and start from scratch again is not appetizing for most folks.
O Rlyon 21 Apr 08
Where does crying like a little baby when google shows how simple it is to make a freeware version of CampFire fit on to the list of “making money online secrets”?
Workpost.comon 21 Apr 08
Thanks for the video. Love the terror-alert analogy and the idea that people should create small but profitable businesses vs. the next Facebook, MySpace etc.
Gerryon 21 Apr 08
Great video with some good internet marketing ideas. I have found a lot of interest from people wanting to start their own web businesses lately. It has a lot of advantages Gerry
Chrison 21 Apr 08
Great speech! I especially enjoyed the Zappos analogy.
Dhrumilon 21 Apr 08
David should have his own show – Gordon Ramsey style. He should walk into the struggling offices of new startups, kick the shit out of them and then give them a hug. Throw in a few “fucks” and “this is the worst application I’ve ever used.”
I’d watch that.
larz lazeron 21 Apr 08
is it just me or does his voice resemble some certain green muppet frog? uuuhmm
Frank Bolsteron 21 Apr 08
An excellent and informative presentation; cheers!
NewWorldOrderon 21 Apr 08
I believe 37signals in a previous post said something to effect of at conferences lately, there’s been too much holding hands and people singing kumbaya. Essentially, there hasn’t been a lot of disagreement.
With DHH’s comments, startup school didn’t suffer the same fate. The guy sitting behind me captured it best when he said this about David:
Manuel, Æstheticrewon 21 Apr 08
I’ve put the Omnisio version at Vimeo after spending the whole afternoon trying to watch it (pretty awful experience).
Dan Quellhorston 21 Apr 08
What is your moat when building these types of apps? Less = Easier to copy?
Also 500 x $40 = $20,000 not $125,000
JFon 21 Apr 08
Also 500 x $40 = $20,000 not $125,000
Dan, it’s $20K/month. Take that at 12 months and it’s just about a quarter million annually.
Tim Baueron 22 Apr 08
FYI, I wrote up this presentation (and took notes over what David covered) here (for those w/o 30 minutes to spare):
OmniNOOOOOon 22 Apr 08
The Omnisio player is among the most awful things I have ever encountered in all of my time on the web. They’ve managed to take the worst thing about YouTube (the comments) and put it in front of the content. I didn’t even realize there was a button to turn them off because it was obscured by the comments themselves.
I try to avoid making totally negative comments, but this thing was just beyond belief. If there hadn’t been an alternative option, I would have skipped the talk altogether.
Adamon 22 Apr 08
I actually quite like the slides next to the video and the different viewing options. The comments are a bit out of control, but you can just turn them off…
Julian Frumaron 22 Apr 08
Hi 37 Signals community!
We have now defaulted the comment feature to “off” in this video because of the sheer number of comments that came flooding in, and your suggestions. The commenting feature will soon have the option of restricting to a whitelist of your friends (e.g. from your social network). We are working on this, but wanted everyone to play with the feature at this stage so we have left it open.
Also, we apologize if you have been having problems with interrupted streams. We have literally been knocked off our feet by the popularity of these videos. We will have the streaming issues solved in the next few hours.
Thanks for your patience and all your feedback! Please drop us a line if you have any other suggestions.
András Puizon 22 Apr 08
Care to type it up? Let’s please, please, please not turn the web into television. Thanks.
Tekinon 22 Apr 08
“Over half of the companies in North America and Europe see Web 2.0 as a priority for next year, a report says…”
Either that, or everyone has realised you can’t make money just selling advertising…
Phil McThomason 22 Apr 08
I think the Omnisio player kicks ass
Not the comments (but they were easy to turn off, and I like the white-list concept) but the sync and presentation of the slides next to the presentation. Made it a lot more like “being there”.
I also loved the navigation-by-slide – way cool.
I look forward to seeing the rest of the show…
Marc Arendton 22 Apr 08
Let’s work harder during fewer hours! Yes, please!
The epidemic of “presenteeism” has got to stop.
Markon 23 Apr 08
What’s the big deal about $125K a year, that’s pennies.
Sascha Konietzkeon 23 Apr 08
Excellent talk and very inspirational video!
Kieron Heathon 23 Apr 08
While I’m sure most ppl who have been watching this are from the tech community, I’m a startup photographer and think that all of what you’re saying is relevant to so many businesses.
You don’t have to be original or the next best thing… just do it better and simpler.
I could be doing weddings, portraits, product photography etc etc etc… I just do portraits and sell some prints. That’s it. No gimmicks.
Now I just have to streamline the whole process, cut out some of the crap involved and get it out there.
I’ve never felt more confident about just finding those customers, because I don’t need to worry about investment.
Very informative speech and I feel it’s a shame I can’t find a company like 37 Signals over here in the UK.
Janon 23 Apr 08
Great video with some good internet marketing ideas. I have found a lot of companies that pay very well and have reviewed each pf them. They all pay http://youcanthideforever.com
Roon 23 Apr 08
Thanks a ton for this guys. Once again, you’ve written a blog post that blatantly benefits the readers, instead blatantly self-promoting yourselves. Amazing.
The digg at TechCrunch was hilarious - even more so when I googled it and found that the company in question was a Feed Reader service - LOL. That biz model seems completely ignorant of the advice DHH gives.
Bala Paranjon 23 Apr 08
David’s speech was definitely the best. He kicked the shit out of all the other presenters. He is inspirational just like Corey Rudl.
One thing that may not be obvious is that Rails is free, this product is innovative and it created a market for the simple products of 37 signals. Finding a problem to solve is not easy. No one talks about how to find a problem to solve.
People don’t buy products they buy solution to their problems. Eg., I did not buy $1000 file server, I bought a $100 portable USB drive so that I can work on any of my machine.
saleon 24 Apr 08
i am a young boy due to our economical inflation tings ave been diffcult for me.so i ave to start making money as fast as posible
Anonymous Cowardon 24 Apr 08
i want to start making money
Anonymous Bobon 25 Apr 08
Annoying how the video stops half way through. Good content is hard to find.
zurkon 27 Apr 08
I’d be more than happy to start out with a lot less than a million a year. Thanks for the motivation! Here is to looking at those Fortune 5,000,000!
This discussion is closed.