Why we choose profit

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We’re outspoken about running a profitable company in an industry that so often eschews profits for potential. So why? People ask us why all the time. Why choose profit? So I thought I’d detail some of the reasons why we designed Basecamp, our company, to be profitable as quickly and consistently as possible. And 17… keep reading

New in Basecamp 3: Flexible Automatic Check-ins

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The automatic check-in is one of my favorite features to introduce to new Basecamp users. It’s such a simple idea: Ask everyone a question each day, week or month. See all the answers together. Knowing what everyone’s done that day, or what they plan to do that week, cuts down on uncertainty and saves everyone… keep reading

Your software just isn’t mission critical

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Programmers love to invoke the vocabulary of importance. We don’t just have guidelines, no, we have fucking LAW OF DEMETER. Good and bad ideas alike are dressed in big words so we can all seem oh so clever. And it’s not just the concepts that attract grandiose dressings, it’s also our purpose. If it isn’t… keep reading

Solo Act

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Illustration by Nate Otto Bruce Roper never planned to start a business. As a teenager, he wanted to be a Beatle. As an adult, he moved to Chicago after a brief stint running a music store and began fixing guitars. Over the next quarter century, Bruce built up a modest but steady one-man business repairing and… keep reading

A fuck-you money attitude

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There’s an irresistible allure to the concept of fuck-you money: Being able to tell anyone off for any reason without risking your livelihood. What’s not to love about such audacious freedom? But is this actually happening? Who are all these newly-minted millionaires that suddenly start telling people to go fuck themselves? I don’t recall many… keep reading

Slow, Smooth, Fast, Effective

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A mantra I apply to product design “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” is a common mantra in marksmanship. The kernel of wisdom being: Don’t rush, make your actions count, and you’ll come out ahead. It’s inspired a mantra that I apply to product design: Slow → Smooth → Fast → Effective Thinking slowly about… keep reading

Depend less on each other

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Separate the gears Don’t grind together, glide past one another. Do you do a lot of waiting around at work? Not waiting because there’s nothing to do, but waiting on someone else to do something first so you can do something second? If so, you’re likely at a crazy company. Crazy companies are full of dependencies. Calm… keep reading

A picture of a better place

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Why a company’s vision really matters (& how to figure out yours) Last week, I was asked to advise an entrepreneurship class over at the Northwestern Law School here in Chicago. Students pitched business ideas to a panel of mentors, including myself. We were then asked to give feedback on these ideas. The first team of… keep reading

Why the hell not?

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Whenever I dive into something new, I try to find at least one “why the hell not?” moment. And when I can, I try to leave evidence of that moment in whatever it is that I’m building. When we launched our company (37signals) back in 1999, we launched a black and white, text-only site without… keep reading

Then just say it like that!

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Over the last 20 years I’ve been part of too many discussions where someone goes “I’m having a hard time explaining this or that…” Then they say “I just really want to say this…” And then they say it and it’s clear, concise, and obvious! They nailed it, but… …it’s as if they aren’t even… keep reading