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Jason Fried co-founded 37signals, a Web design company that found one
of its internal tools for managing projects could be something
effectively used by others. Millions of users later, 37signals offers
Basecamp (overhauled substantially a year ago), Campfire, and Highrise
among other services. The founders not only transformed their business,
but routinely help others transform theirs. Fried collaborated on a book
called Rework that distills years of what he learned from running a successful company and helping others with theirs. On Twitter: Jason Fried and 37signals.
You can look at and sign up for Basecamp as a trial subscription, but this episode isn’t a product plug; Basecamp fits the disruption mindset. Microsoft Project is perfectly fine software for companies that have employees in one place and need the top-down approach. Software as a service (SaaS) typically involves an application you access via the Web for which data is stored centrally, and updates to the software happen centrally as well. Salesforce, an early SaaS alternative to enterprise-licensed and -managed software, was founded in 1999, and had risen as a force that defined the industry by the time Basecamp came out. Rework may be purchased from Amazon.com and many other fine bookstores.
Glenn brought up three concepts relating to 37signals’ work: The Cathedral and the Bazaar, Eric S. Raymond’s explanation of the difference between software code controlled by a handful of priests and that in the marketplace that’s open to all; The Cluetrain Manifesto, a provocative set of theses that turned into a revolution and a book by declaring, among other things, that markets are conversations; and Stephen Jay Gould’s use of the term hecatomb to explain evolution’s remorseless pruning of failed mutations.