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Thursday, June 15, 2006

Jason Fried of 37Signals on Web 2.0

Yesterday I had a refreshingly interesting conversation with Jason Fried of 37Signals. Jason, not that you need this explanation, has reluctantly become a poster boy for Web 2.0. Jason has transformed his company from a consulting firm to a production factory (they make simple web apps people find useful - over 500,000 people in fact). Taking a company that started out doing consulting and shifting it into a company that sells products is no small task, but one Fried and the 37 Signals crew has executed beautifully.

Instead of regurgitating the contents of the call I'll give you a few high points and bait you to come back tomorrow and Monday for the question and answer session. I think I might call is Jason Dowdell vs Jason Fried or Jason v Jason or right coast vs lake coast... well, I'll figure out the title if you promise to read the post, it's a deal then.

Benefits of Keeping Applications Simple
+ Jason Fried currently handles the support requests for ALL products.

+ Support takes him 1.5 - 2 hours a day.

+ 60 - 70 emails a day are all the support requests they receive.

+ That means they get support requests from .014% of their half a million users on a daily basis. Can you imagine what would happen if Enterprise Software vendors like Oracle did that?

+ Sunrise is their latest product (still in dev). They completely scrapped it and started over cause it was too hard to get data into it and now, 3 weeks after the restructuring, they're liking what they have built. Look for it in a couple months.

+ He thinks Google has done a great thing by keeping blogger simple but that doesn't mean I'm giving Shellen props for not implementing my feature requests, but I do understand Fried's point.

+ He has strong opinions on chefs and waiters, as does his whole crew.

+ Says fame hasn't made them less productive, but it has saved on marketing costs.

Closing Thoughts and Shout Outs
Stay tuned for even more pointed questions (now with answers) in the Q and A of my phone call with Jason Fried.

Thank you Sprint for sending that phone my way. Today a worker severed my cable line and my internet connection has been down all day, but thanks to the Sprint Ambassador Program, I'm connected and able to give mshift readers a post on an inspirational entrepreneur. If only Sprint would send a Treo 700p to me and each Labitat employee, now that would be something to get really excited about.

By Jason Dowdell at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

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