My green thumb is often challenged by the grocery store orchid. I never quite know how much water to give these things. So I was really happy to see this solution recently. The orchid comes with a cup! How much water? This much water. Nicely done.
We’re working on a new book called REMOTE: Office Not Required. Get on the book mailing list and we’ll send you exclusive excerpts from the book before it’s released. There may be a few other bonuses, too.
As an employer, restricting your hiring to a small geographic region means you’re not getting the best people you can. As an employee, restricting your job search to companies within a reasonable commute means you’re not working for the best company you can. REMOTE shows employers and employees how they can work together, remotely, from any desk, in any space, in any place, anytime, anywhere.
Like REWORK before it, it’ll be a collection of short essays. It’s a quick read. Something you can finish in just a few hours. To the point, clear, no jargon, and no filler.
REMOTE will be published by Crown (Random House). Expect to see it on store shelves and eBook form fall 2013.
I can’t imagine anything less interesting in business than maximizing shareholder value. Yet this is what public companies are pressured – if not legally required – to do. A lot of non-public companies follow the same path towards performance and results.
To take it further, maximization as a concept just isn’t interesting to me. I don’t care about maximization. Not maximization of profit, revenue, people, reach, productivity, etc. Not interesting.
I feel like this makes me an outcast in the business world. Part of the minority, the ones who simply “don’t get how it works”.
I get how it works. I just don’t care. I’m not interested in squeezing something so tight that I get every last drop. I don’t want, need, or care about every last drop. Those last drops usually don’t taste as good anyway. My thirst is usually well quenched far before that final drop.
Am I interested in increasing profits? Yes. Revenues? Yes? Being more productive? Yes. Making our products easier, faster, and more useful? Yes. Making our customers and employees happier? Yes, absolutely. Do I love iterating and improving? Yes sir.
Do I want to make things better? All the time. But do I want to maximize “betterness”? No thanks.
I don’t mind leaving some water in the cloth, some drips in the glass, some money on the table. I like knowing there’s headroom. And once in a while it’s a fun challenge to chip away at that headroom. But that’s not for maximization’s sake – it’s for curiosity’s sake. “Can we do it?” is a lot more interesting to me than “we must do it because that’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Having fun, exploring ideas, creating, solving, building great things for you and your customers, being proud of your work, challenging yourself, learning, growing, building a self-sustaining company on your own schedule, adding something useful to the world, and working with great people – that’s what this is all about. Not maximization of a metric.
The Porsche 911 celebrates its 50th anniversary. What an incredible run. The 911 has always served as special inspiration to those who believe in long-term iteration. Excellence takes its time.
When you’re building a new product, you’re often thinking about all the new things people are going to be able to do with it. Now they can do this, now they can do that. Exciting!
But there’s a better question to ask: What are people going to stop doing once they start using your product?
What does your product replace? What are they switching from? How did they do the job before your product came along?
Habit, momentum, familiarity, anxiety of the unknown – these are incredibly hard bonds to break. When you try to sell someone something, you have to overcome those bonds. You have to break the grip of that gravity.
So, when you’re thinking about your product, think about what it replaces, not just what it offers. What are you asking people to leave behind when they move forward with you? How hard will that be for them? How can you help them overcome everything that’s tugging them in the opposite direction?
This Wednesday (Feb 6) from 6-7pm, Adrian Holovaty discusses his new project Soundslice, a HTML5 Web app for annotating YouTube videos.
Tickets are just $10. The talk will be hosted at our offices.
Broadly, he’ll talk about his approach to building a “desktoppy” app in the browser with HTML5.
Adrian is one of the smart ones. If you’re in Chicago, don’t miss this talk. We’re limiting the talk to 45 people, and tickets will go fast, so register today and don’t miss it.
Back in November I said we were looking for an iOS protoyper. I probably heard from about a hundred people who were interested in the position.
In the end, one guy stood out above all the rest.
His name is Travis Jeffery. Today is his first day at 37signals.
Travis and I have already started working on an app together. We’re excited to see where it goes.
Everyone, say hi to Travis.