When my colleague Sam gave me Rework to read, I was thrilled.  It’s been on my wishlist for ages.


37 signals founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson like to march to the beat of a different drum.

The way they started, run and choose not to grow 37 signals flies in the face of conventional business wisdom.

But they’ve proven it works – their company only has 16 people yet produces millions of dollars profit.

I love it.  Here are my favourite bits.

1. The best people are everywhere
37 signals hire the best talent regardless of where they live.  They have 16 staff across 8 cities in 2 continents.  Most people argue that this is madness.

But I think it’s cool because at Bluewire we’ve had Sarah working in California,  Montse in Mexico, Matt in London and myself and Toby in Sydney.   And Lesley often works from home too.

2. Hire great writers
A good writer is a clear thinker and a great communicator.  They can put themselves in other people’s shoes & they know what to omit.

I agree.  Toby & I are non-techies and have only ever hired people who can clearly communicate with us. Our brand promise is “devoted communication” so we live and breath this philosophy.

3. Forget about formal education
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education” – MARK TWAIN. Plenty of intelligent people don’t excel in the classroom.

I personally tend to ignore university or school grades. I prefer seeing what people have actually ‘shipped’.

4. Resumes are ridiculous
We all know resumes are a joke.  They’re exaggerations, vaguely accurate at best.

Indeed. If  prefer to assess someone on their public profiles like blogs, LinkedIn or Twitter where there’s nowhere to hide.

5. Marketing is not a department
Marketing is everything you do. 24/7/365. Every invoice, email, phone call, error message & word on your website is marketing.

Every time we communicate we are marketing ourselves.  I think it’s so important that we practice our communication everyday & pride ourselves on it!

6. The myth of overnight success
You will not be a big hit right away.  You will not get rich quick. Starbucks, Apple, Google & Nike all became great over time, not because of a big PR push upfront.

The likes of Verne Harnish & Malcolm Gladwell always say that overnight success takes at least 10 years.  We’ve only been going 6 years, so we’ll have to wait and see!

7. Don’t out-spend, out teach
You can advertise, hire salesepeople, sponsor events. But your competition does the same.  Teach and you’ll form a bond you just don’t get from traditional marketing tactics.

At Bluewire we aim to teach. You can read our blog, download the  free Web Strategy Planning Template and attend our events. You may have even been sent a copy of our favourite books too.

8. Emulate chefs
Why are some chefs more well known?  They share everything they know in cookbooks. As a business owner you should share everything you know too.

Most businesses are secretive, but I love sharing what we’ve learnt. It mostly goes on our blog but I’ve been inspired to ‘ship’ our free ebook. Watch this space!

9. Build an audience
Build an audience. Speak, write, blog, tweet, make videos – whatever. Share information that’s valuable. Then when you need to get the word out, the right people will be listening.

Over 6 years, we’ve been building email subscribers (2,500), facebook fans (350) and Twitter followers (800).  It sure takes time, but the audience is growing.

10. Draw a line in the sand

A strong stand is how you attract superfans. You’ll also turn some people off. 37 signals are as proud of what their products don’t do as what they do.

At Bluewire, we don’t do free custom quotes. We won’t suggest work we wouldn’t do ourselves and we won’t take on clients we don’t believe in. But that attracts the clients that love our work.


PS. Bluewire Media has been using 37signals suite of products,  Highrise (for managing contacts) and Basecamp (for project management), for 6 months now.


37 signals, David Heinemeier Hansson, jason fried, rework

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