How to: A. Launch a successful web application. B. Earn money on books. C. Run projects online.
Saturday. Its early in the morning and its snowing outside. I remembered a business case that I thought I should share with you. But my brain seems filled with Slush Puppie and nothing seems to come out of my fingers the way I want it. So, here it comes straight up.
A. Read Getting Real
If you’re working on a web app. If you’re an entrepreneur, designer, programmer, executive, or marketer then you should read the book Getting Real. Its free.
Getting Real is the business, design, programming, and marketing philosophies of 37signals. These guys used the Getting Real process to launch their web-based applications (Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack, Writeboard, Ta-da List), and Ruby on Rails, an open-source web application framework, in just two years with no funding, no debt, and only 7 people.
My favorite tip from the book is:
Ask people what they don’t want
Most software surveys and research questions are centered around what people want in a product. “What feature do you think is missing?” “If you could add just one thing, what would it be?” “What would make this product more useful for you?”
What about the other side of the coin? Why not ask people what they don’t want? “If you could remove one feature, what would it be?” “What don’t you use?” “What gets in your way the most?”
More isn’t the answer. Sometimes the biggest favor you can do for customers is to leave something out.
This book lines out how companies should work in 2010. It’s about staying agile, small, skipping all the stuff that represents real (charts, graphs, boxes, arrows, schematics, wireframes, etc.) and actually building the real thing.
B. Learn how to make money of a book based on the Getting Real case.
This book also makes a wonderful case that FREE works. 37 Signals are giving away the book for free reading online. Then you can buy a PDF for 19$ or the Paperback for 25$.
The PDF has sold more than 30000 ‘copies’. Money that goes straight into the pocket of these guys. No distribution, no middle men, no costs. More than 570 000$ earned on a PDF. I definitely know some writers that would go bananas for that money.
C. Manage your projects online with Basecamp.
Last but not least. The project management application created by the same company “Basecamp” is a killer app. Anyone working with projects should look into this one. Its absolutely the best one you can find online. And compared to a lot of the older ones. The basic version that allows you to run 15 Active Projects with unlimited clients/users costs $24 a month.