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SxSW: How to make big things happen with small teams

How to make big things happen with small teams
Jason Fried, President @ 37signals
Book: Defensive Design for the Web

Jason was by far the best speaker that I heard today. Jason is a very charismatic communicator that also knows what he is talking about.  Jason is the president of 37 signals,  a web design and software development company. 37 signals would best be know for Basecamp, a web-based project management tool.

4 keys to making big things happen with small teams:
    1) reducing mass
    2) making things manageable
    3) lowering cost of change
    4) staying out of debt (design, code, and cash)

here is Jason’s outline-----------------------

small has big advantages
    the customer is closer
    less distortion
    less middle/muddle
    everyone on the front line
    change is easier

hire the right people!- passionate and happy
    well rounded
    quick learners
    good writers

act your size
    don’t try and be a big company
    less formalities
    less mass
    less fear
    more flexible
    more change
    more freedom

embrace constraints
    less people, more power
    less money, more value
    less resources, better use
    less time, better time

build half a product not a half-a** product
    say no by default
    listen to the product
    ignore details early on
    improve what you have
    decisions are temporary

less software
    lower cost of change
    less room for error
    less support required
    encourage human solutions

get real, start with the UI (user interface)
    there is nothing functional about a functional spec.
    start designing
    start prototyping
    start experiencing
    start changing
    rinse and repeat

make most decision JIT (just in time)
    scalability (don’t build for it until you need it)
    admin interface (don’t spend time on admin side)

work on the next most important thing
    is this it?
    if not, what is?
    are we doing it?
    if not, why not?

celebrate small victories
    etc, etc.

feel the hurt
    builders support it
    chefs become waiters
    shared annoyance (developers need to support it!)

publicity amplifiers
    get your message out!
    feature food- people want to talk about it...
    promote through education
    30 day major upgrade

tags: sxsw | jason fried
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SxSW 2005Terry Storch