5 Things We Can Learn From 37Signals

February 24, 2011

Are you familiar with 37signals? You should be. It's one of the most successful companies today. You've probably used their tools, and you've undoubtedly browsed sites or used applications built on their open-source framework, Ruby on Rails. The company serves as a model all of us should follow. After all, 37signals co-founder Jason Fried wrote the book on success. A glance at their home page reveals the following five things you should learn from 37signals. 1. Be different Notice the 37signals layout: huge typefaces, extraordinary plains of white space and simple product explanations. Most people try to ram their products and services down your throat, hitting every single benefit they can think of. Instead, 37signals makes it easy to understand how they can help you; and you get to discover the rest on your own. It also helps to have personality. 2. Get press Fried's book “Rework,” co-written with David Heinemeier Hansson, took the entrepreneurial world by storm. Not only did they get revenue from books sales, 37signals sales undoubtedly went up as well. 3. Explore 37signals started out as a web design company. Now their focus is primarily on web-based applications, and throughout the years they've explored several different ideas. Some worked better than others, and the company was able to know when to push ahead and when to pull away. You can't discover with exploration. 4. Have multiple revenue streams Yes, 37signals' primary focus is on web-based applications, but the company also earns revenue via a job board, an ad-supported blog (with spectacular content, no less), Sortfolio (a firm portfolio website) and sales from two books. 5. Give stuff away Want to build client relationships before you have clients? Want to be able to advertise to your target audience for free every day? Give something valuable away. 37signals gives away Ta-da List, Writeboard, Ruby on Rails and code samples via a code repository.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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