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Go for quick learning generalists over ingrained specialists

We’ll never hire someone who’s an information architect. It’s just too overly specific. With a small team like ours, it doesn’t make sense to hire people with such a narrowly defined skill-set.

Small teams need people who can wear different hats. You need designers who can write. You need programmers who understand design. Everyone should have an idea about how to architect information (whatever that may mean). Everyone needs to have an organized mind. Everyone needs to be able to communicate with customers.

And everyone needs to be willing and able to shift gears down the road. Keep in mind that small teams often need to change direction and do it quickly. You want someone who can adjust and learn and flow as opposed to a stick-in-the-mud who can do only one thing.

We made Basecamp using the principles in this book. It combines all the tools teams need to get work done in a single, streamlined package. With Basecamp, everyone knows what to do, where things stand, and where to find things they need.