June 13, 2024

What’s next? 🤔

Hey there—

Sometimes you have too many good ideas. But sometimes you might be waiting for inspiration to strike. How long do you wait for that mythopoetic muse to show up? We’d say, don’t wait.

Get inspired by nature

Spend some time outside. Take a walk in the woods. Stroll through a prairie. Climb a hill. Get down on your knees and look at the grass. Plant a garden. No space? Get some plants or flowers and put them on your desk. And if you’re lucky enough to live near botanical gardens, visit a few times a year during peak seasons. What you’ll see are ridiculously good designs. Millions of iterations are folded into what you see. Everything is the product of a million successful tries. The colors and shapes and structures and textures are manifestations of survival. If it’s alive it’s good design.

Build something that you need

You may not think you need anything right now. But have you run across something in every day life that just seems like it could be better, or easier, or less clunky? Maybe, like Jason, your homeowner’s association has terrible software. Those could be problems you could solve.

Check out the customers you already have

The other place to look for problems is with the customers you already have, what actual industries are they in? If you’re working on something on their behalf, is there a bespoke piece of software that they’re trying to get you to build? Maybe their problem is common in the industry and there’s a generic software solution that you could build. You’re already getting intimate with a problem, and can build on it from there.

Just start building

Building anything is good practice. It doesn’t even really matter. Before Basecamp, Jason and David were working on something completely different that didn’t turn out to be a major commercial success, but it was very helpful for honing the skills to create Basecamp. You can work for clients and pay the bills, but also work on something for yourself, even if it’s kind of halfway stupid, because that’s the practice you need for when the good idea actually comes to you. If the great idea comes to you, and it’s literally your first idea, you’re probably going to blow it. You’re probably going to squander it because you’ve had no practice on some dummy problems.

In the meantime, here are a few things you might have missed…

Thoughts We’ve Shared

How does it compare to…?

That’s a common question you often hear when you suggest a product to someone. They already have something, and they want to know how the thing you’re recommending compares to the thing they already have. But it’s an impossible question to answer. — Jason Fried

Live design review for Workbook

Another first look at the newest ONCE product and the design process. Jason Fried and Jason Zimdars (37signals principal designer) walk through a design review, including recent changes, what makes v1 and what doesn’t, and discussed a variety of small UX improvements.

Things We’re Excited About

Introducing Omakub

Linux can look and feel so good, but it often doesn’t out of the box. It’s almost like there’s a rite of passage in certain parts of the community where becoming an expert in the intricacies of every tool and its theming is required to prove you’re a proper nerd. I think that’s a bit silly, so I created Omakub: An opinionated web developer setup for Ubuntu. Omakub turns a fresh Ubuntu installation into a fully-configured, beautiful, and modern web development system by running a single command. —David Heinemeier Hansson

We’re hiring!

We’re looking for experienced Rails programmers based in the Americas. The salary range for this position is $170,000-$201,980 USD. You’ll be building new product features alongside a designer using our Shape Up methodology, as well as spending time addressing issues to make sure our apps are robust and our codebase is weed free.

Meet people just like you

Are you part of the Basecamp C@mmunity yet? It’s the place where long-time users and folks brand new to the platform exchange ideas about improving the way they work. You’ll learn from small teams helping each other stay on top of a project, new businesses showing how they bring calm to a growing team, and even non-profit groups like teachers using Basecamp to coordinate projects between staff and parents.

Until next time,
Elaine, COO of 37signals

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