37 Startup Insights

Written By: Dharmesh Shah June 7, 2010

 Earlier this year, I had a chance to attend SxSW.  One of the highlights of my trip was a startup dinner which included Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the founders of 37signals.  At the time, they had just come out with their new book "Rework".  I had downloaded a copy to my Kindle, but hadn't had a chance to read it yet.  Now I have.  Twice.  It's a great book.  Lots of practical advice for entrepreneurs.  I highly recommend it.  My second time through, I decided to pull out some of my favorite parts. onstartups rework

You're encouraged to share your favorite insight by using the convenient "tweet" links next to each one.  

 37 "Signals" From 37 Signals

1) Great businesses have a point of view, not just a product or service. [tweet]

2) Writing a plan makes you feel in control of things you don’t actually control. [tweet]

3) You have the most information when you’re doing something, not before you've done it. [tweet]

4) Stuff that was impossible just a few years ago is simple today. [tweet]

5) Failure is not a prerequisite for success. [tweet]

6) Don’t make assumptions about how big you should be ahead of time. [tweet]

7) Don’t sit around and wait for someone else to make the change you want to see. [tweet]

8) When you build what you need, you can assess quality directly instead of by proxy. [tweet]

9) Solving your own problem lets you fall in love with what you’re making. [tweet]

10) What you do matters, not what you think or say or plan. [tweet]

11) When you want something bad enough, you make the time. [tweet]

12) The perfect time to start something never arrives. [tweet]

13) Start a business, not a startup. [tweet]

14) You need a committment strategy, not an exit strategy. [tweet]

15) Huge organizations talk instead of act, and meet instead of do. [tweet]

16) Build half a product, not a half-assed product. [tweet]

17) Getting to greatness starts by cutting out stuff that’s merely good. [tweet]

18) The real world isn’t a place, it's an excuse.  It's a justification for not trying. [tweet]

19) The big picture is all you should be worrying about in the beginning. Ignore the details. [tweet]

20) Decide. You’re as likely to make a great call today as you are tomorrow. [tweet]

21) The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch. [tweet]

22) It’s the stuff you leave out that matters. [tweet]

23) Focus on substance, not fashion.  Focus on what won't change. [tweet]

24) When good enough gets the job done, go for it. [tweet]

25) When you make tiny decisions, you can't make big mistakes. [tweet]

26) Pour yourself into your product. [tweet]

27) You rarely regret saying no but you often regret saying yes. [tweet]

28) Better your customers grow out of your product, than never grow into them. [tweet]

29) You can’t paint over a bad experience with good marketing. [tweet]

30) All companies have customers. Fortunate companies have audiences too. [tweet]

31) Instead of out-spending your competitors, out-teach them. [tweet]

32) Let customers look behind the curtain. [tweet]

33) Leave the poetry in what you make, there is beauty in imperfection. [tweet]

34) Marketing is not a department, it's the sum total of everything you do. [tweet]

35) Don’t hire for pleasure; hire to kill pain. [tweet]

36) Don’t make up problems you don’t have yet. [tweet]

37) A business without a path to profit is a hobby. [tweet]

What are your favorite insights from Rework?

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