David Heinemeier Hansson

38 results back to index


pages: 117 words: 30,538

It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

8-hour work day, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Community Supported Agriculture, David Heinemeier Hansson, Jeff Bezos, market design, remote working, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, web application

And when it comes to life, we’re all just trying to figure it out as we go. DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON is the cofounder of Basecamp and the New York Times bestselling coauthor of REWORK and REMOTE. He’s also the creator of the software toolkit Ruby on Rails, which has been used to launch and power Twitter, Shopify, GitHub, Airbnb, Square, and over a million other web applications. Originally from Denmark, he moved to Chicago in 2005 and now divides his time between the US and Spain with his wife and two sons. In his spare time, he enjoys 200-mph race cars in international competition, taking cliché pictures of sunsets and kids, and ranting far too much on Twitter. Discover great authors, exclusive offers, and more at hc.com. Copyright IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE CRAZY AT WORK. Copyright © 2018 by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.

Dedication From Jason Fried: To my family, to opportunity, and to luck—I’m fortunate to have you. Love and thanks. From David Heinemeier Hansson: To Jamie, Colt, and Dash for the love that gives patience and perspective to seek calm at work. Contents Cover Title Page Dedication First It’s Crazy at Work A Quick Bit About Us Your Company Is a Product Curb Your Ambition Bury the Hustle Happy Pacifists Our Goal: No Goals Don’t Change the World Make It Up as You Go Comfy’s Cool Defend Your Time 8’s Enough, 40’s Plenty Protectionism The Quality of an Hour Effective > Productive The Outwork Myth Work Doesn’t Happen at Work Office Hours Calendar Tetris The Presence Prison I’ll Get Back to You Whenever FOMO? JOMO! Feed Your Culture We’re Not Family They’ll Do as You Do The Trust Battery Don’t Be the Last to Know The Owner’s Word Weighs a Ton Low-Hanging Fruit Can Still Be Out of Reach Don’t Cheat Sleep Out of Whack Hire the Work, Not the Résumé Nobody Hits the Ground Running Ignore the Talent War Don’t Negotiate Salaries Benefits Who?

“A Day in the Life of Oprah.” Harper’s Bazaar, February 26, 2018. https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/features/a15895631/oprah-daily-routine/.Accessed June 2018. Resources Email us So, what did you think of the book? Let us know at calm@basecamp.com. We read every email, and we’ll do our best to respond. Find us on Twitter On Twitter we’re at @jasonfried for Jason Fried, @dhh for David Heinemeier Hansson, and @basecamp for the company. Check out Basecamp, the product Used by over 100,000 companies worldwide, Basecamp is the calmer way to organize work, manage projects, and streamline communication companywide. Sign up for a free trial at basecamp.com. Read our employee handbook Our values, our structure, our methods, our benefits, and more are online for everyone to see at basecamp.com/handbook.


pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector

It turned tiny failures into depersonalized feedback and created an environment where total failure was nearly impossible. And in the end, more than 10 million people got to see Zach’s story. (Take that, baby meerkats!) Part II LEVERAGE Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. —DR. SEUSS Chapter 4 PLATFORMS “The Laziest Programmer” I. The team was in third place by the time David Heinemeier Hansson leapt into the cockpit of the black-and-pink Le Mans Prototype 2 and accelerated to 120 miles per hour. A dozen drivers jostled for position at his tail. The lead car was pulling away from the pack—a full lap ahead. This was the 6 Hours of Silverstone, a timed race held each year in Northamptonshire, UK, part of the World Endurance Championship. Heinemeier Hansson’s team, Oak Racing, hoped to place well enough here to be competitive in the standings for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Tour de France of automobile racing.

Despite that, Heinemeier Hansson is far better known among computer programmers—where he goes by the moniker DHH—than car enthusiasts. Though most of his fellow racers don’t know it, he’s indirectly responsible for the development of Twitter. And Hulu and Airbnb. And a host of other transformative technologies for which he receives no royalties. His work has contributed to revolutions, and lowered the barrier for thousands of tech companies* to launch products. All because David Heinemeier Hansson hates to do work he doesn’t have to do. DHH lives and works by a philosophy that helps him do dramatically more with his time and effort. It’s a principle that’s fueled his underdog climbs in both racing and programming, and just might deliver a win for him as the cars slide around the rain-slicked Silverstone course. But to understand his smartcut, we must first learn a little bit about how computers work.

.* For so long, “innovation” in education has amounted to more class time, more memorization, more tests. Smaller classes, but the same classes. Finland actually got better, through lateral thinking. Edward de Bono, who coined the term “lateral thinking” in 1967, put the “Einstein” quote a bit differently: “You cannot dig a hole in a different place by digging the same hole deeper.” IV. David Heinemeier Hansson was in a deep hole. Halfway through his stint, the sprinkling rain had become a downpour. Curve after curve, he fishtailed at high speed, still in third place, pack of hungry competitors at his rear bumper. LMP cars run on slick tires—with no tread—for speed. The maximum surface area of the tire is gripping the road at any moment. But there’s a reason street vehicles have grooves in them.


pages: 1,136 words: 73,489

Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software by Nadia Eghbal

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, commoditize, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, death of newspapers, Debian, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, Firefox, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, Induced demand, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kubernetes, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Network effects, node package manager, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, pull request, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, Ronald Coase, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, two-sided market, urban planning, web application, wikimedia commons, Zimmermann PGP

Commons-based peer production also explains why some developers hold the view that money and open source don’t mix. If production runs on intrinsic motivation, money is an extrinsic motivator that is thought to interfere with an already well-coordinated system. Although the commons might not be as profitable as the firm, it’s also more resilient, because the currency of its transactions is the desire to participate, rather than money. David Heinemeier Hansson, who created Ruby on Rails, is a vocal advocate for a commons-based approach to open source production: External, expected rewards diminish the intrinsic motivation of the fundraising open-source contributor. It risks transporting a community of peers into a transactional terminal. And that buyer-seller frame detracts from the magic that is peer-collaborators.119 But today, not every open source project looks like a commons.

Information goods are thought to have zero or negligible marginal cost, meaning that, while the first unit is expensive to produce, each additional unit costs little to the producer. (Information goods are commodities whose value is derived from the information they contain, such as articles, books, music, or code.) If I publish code to GitHub, it should make no difference to me, from a cost perspective, whether ten or 10,000 people use it. David Heinemeier Hansson, arguing why we shouldn’t think about software in market terms, uses zero marginal cost to demonstrate his point: The magic of software is that there is virtually no marginal cost! That’s the economic reality that Gates used to build Microsoft’s empire. And what enabled Stallman to “give away” his free software (albeit with strings attached). The freeloaders are free! There is no practical scarcity to worry about.202 While software does have lower marginal costs compared to material goods, like cars or houses, its actual costs depend on whether we’re viewing it in active or static state.

.),” Python.org, May 1996, https://www.python.org/doc/essays/foreword/. 114 Linus Torvalds, “LINUX’s History,” Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science, July 31, 1992, https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/linux.history.html. 115 Linus Torvalds, “Re: Kernel SCM Saga..,” Mailing List ARChive, April 7, 2005, https://marc.info/?l=linux-kernel&m=111288700902396. 116 Benkler, “Coase’s Penguin,” 378. 117 M. D. McIlroy, E. N. Pinson, and B. A. Tague, “UNIX Time-Sharing System: Foreword,” The Bell System Technical Journal 57, no. 6 (1978): 1902, https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1538-7305.1978.tb02135.x. 118 Benkler, “Coase’s Penguin,” 379. 119 David Heinemeier Hansson, “The Perils of Mixing Open Source and Money,” November 12, 2013, https://dhh.dk/2013/the-perils-of-mixing-open-source-and-money.html. 120 Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole, “The Simple Economics of Open Source,” NBER Working Paper 7600, National Bureau of Economic Research, March 2000, 32, https://doi.org/10.3386/w7600. 121 Eugene Wei, “Status as a Service (StaaS),” Remains of the Day, February 19, 2019, https://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2019/2/19/status-as-a-service. 122 Michael Wesch, “YouTube and You: Experiences of Self-Awareness in the Context Collapse of the Recording Webcam,” Explorations in Media Ecology 8, no. 2 (2009): 19–34. 123 Robert E.


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, business climate, Cal Newport, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, informal economy, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jaron Lanier, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Merlin Mann, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, popular electronics, remote working, Richard Feynman, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, statistical model, the medium is the message, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, winner-take-all economy, zero-sum game

Less than a year later, ESPN and ABC News lured Silver away from the Times (which tried to retain him by promising a staff of up to a dozen writers) in a major deal that would give Silver’s operation a role in everything from sports to weather to network news segments to, improbably enough, Academy Awards telecasts. Though there’s debate about the methodological rigor of Silver’s hand-tuned models, there are few who deny that in 2012 this thirty-five-year-old data whiz was a winner in our economy. Another winner is David Heinemeier Hansson, a computer programming star who created the Ruby on Rails website development framework, which currently provides the foundation for some of the Web’s most popular destinations, including Twitter and Hulu. Hansson is a partner in the influential development firm Basecamp (called 37signals until 2014). Hansson doesn’t talk publicly about the magnitude of his profit share from Basecamp or his other revenue sources, but we can assume they’re lucrative given that Hansson splits his time between Chicago, Malibu, and Marbella, Spain, where he dabbles in high-performance race-car driving.

Tyler Cowen summarizes this reality more bluntly: “The key question will be: are you good at working with intelligent machines or not?” Nate Silver, of course, with his comfort in feeding data into large databases, then siphoning it out into his mysterious Monte Carlo simulations, is the epitome of the high-skilled worker. Intelligent machines are not an obstacle to Silver’s success, but instead provide its precondition. The Superstars The ace programmer David Heinemeier Hansson provides an example of the second group that Brynjolfsson and McAfee predict will thrive in our new economy: “superstars.” High-speed data networks and collaboration tools like e-mail and virtual meeting software have destroyed regionalism in many sectors of knowledge work. It no longer makes sense, for example, to hire a full-time programmer, put aside office space, and pay benefits, when you can instead pay one of the world’s best programmers, like Hansson, for just enough time to complete the project at hand.

Examples of concerns regarding Silver’s methodology: Davis, Sean M. “Is Nate Silver’s Value at Risk?” Daily Caller, November 1, 2012. http://dailycaller.com/2012/11/01/is-nate-silvers-value-at-risk/. Marcus, Gary, and Ernest Davis. “What Nate Silver Gets Wrong.” The New Yorker, January 25, 2013. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/books/2013/01/what-nate-silver-gets-wrong.html. Information about David Heinemeier Hansson comes from the following websites: • David Heinemeier Hanson. http://david.heinemeierhansson.com/. • Lindberg, Oliver. “The Secrets Behind 37signals’ Success.” TechRadar, September 6, 2010. http://www.techradar.com/us/news/internet/the-secrets-behind-37signals-success-712499. • “OAK Racing.” Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OAK_Racing. For more on John Doerr’s deals: “John Doerr.”


pages: 194 words: 36,223

Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky's Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent by Joel Spolsky

Build a better mousetrap, David Heinemeier Hansson, knowledge worker, linear programming, nuclear winter, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, sorting algorithm, Superbowl ad, the scientific method, type inference, unpaid internship

Chicago-area startup 37signals has strongly aligned themselves with the idea of simplicity: simple, easy to use apps like Backpack and the simple, easy to use programming framework Ruby on Rails. For 37signals, simplicity is an “-ism,” practically an international political movement. Simplicity is not just simplicity, oh no, it’s summertime, it’s beautiful music and peace and justice and happiness and pretty girls with flowers in their hair. David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Rails, says that their story is “one of beauty, happiness, and motivation. Taking pride and pleasure in your work and in your tools. That story simply isn’t a fad, it’s a trend. A story that allows for words like passion and enthusiasm to be part of the sanctioned vocabulary of developers without the need to make excuses for yourself. Or feel embarrassed about really liking 61 62 Smart and Gets Things Done what you do.”8 Elevating a web programming framework to a thing of “beauty, happiness, and motivation” may seem like hubris, but it’s very appealing and sure differentiates their company.

The implications of this, I’m afraid, are ironically Orwellian: giant corporations manipulating their public image in a way which doesn’t even make sense (like, uh, they’re a computer company—what the hell does that have to do with being against dictatorships?) and successfully creating a culture of identity that has computer shoppers around the world feeling like they’re not just buying a computer, they’re buying into 8. David Heinemeier Hansson, “Rails steps into year three,” www.loudthinking.com/arc/000594.html, August 6, 2006. A Field Guide to Developers a movement. When you buy an iPod, of course, you’re supporting Gandhi against British Colonialism. Every MacBook you buy takes a stand against dictatorship and hunger! Anyway. Deep breath.... The real point of this section is to think of what your company stands for, how it’s perceived, and how it could be perceived.


pages: 309 words: 81,975

Brave New Work: Are You Ready to Reinvent Your Organization? by Aaron Dignan

"side hustle", activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, butterfly effect, cashless society, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, DevOps, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, Elon Musk, endowment effect, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, gender pay gap, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, hiring and firing, hive mind, income inequality, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, loose coupling, loss aversion, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, minimum viable product, new economy, Paul Graham, race to the bottom, remote working, Richard Thaler, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, six sigma, smart contracts, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, source of truth, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, the High Line, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, uber lyft, universal basic income, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

I remind them that one of two things is true: either they’re wrong and their teams are capable of far more than they realize, or they’re right and they need to make an immediate change. What is not okay is to linger in a state of distrust and second-guessing. Have the courage of your convictions, one way or the other. Minimum Viable Policy. Maximizing freedom means minimizing policy. In their book Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of Basecamp warn that isolated incidents can too easily lead to bureaucracy. “Policies are organizational scar tissue. They are codified overreactions to situations that are unlikely to happen again. They are collective punishment for the misdeeds of an individual.” This is governing for the exception rather than the rule. At Basecamp, they institute a new policy only when something negative happens over and over again.

A complete list of influences would be far too long (you should see my Brave New Work library), so I’ll simply thank those who have taught me the most: Dennis Bakke, Steve Blank, Jos de Blok, Bjarte Bosgnes, Jacob Bøtter, Brian Carney, James Carse, W. Edwards Deming, David Dewane, Peter Drucker, Amy Edmondson, Charles Eisenstein, Gerard Endenburg, Robin Fraser, Jason Fried, Isaac Getz, James Gleick, Seth Godin, Deborah Gordon, Paul Graham, Adam Grant, Dave Gray, Gary Hamel, David Heinemeier Hansson, Tim Harford, Frederick Herzberg, Jeremy Hope, Steven Johnson, Daniel Kahneman, Kevin Kelly, David Kidder, Doug Kirkpatrick, Henrik Kniberg, Lars Kolind, John Kotter, Frederic Laloux, Jason Little, David Marquet, John E. Mayfield, Douglas McGregor, Greg McKeown, Melanie Mitchell, Taiichi Ohno, Tom Peters, Niels Pflaeging, Daniel Pink, Adam Pisoni, Eric Ries, Brian Robertson, Ricardo Semler, Peter Senge, Simon Sinek, Dave Snowden, Nassim Taleb, Ben Thompson, Geoffrey West, Meg Wheatley, Keith Yamashita, Jean-Francois Zobrist, and the few I forgot.

tighten up your road map: Ben Barry, “Facebook’s Little Red Book,” Office of Ben Barry, accessed September 1, 2018, http://v1.benbarry.com/project/facebooks-little-red-book. internet-famous employee handbook: Valve, Handbook for New Employees (Bellevue, WA: Valve Press, 2012), www.valvesoftware.com/company/Valve_Handbook_LowRes.pdf. retention, operations, and promotions: “Our Story,” David Marquet, accessed September 1, 2018, www.davidmarquet.com/our-story. “Policies are organizational scar tissue”: Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework (New York: Crown Business, 2010), 260. authority structures is W. L. Gore: “Our Beliefs & Principles,” Gore, accessed September 1, 2018, www.gore.com/about/our-beliefs-and-principles. “leaders and members of their teams”: Bill Fischer, Umberto Lago, and Fang Liu, “The Haier Road to Growth,” strategy+business, April 27, 2015, www.strategy-business.com/article/00323?gko=c8c2a.


pages: 220

Startupland: How Three Guys Risked Everything to Turn an Idea Into a Global Business by Mikkel Svane, Carlye Adler

Airbnb, Ben Horowitz, Burning Man, business process, call centre, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cloud computing, credit crunch, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, housing crisis, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, Menlo Park, remote working, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, subscription business, Tesla Model S, web application

It was really tough to have to do that to people and to go on the next day as if things were normal. I had to let go of people whom I considered very good friends—people whom I felt had built the company with me. And decisions about whom to let go relied more on where we could save most, rather than on what made the most sense for the business. Ironically, one of the über-talented guys I had to let go was David Heinemeier Hansson—who later became the father of Ruby on Rails, the framework we later built Zendesk on, and a cofounder of 37signals (now Basecamp), which became an inspiration for a whole generation of software startups, including Zendesk. Letting people go wasn’t even the worst part. There were many tough things about being in charge of the business. One time, one of our employees didn’t show up for work for several days and we couldn’t understand why.

The trends in the consumer world were starting to sweep through enterprises. Salesforce.com was built on a new delivery model, and founder Marc Benioff was evangelizing “the End of Software” as we knew it. 27 Page 27 Svane c01.tex V3 - 10/24/2014 8:14 P.M. S TA R TU P L A N D 37signals in Chicago was lean and small, another company blazing the trail. As mentioned earlier, it’s ironic that one of its key people, Danish programmer David Heinemeier Hansson, had been let go at Caput. (It was assuredly not one of the most joyful times of his career; he had started working for us right before the issues and the problems.) Although we couldn’t keep him, we knew he was incredibly talented, and it was exhilarating to see him create Ruby on Rails as a free web application framework and use it to create 37signals’ first product, Basecamp (now the company name)—transforming the company from a web design firm to a software company. 37signals was almost like a religion; it established a new school focused on placing user experience above fussy features.


pages: 468 words: 233,091

Founders at Work: Stories of Startups' Early Days by Jessica Livingston

8-hour work day, affirmative action, AltaVista, Apple II, Brewster Kahle, business cycle, business process, Byte Shop, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, fear of failure, financial independence, Firefox, full text search, game design, Googley, HyperCard, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Larry Wall, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, nuclear winter, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Richard Feynman, Robert Metcalfe, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, software patent, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, stealth mode startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, web application, Y Combinator

You have to have tactics to get to strategies, but you have to have a strategy, and you have to put your strategy up here and then see “Where’s my gap” to get to this aspirational goal. You’re always going to be short of people, you’re always going to be short of money, you’re going to be short of source supply value. So you have to find leverage points, versus working your way up through tiny little rungs and seeing if you get there. Think like a big dog, and find leverage to get there. C H A P T E 23 R David Heinemeier Hansson Partner, 37signals David Heinemeier Hansson helped transform 37signals from a consulting company to a product company in early 2004. He wrote the company’s first product, Basecamp, an online project management tool. He also wrote companion products Backpack, Ta-da List, and Campfire. In July 2004, he released the layer of software that underlies these applications as an open source web development framework.

For Da and PG Contents FOREWORD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xi ABOUT THE AUTHOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xvii CHAPTER 1 MAX LEVCHIN PayPal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 CHAPTER 2 SABEER BHATIA Hotmail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 CHAPTER 3 STEVE WOZNIAK Apple Computer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 CHAPTER 4 JOE KRAUS Excite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 CHAPTER 5 DAN BRICKLIN Software Arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 CHAPTER 6 MITCHELL KAPOR Lotus Development. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 CHAPTER 7 RAY OZZIE Iris Associates, Groove Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 CHAPTER 8 EVAN WILLIAMS Pyra Labs (Blogger.com) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 CHAPTER 9 TIM BRADY Yahoo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 CHAPTER 10 MIKE LAZARIDIS Research In Motion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 v vi Contents CHAPTER 11 ARTHUR VAN HOFF Marimba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153 CHAPTER 12 PAUL BUCHHEIT Gmail . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 CHAPTER 13 STEVE PERLMAN WebTV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173 CHAPTER 14 MIKE RAMSAY TiVo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191 CHAPTER 15 PAUL GRAHAM Viaweb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 CHAPTER 16 JOSHUA SCHACHTER del.icio.us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223 CHAPTER 17 MARK FLETCHER ONElist, Bloglines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233 CHAPTER 18 CRAIG NEWMARK craigslist . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247 CHAPTER 19 CATERINA FAKE Flickr . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257 CHAPTER 20 BREWSTER KAHLE WAIS, Internet Archive, Alexa Internet . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265 CHAPTER 21 CHARLES GESCHKE Adobe Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281 CHAPTER 22 ANN WINBLAD Open Systems, Hummer Winblad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297 CHAPTER 23 DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON 37signals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309 CHAPTER 24 PHILIP GREENSPUN ArsDigita . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317 CHAPTER 25 JOEL SPOLSKY Fog Creek Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345 CHAPTER 26 STEPHEN KAUFER TripAdvisor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 361 CHAPTER 27 JAMES HONG HOT or NOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377 CHAPTER 28 JAMES CURRIER Tickle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387 CHAPTER 29 BLAKE ROSS Firefox . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395 Contents vii CHAPTER 30 MENA TROTT Six Apart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405 CHAPTER 31 BOB DAVIS Lycos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 419 CHAPTER 32 RON GRUNER Alliant Computer Systems, Shareholder.com . . . . . . . . . . 427 CHAPTER 33 JESSICA LIVINGSTON Y Combinator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 447 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 455 Foreword Sprinters apparently reach their highest speed right out of the blocks, and spend the rest of the race slowing down.

It’s a win whenever we can get away with just a simple model, since we have to do less programming. I was the only programmer and I was dedicating 10 hours a week to this, while we were developing it. 37signals was paying me to do this out of its consultancy revenue, since we didn’t have funds to fund it. So we had only a quarter of a programmer dedicated to the development and no funds really for doing this. The designers David Heinemeier Hansson 311 were giving it a third of their time at most. And we realized through this process that those constraints—which sound negative—were actually the greatest gift to the development of Basecamp. That whole constrained development model really focused our view on what we needed, and it forced us to make tough decisions about making less software all the time. And we keep getting feedback from customers that say, “I love this, it’s just so simple to use.


pages: 203 words: 58,817

The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms by Danielle Laporte

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, Frank Gehry, index card, invisible hand, Lao Tzu, pattern recognition, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak

When I do the following, I am guaranteed to feel close to 100 percent improved, lighter, and focused: When I do the following, I will likely feel a sense of relief or improvement: As for downing a carton of cookie dough ice cream, drunk dialing your former flame, sneaking a smoke in the airplane bathroom, watching Gene Simmons Family Jewels reruns instead of going to yoga class, and all manners of vengeful vandalism…let’s put that “comfort list” in its place. Even though I think that doing the following things will bring me relief and comfort, they actually aren’t helpful at all: A lot of the time, it’s better to quit than to be the hero. —Jason Fried + David Heinemeier Hansson, authors of Rework NO MAKES WAY FOR YES One of Frank Gehry’s first buildings was a shopping mall, the Santa Monica Place. It was rigidly geometric and pale pink. Think bad eighties jungle gym. To please his investors he went L.A. style with a twist. He hated it. Meanwhile, for his own creative outlet, Frank went full-out “Gehry” on building his own home: sloping roofs, curvaceous windows, jutting peaks.

I’m not paying fifteen dollars for a bag of almonds.” Fantasies fulfilled: Worth it. Getting ripped off: Not going to happen. We’ll dig into what you truly value in the next worksheet: “Freely Associating with Money.” Raising money? Don’t do it until you have to. And then question if you really need to. And then think twice about it. And then get a second opinion. The boys from Rework (Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson) sum up my sentiments on raising money perfectly. Allow me to paraphrase: You give up control. “Cashing out” begins to trump building a quality business. Spending other people’s money is addictive. It’s usually a bad deal. Customers move down the totem pole. Raising money is incredibly distracting. When raising money is the right thing to do, get mentors, start sending your banker season tickets, prepare to be out of the office at least 30 percent of the time.


pages: 56 words: 16,788

The New Kingmakers by Stephen O'Grady

AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, DevOps, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Netflix Prize, Paul Graham, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Y Combinator

While the emerging standards made sense for specialized business use cases, they were generally irrelevant to individual developers. Worse, there were more than a hundred standards, each with its own set of documentation—and the documentation for each standard often exceeded a hundred pages. What made sense from the perspective of a business made no sense whatsoever to the legions of developers actually building the Web. Among developers, the web services efforts were often treated as a punchline. David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of the popular Ruby on Rails web framework, referred to them as the “WS-Deathstar.” Beyond the inherent difficulties of pushing dozens of highly specialized, business-oriented specifications onto an unwilling developer population, the WS-* set of standards had to contend with an alternative called Representational State Transfer (REST). Originally introduced and defined by Roy Fielding in 2000 in his doctoral dissertation, REST was everything that WS-* was not.


pages: 55 words: 17,493

Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon

David Heinemeier Hansson, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lone genius, side project, Wunderkammern

People often stop by with their own attempts at brisket, and Aaron is always gracious and patient when answering their questions. You don’t get the feeling that any of this is calculated, it’s just the way they operate—they started out as beginners, and so they feel an obligation to pass on what they’ve learned. Of course, many chefs and restaurateurs have become rich and famous by sharing their recipes and their techniques. In their book, Rework, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson encourage businesses to emulate chefs by out-teaching their competition. “What do you do? What are your ‘recipes’? What’s your ‘cookbook’? What can you tell the world about how you operate that’s informative, educational, and promotional?” They encourage businesses to figure out the equivalent of their own cooking show. Think about what you can share from your process that would inform the people you’re trying to reach.


pages: 258 words: 74,942

Company of One: Why Staying Small Is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

Airbnb, big-box store, Cal Newport, call centre, corporate social responsibility, David Heinemeier Hansson, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, follow your passion, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Inbox Zero, index fund, job automation, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Naomi Klein, passive investing, Paul Graham, pets.com, remote working, Results Only Work Environment, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ruby on Rails, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, uber lyft, web application, Y Combinator, Y2K

On Apple’s television show Planet of the Apps, one contestant admits, “I rarely get to see my kids. That’s a risk you have to take.” Is it really? That kind of hustling, putting work above everything else, is inconsistent with the mind-set of running a company of one—with working better instead of working more. A company of one who disagrees with this idea that workaholism is required to succeed in tech and big business alike is David Heinemeier Hansson, a Danish programmer who created the popular Ruby on Rails web framework and is a partner at the software development firm Basecamp. Hansson despises this paradigm of working more as the only way to be successful. He believes that the pressure to work more doesn’t just get passed down from leadership; rather, it’s amplified as it moves outward through a company. He believes that companies need to stop hustling and should encourage their employees to focus on accepting that there’s life outside of work, that there’s real usefulness to sleep and recuperation, and that their work habits should be much calmer.

Hofmann, “The Hidden Advantages of Quiet Bosses,” Harvard Business Review ( December 2010), https://hbr.org/2010/12/the-hidden-advantages-of-quiet-bosses. 49 empowered, self-directed, or autonomous teams: Drita Kruja, Huong Ha, Elvisa Drishti, and Ted Oelfke, “Empowerment in the Hospitality Industry in the United States,” Journal of Hospitality Marketing and Management (March 3, 2015). 52 “a little bit about a lot”: Meghan Casserly, “The Secret Power of the Generalist—And How They’ll Rule the Future,” Forbes, July 10, 2010, https://www.forbes.com/sites/meghancasserly/2012/07/10/the-secret-power-of-the-generalist-and-how-theyll-rule-the-future/#57821b312bd5. 55 stop hustling: David Heinemeier Hansson, “Trickle-down Workaholism in Startups,” Signal vs. Noise, May 30, 2017, https://m.signalvnoise.com/trickle-down-workaholism-in-startups-a90ceac76426. Workaholism: Wayne E. Oates, Confessions of a Workaholic: The Facts About Work Addiction (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1971). 56 the term “power paradox”: Jerry Useem, “Power Causes Brain Damage,” Atlantic, July/August 2017, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/07/power-causes-brain-damage/528711/. 56qualities that lead to the leadership roles: Useem, “Power Causes Brain Damage.” 58 when people take the time: Rik Kirkland interview with Adam Grant, “Wharton’s Adam Grant on the Key to Professional Success,” McKinsey & Company, June 2014, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/whartons-adam-grant-on-the-key-to-professional-success. 4.


pages: 252 words: 78,780

Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us by Dan Lyons

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple II, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, job-hopping, John Gruber, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, loose coupling, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, Menlo Park, Milgram experiment, minimum viable product, Mitch Kapor, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, precariat, RAND corporation, remote working, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, software is eating the world, Stanford prison experiment, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, telemarketer, Tesla Model S, Thomas Davenport, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, traveling salesman, Travis Kalanick, tulip mania, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator, young professional

To the driver, what is Uber? Where is it located? What does it look like? Uber is a black box. Uber is an app on a smartphone screen. Drivers rarely talk to actual human managers at Uber, except when being recruited, and sometimes not even then. They answer to a software “boss” that tracks their performance and deactivates them if their score falls below a certain point. Software entrepreneur David Heinemeier Hansson says Uber drivers and other gig-economy workers represent a new caste of people—an automaton class, who are “treated as literal cogs in transportation and delivery machines.” The machine—the software—is the essence of the company, not the humans. The humans are ancillary to the machine. We are meat puppets, tethered to an algorithm. Companies first embraced the idea of using software to manage workers because it saved money.

The first guys on my list founded their company in 2004, and ever since then have been told that they’re nuts, or lazy, or stupid, or naïve. Yet fourteen years later they’re doing so well that executives and entrepreneurs from around the world travel to their headquarters in Chicago and pay good money to attend their seminars, where they explain their unconventional management philosophy. Last year I had the chance to become one of their students. CHAPTER ELEVEN BASECAMP: BACK TO BASICS Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson run a software company called Basecamp, in Chicago. By the rules of Silicon Valley, they are doing everything wrong. They have never raised venture capital. They will never go public. They are not obsessed with growth. They have no sales reps, and they spend nothing on marketing. Their fifty-four employees work forty hours a week, maximum. In summer, everyone cuts back to thirty-two hours, so they can all have three-day weekends, but they still collect their full paychecks.


pages: 372 words: 89,876

The Connected Company by Dave Gray, Thomas Vander Wal

A Pattern Language, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business process, call centre, Clayton Christensen, commoditize, complexity theory, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Googley, index card, industrial cluster, interchangeable parts, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, loose coupling, low cost airline, market design, minimum viable product, more computing power than Apollo, profit maximization, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, self-driving car, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, software as a service, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tony Hsieh, Toyota Production System, Vanguard fund, web application, WikiLeaks, Zipcar

Consider this: the US military will be using standard Internet protocol as the backbone for its net-centric warfare strategy, a podular approach to military operations. If Internet protocol is secure enough for the US military, it’s probably secure enough for you. You don’t have to be Big You don’t have to be a big company to create a powerful platform. You just have to create something that’s valuable and supports people in their work. 37signals is a small software company with fewer than 30 full-time employees. In 2003, David Heinemeier Hansson of 37signals was working on the company’s core software product, Basecamp, a web-based project-management application. He was writing code in a language called Ruby, first created in Japan in the early 1990s. As he worked, Heinemeier Hansson developed a series of libraries and frameworks that made it easier for him to do the work. At some point about halfway through the project, he realized that the tools he had created constituted a work environment that made it much easier to program web applications.

With this kind of approach, a company can avoid many of the conflicting constraints that come with growth. Complexity can be managed locally and doesn’t have to be controlled by the organization. Notes for Chapter Fifteen US MILITARY INTERNET PROTOCOL Next-Generation Internet Protocol to Enable Net-Centric Operations, US Department of Defense, news release no. 413–03, June 13, 2003. RUBY ON RAILS David Heinemeier Hansson, “Good Programming is Like Good Writing,” BigThink, August 3, 2010, http://bigthink.com/ideas/21598. PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGIES Miriah Meyer, “Gamer cracks code, finds jewel,” The Chicago Tribune, August 28, 2006. Chapter 16. How connected companies learn You can’t make a recipe for something as complicated as surgery. Instead, you can make a recipe for how to have a team that’s prepared for the unexpected


pages: 309 words: 65,118

Ruby by example: concepts and code by Kevin C. Baird

Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), David Heinemeier Hansson, Debian, digital map, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, fudge factor, general-purpose programming language, Guido van Rossum, Larry Wall, MVC pattern, Paul Graham, Perl 6, premature optimization, union organizing, web application

I hope that once you’ve become more acquainted with the language, you’ll agree that it does a good job of getting out of your way and simply letting you get some work done. Ruby has a very interesting pedigree. Matz himself has said that the two most influential languages on Ruby’s design were Common Lisp and Smalltalk—they were so influential, in fact, that he has jokingly referred to Ruby as MatzLisp. On the other hand, some Ruby aficionados stress Ruby’s 1 According to http://ruby-lang.org. similarities with Smalltalk and Perl, as did David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Rails, in a June 2006 Linux Journal interview. Hansson also describes Ruby as “a language for writing beautiful code that makes programmers happy.” I couldn’t agree more.2 NOTE If you’re interested in learning more about Ruby’s heritage, see the appendix for a comparison of Ruby to other languages. Acquiring and Configuring Ruby But enough with the history—let’s set these questions aside and actually get Ruby installed.

The rest of this chapter will familiarize you enough with Rails that you can start creating a Rails application in the next chapter. This book introduces Rails (with a focus on general design philosophy, rather than an exhaustive list of the API), but it would be silly to think that a few chapters could give Rails the attention it deserves. The definitive text on Rails is Agile Web Development with Rails, now in its second edition, by Dave Thomas, David Heinemeier Hansson (creator of Rails), and others (Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2006). Other members of the Rails community also give high praise to Ruby for Rails by David Alan Black (Manning Publications, 2006). Ru by Gem s a nd R ai ls Pr ep ar at ion 227 What Is Rails? According to its website (http://rubyonrails.org), Rails is “an open-source web framework that’s optimized for programmer happiness and sustainable productivity.


pages: 296 words: 98,018

Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas

"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game

Airbnb boasted of 1.3 million people staying in one of its properties on a single New Year’s Eve. As technologies like these have eaten the world, a relatively small number of people have come to own much of the infrastructure on which ever more human discourse, motion, buying, selling, reading, writing, teaching, learning, healing, and trading are done or arranged—even as many of them make public pronouncements about fighting against the establishment. David Heinemeier Hansson is the cofounder of a Colorado-based software company called Basecamp, a successful but modest business that stayed relatively small and avoided the lure of Silicon Valley and of trying to swallow the world. “Part of the problem seems to be that nobody these days is content to merely put their dent in the universe,” he has written. “No, they have to fucking own the universe. It’s not enough to be in the market, they have to dominate it.

Lyft, Case No. 13-cv-04065-VC, United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Dockets No. 69 and 74. On Bill Gates’s faith in technology’s leveling powers, see his book The Road Ahead (New York: Viking, 1995). On Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s faith in the Internet’s powers, see their “Letter to Our Daughter” (Zuckerberg’s Facebook page, December 2015). David Heinemeier Hansson’s critique of the Silicon Valley ethic comes from his essay “Reconsider” (Signal v. Noise blog on Medium, November 5, 2015). Maciej Ceglowski’s critique is quoted in “California Capitalism Is Starting to Look a Lot Like Polish Communism,” published on Quartz (September 24, 2015), or in its original form here: http://idlewords.com/​talks/​what_happens_next_will_amaze_you.htm. The Hobbes quotes come from his Leviathan, book I, chapter 13.


pages: 572 words: 94,002

Reset: How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money: The Unconventional Early Retirement Plan for Midlife Careerists Who Want to Be Happy by David Sawyer

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, asset allocation, beat the dealer, bitcoin, Cal Newport, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Attenborough, David Heinemeier Hansson, Desert Island Discs, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, financial independence, follow your passion, gig economy, hiring and firing, index card, index fund, invention of the wheel, knowledge worker, loadsamoney, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage debt, passive income, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart meter, Snapchat, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, Vanguard fund, Y Combinator

But what this means is most of the time the arch-procrastinator is not doing what’s important. Instead, they’re trapped in a dark playground of guilt, not spending time with their kids like they ought to be. Don’t be an arch-procrastinator. Lock that monkey back in its box. 7. Inspiration and enthusiasm Strike while the iron is hot. Anon In ReWork, visionary business people Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson offer this life-altering advice: “Inspiration is perishable… If you want to do something, you’ve got to do it now[463].” Inspiration comes from everywhere, especially from people you know. A few Christmases ago, a friend who never writes on Facebook revealed in a casual post that she’d read 89 books over the past year. Her enthusiasm inspired me to act: making reading part of my daily routine has transformed my life.

Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2014. The Economist Style Guide. Profile Books, 2001. Eker, T. Harv. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind: Think Rich to Get Rich. Piatkus, 2005. Fisker, Jacob Lund. Early Retirement Extreme: A Philosophical and Practical Guide to Financial Independence. ERE, 2010. Frankl, Viktor Emil. Man’s Search for Meaning: The Classic Tribute to Hope from the Holocaust. Rider, 2004. Fried, Jason, and David Heinemeier Hansson. ReWork. Vermilion, 2010. Gladwell, Malcolm. Outliers. Penguin, 2009. Greene, Robert. Mastery. Profile, 2012. Handley, Ann. Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content. John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Hardy, Darren. The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success. Da Capo Press, 2013. Harris, Russ. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living.


pages: 370 words: 94,968

The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive by Brian Christian

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, carbon footprint, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, complexity theory, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, George Akerlof, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, job automation, l'esprit de l'escalier, Loebner Prize, Menlo Park, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, starchitect, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, zero-sum game

What we are fighting for, in the twenty-first century, is the continued existence of conclusions not already foregone—the continued relevance of judgment and discovery and figuring out, and the ability to continue to exercise them. Reacting Locally “Rockstar environments develop out of trust, autonomy, and responsibility,” write programmers and business authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. “When everything constantly needs approval, you create a culture of nonthinkers.” Fellow business author Timothy Ferriss concurs. He refers to micromanagement as “empowerment failure,” and cites an example from his own experience. He’d outsourced the customer service at his company to a group of outside representatives instead of handling it himself, but even so, he couldn’t keep up with the volume of issues coming in.

Padesky, Mind over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think (New York: Guilford, 1995). 8 Sting, “All This Time,” The Soul Cages (A&M, 1990). 9 Richard Bandler and John Grinder, Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming (Moab, Utah: Real People Press, 1979). 10 Weizenbaum, Computer Power and Human Reason. 11 Josué Harari and David Bell, introduction to Hermes, by Michel Serres (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982). 12 Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Rework (New York: Crown Business, 2010). 13 Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9–5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (New York: Crown, 2007). 14 Bill Venners, “Don’t Live with Broken Windows: A Conversation with Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas,” Artima Developer, March 3, 2003, www.artima.com/intv/fixit.html. 15 U.S. Marine Corps, Warfighting. 16 “NUMMI,” episode 403 of This American Life, March 26, 2010. 17 Studs Terkel, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do (New York: Pantheon, 1974). 18 Matthew B.


pages: 98 words: 30,109

Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

Broken windows theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, en.wikipedia.org, equal pay for equal work, Google Hangouts, job satisfaction, Kevin Kelly, remote working, Richard Florida, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, Skype

Carabi + Co Alex Carabi Lincoln Loop Peter Baumgartner The Jellyvision Lab Amanda Lannert Accenture Samuel Hyland and Jill Smart Brightbox John Leach Herman Miller Betty Hase TextMaster Benoit Laurent Ideaware Andrés Max Fotolia Oleg Tscheltzoff FreeAgent Olly Headey BeBanjo Jorge Gomez Sancha HE: Labs Pedro Marins SimplySocial Tyler Arnold The IT Collective Chris Hoffman American Fidelity Assurance Lindsay Sparks SoftwareMill Aleksandra Puchta Perkins Coie Craig Courter Finally, we thank Jamie Heinemeier Hansson for all her help interviewing, researching, rewriting, and critiquing the manuscript. It would have been a far lesser book without her work. To Jamie and Colt Heinemeier Hansson, Working remotely has allowed the whole family to spend more time together in more places. Thank you both for your love and inspiration. —DAVID HEINEMEIER HANSSON For all those sitting in traffic right now. —JASON FRIED Copyright © 2013 by 37signals, LLC All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York. www.crownpublishing.com CROWN BUSINESS is a trademark and CROWN and the Rising Sun colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.


pages: 132 words: 31,976

Getting Real by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson, Matthew Linderman, 37 Signals

call centre, David Heinemeier Hansson, iterative process, John Gruber, knowledge worker, Merlin Mann, Metcalfe's law, performance metric, post-work, premature optimization, Ruby on Rails, slashdot, Steve Jobs, web application

So, publishers go to a lot of trouble (and expense) to try to make books "right" before they're released. When I wrote the book Agile Web Development With Rails, there was a lot of pent up demand among developers: give us the book now — we want to learn about Rails. But I'd fallen into the mindset of a publisher. "It isn't ready yet," I'd say. But pressure from the community and some egging on from David Heinemeier Hansson changed my mind. We released the book in pdf form about 2 months before it was complete. The results were spectacular. Not only did we sell a lot of books, but we got feedback — a lot of feedback. I set up an automated system to capture readers' comments, and in the end got almost 850 reports or typos, technical errors, and suggestions for new content. Almost all made their way into the final book.


pages: 624 words: 127,987

The Personal MBA: A World-Class Business Education in a Single Volume by Josh Kaufman

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, business cycle, business process, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, discounted cash flows, Donald Knuth, double entry bookkeeping, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Santayana, Gödel, Escher, Bach, high net worth, hindsight bias, index card, inventory management, iterative process, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lao Tzu, lateral thinking, loose coupling, loss aversion, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, Network effects, Parkinson's law, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, place-making, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, side project, statistical model, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, subscription business, telemarketer, the scientific method, time value of money, Toyota Production System, tulip mania, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, Yogi Berra

SHARE THIS CONCEPT: http://book.personalmba.com/bystander-apathy/ Planning Fallacy Hofstadter’s Law: it always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law. —DOUGLAS HOFSTADTER, COGNITIVE SCIENTIST AND PULITZER PRIZE- WINNING AUTHOR OF GÖDEL, ESCHER, BACH: AN ETERNAL GOLDEN BRAID People are consistently and uniformly horrendous at planning. As uncomfortable as this sounds, any plan created by even the most intelligent and skilled CEO or project manager is very likely to be grossly inaccurate. As Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson memorably quip in their book Rework, “Planning is guessing.” The reason we’re so bad at planning is because we’re not omniscient—unforeseen events or circumstances can dramatically impact even the most detailed plans. When we create plans, we’re simply guessing and using Interpretation to fill in the blanks, no matter how much we cloak that uncomfortable reality in official-sounding language and fancy-looking charts.

Drucker PROJECT MANAGEMENT ▶ Making Things Happen by Scott Berkun ▶ Results Without Authority by Tom Kendrick OPPORTUNITY IDENTIFICATION ▶ The New Business Road Test by John Mullins ▶ How to Make Millions with Your Ideas by Dan Kennedy ENTREPRENEURSHIP ▶ Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson ▶ The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki ▶ The Knack by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham ▶ The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss ▶ Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim ▶ Bankable Business Plans by Edward Rogoff VALUE CREATION AND DESIGN ▶ Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson ▶ Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank ▶ The Design of Everyday Things by Donald Norman ▶ Universal Principles of Design by William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler MARKETING ▶ All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin ▶ Permission Marketing by Seth Godin ▶ The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout ▶ Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham SALES ▶ The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes ▶ Value-Based Fees by Alan Weiss ▶ SPIN Selling by Neil Rackham ▶ The Sales Bible by Jeffrey Gitomer VALUE DELIVERY ▶ Indispensable by Joe Calloway ▶ The Goal by Eliyahu Goldratt ▶ Lean Thinking by James Womack and Daniel Jones NEGOTIATION ▶ Bargaining for Advantage by G.


pages: 168 words: 50,647

The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-To-5 by Taylor Pearson

"side hustle", Airbnb, barriers to entry, Ben Horowitz, Black Swan, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, creative destruction, David Heinemeier Hansson, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Google Hangouts, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, loss aversion, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, means of production, Oculus Rift, passive income, passive investing, Peter Thiel, remote working, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, software as a service, software is eating the world, Startup school, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, Thomas Malthus, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, Whole Earth Catalog

Would-be entrepreneurs imagine having to go out and buy a lot of physical equipment, hire staff, and rent office space. For a large and growing number of businesses, that’s no longer the case. The Social Network, the movie chronicling Facebook’s rise to a multi-billion dollar company depicts Mark Zuckerberg starting Facebook in his college dorm room. Basecamp, a multi-million dollar project management software company, was started by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, while living in different countries and while also running a web development consultancy. But it’s not just tech companies. Rent to Own: The Sharing Economy Over the last decade, a more publicly available internet has enabled the “Sharing Economy,” which has democratized the tools of production. Technology and the internet have brought trust and transparency to markets, which lets people share existing resources and repurpose them into higher and better uses to take them from a lower to a higher area of productivity.


pages: 186 words: 49,251

The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry by John Warrillow

Airbnb, airport security, Amazon Web Services, asset allocation, barriers to entry, call centre, cloud computing, commoditize, David Heinemeier Hansson, discounted cash flows, high net worth, Jeff Bezos, Network effects, passive income, rolodex, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, software as a service, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, subscription business, telemarketer, time value of money, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Cash Source 1: Rob Peter to Pay Paul You can use cash from nonrecurring sources of your business to build your subscription offering. With this model, you take the profits from your traditional business, and instead of putting them in your pocket, you reinvest them into building your subscription offering. Pursuing this strategy usually takes longer than raising a seven-figure seed round of outside money, but you get to keep control of your product and take your time building it. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson used this cash-flow strategy to build their company, 37signals, which was renamed Basecamp in 2014. Basecamp started out as a project-based web-design company building sites for big companies and has evolved into one of the leading project-management software platforms available for small and mid-size companies. They used the cash from big, profitable, one-shot website projects to fund the development of Basecamp, which they sell for around $20 per month, per user.


pages: 184 words: 12,922

Pragmatic Version Control Using Git by Travis Swicegood

AGPL, continuous integration, David Heinemeier Hansson, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, George Santayana, revision control

It enforces good design principles, consistency of code across your team (and across your organization), and proper release management. This is the newly updated Second Edition, which goes beyond the Jolt-award winning first edition with new material on: • Migrations • RJS templates • Respond_to • Integration Tests • Additional ActiveRecord features • Another year’s worth of Rails best practices Agile Web Development with Rails: Second Edition Dave Thomas and David Heinemeier Hansson with Leon Breedt, Mike Clark, James Duncan Davidson, Justin Gehtland, and Andreas Schwarz (750 pages) ISBN : 0-9776166-3-0. $39.95 http://pragprog.com/titles/rails2 Prepared exclusively for Trieu Nguyen Download at Boykma.Com Stuff You Need to Know Learn the best ways to use your own brain and the best ways to use Ubuntu Linux. Either way, this is stuff you need to know. Pragmatic Thinking and Learning Software development happens in your head.


We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, East Village, game design, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, Internet Archive, Jacob Appelbaum, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joi Ito, Justin.tv, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Paul Buchheit, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, QR code, recommendation engine, RFID, rolodex, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, semantic web, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, technoutopianism, uber lyft, web application, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

He said that around this time, he considered himself adept at handling precisely one crisis at a time. Four? Utterly impossible. He was beat up, from inside the company, from the press, from Reddit users. He was overtired. Everything started aching. “I was under enormous amounts of stress, and I was not really able to recognize and appreciate that,” he recalled later. The public criticism only mounted when news of the office consolidation leaked. David Heinemeier Hansson, a creator of the Ruby on Rails programming framework and a partner at the project management software firm Basecamp, got wind of Wong’s decision to move employees to San Francisco and called it a “shit sandwich” on his blog. In reporting on the limited notice employees were given to decide, he wrote, “Can you imagine a more serious fuck you from your supposedly hip employer? You have one week (or hey, maybe even two weeks!)

Graham had approached him in 2012: Colleen Taylor, “Sam Altman Taking Over as President of Y Combinator, Replacing Paul Graham at the Helm,” TechCrunch, February 21, 2014. Every Man Is Responsible for His Own Soul 141 million people visited the site: Andy Greenberg, “Hacked Celeb Pics Made Reddit Enough Cash to Run Its Servers for a Month,” Wired, September 10, 2014. servers for twenty-seven days: Ibid. Wong says the number was a vast exaggeration, but could not provide one more accurate. Tiny Boxes “shit sandwich”: David Heinemeier Hansson, “Reddit’s crappy ultimatum to remote workers and offices,” Short Logic, accessed through Internet Archive, https://web.archive.org/web/20141004175215/http://shortlogic.tumblr.com/post/99014759324/reddits-crappy-ultimatum. Unbelievable Because It’s So Weird “unbelievable because” and “If the job had been an energizing one”: Post on Quora by Yishan Wong in response to “Why did Yishan Wong resign as Reddit CEO?


pages: 203 words: 14,242

Ship It!: A Practical Guide to Successful Software Projects by Jared R. Richardson, William A. Gwaltney

continuous integration, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Knuth, index card, MVC pattern, place-making, Ruby on Rails, web application

Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmer’s Guide, 2nd Edition Dave Thomas with Chad Fowler and Andy Hunt (864 pages) ISBN : 0-9745140-5-5. $44.95 • Learn all about this new open-source, full-stack web framework. • Develop sophisticated web applications quickly and easily. • Use incremental and iterative development to create the web apps that users want. • Get to go home on time. Agile Web Development with Rails: A Pragmatic Guide Dave Thomas and David Heinemeier Hansson (450 pages) ISBN : 0-9766940-0-X. $34.95 Visit our store at The Pragmatic Bookshelf The Pragmatic Bookshelf features books written by developers for developers. The titles continue the well-known Pragmatic Programmer style, and continue to garner awards and rave reviews. As development gets more and more difficult, the Pragmatic Programmers will be there with more titles and products to help programmers stay on top of their game.


pages: 207 words: 57,959

Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge From Small Discoveries by Peter Sims

Amazon Web Services, Black Swan, Clayton Christensen, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, discovery of penicillin, endowment effect, fear of failure, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, Lean Startup, longitudinal study, loss aversion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, PageRank, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, urban planning, Wall-E

Making Ideas Happen. New York: Portfolio, 2010. Scott Belsky is a former Goldman Sachs banker who traded a finance job for starting a creative consulting firm, Behance, and became an author in order to help companies develop their ideas. Belsky’s book is well done, a how-to guide for corporate intrapreneurs, managers, and entrepreneurs to frame creative thinking processes and systems. Fried, Jason, and David Heinemeier Hansson. Rework. New York: Crown, 2010. Fried and Hansson, founders of 37Signals, a web software company, play an important role with web businesses these days: They provide common-sense frameworks to build web businesses in an era that rewards little betting. They take principles from agile software development and apply those to any startup. Gianforte, Greg, and Marcus Gibson. Bootstrapping Your Business.


The Data Journalism Handbook by Jonathan Gray, Lucy Chambers, Liliana Bounegru

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, business intelligence, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, eurozone crisis, Firefox, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, game design, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Julian Assange, linked data, moral hazard, MVC pattern, New Journalism, openstreetmap, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, social graph, SPARQL, text mining, web application, WikiLeaks

Things changed thanks to the development of two free/open source rapid development frameworks: Django and Ruby on Rails, both of which were first released in the mid-2000s. Django, which is built on top of the Python programming language, was developed by Adrian Holovaty and a team working in a newsroom—the Lawrence Journal-World in Lawrence, Kansas. Ruby on Rails was developed in Chicago by by David Heinemeier Hansson and 37Signals, a web application company. Though the two frameworks take different approaches to the “MVC pattern,” they’re both excellent and make it possible to build even very complex web applications very quickly. They take away some of the rudimentary work of building an app. Things like creating and fetching items from the database, and matching URLs to specific code in an app are built into the frameworks, so developers don’t need to write code to do basic things like that.


pages: 247 words: 81,135

The Great Fragmentation: And Why the Future of All Business Is Small by Steve Sammartino

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, augmented reality, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fiat currency, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, Google X / Alphabet X, haute couture, helicopter parent, illegal immigration, index fund, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, lifelogging, market design, Metcalfe's law, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, peer-to-peer, post scarcity, prediction markets, pre–internet, profit motive, race to the bottom, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, remote working, RFID, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, too big to fail, US Airways Flight 1549, web application, zero-sum game

Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of lenses Jesse Schell Billions & Billions: Thoughts on Life and Death at the Brink of the Millennium Carl Sagan Brand Hijack: Marketing Without Marketing Alex Wipperfurth The Cluetrain Manifesto Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed Ray Kurzweil The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel Benjamin Graham One Up On Wall Street: How To Use What You Already Know To Make Money In The Market Peter Lynch The Prince Niccolo Machiavelli A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing Burton G. Malkiel Rework Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson The Road Ahead Bill Gates, Nathan Myhrvold, Peter Rinearson Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions Christian Lander Documentaries Connections (series 1-3, 1978-1997) Series presented by James Burke. The Corporation (2013) Film on the concept of the corporation. Cosmos (1980) Series presented by Carl Sagan. The Day the Universe Changed (1985) Series presented by James Burke.


pages: 292 words: 81,699

More Joel on Software by Joel Spolsky

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, barriers to entry, Black Swan, Build a better mousetrap, business process, call centre, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, George Gilder, Larry Wall, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mars Rover, Network effects, Paul Graham, performance metric, place-making, price discrimination, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Oldenburg, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, slashdot, social software, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Superbowl ad, The Great Good Place, type inference, unpaid internship, wage slave, web application, Y Combinator

Chicago-area startup 37signals has strongly aligned themselves with the idea of simplicity: simple, easy to use apps like Backpack and the simple, easy-to-use programming framework Ruby on Rails. For 37signals, simplicity is an “-ism,” practically an international political movement. Simplicity is not just simplicity, oh no, it’s summertime, it’s beautiful music and peace and justice and happiness and pretty girls with flowers in their hair. David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Rails, says that their story is “one of beauty, happiness, and motivation. Taking pride and pleasure in your work and in your tools. That story simply isn’t a fad, it’s a trend. A story that allows for words like passion and enthusiasm to be part of the sanctioned vocabulary of developers without the need to make excuses for yourself. Or feel embarrassed about really liking what you do” (www.loudthinking.com/ arc/2006_08.html).


pages: 319 words: 90,965

The End of College: Creating the Future of Learning and the University of Everywhere by Kevin Carey

Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, business cycle, business intelligence, carbon-based life, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, David Heinemeier Hansson, declining real wages, deliberate practice, discrete time, disruptive innovation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Downton Abbey, Drosophila, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Google X / Alphabet X, informal economy, invention of the printing press, inventory management, John Markoff, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, Network effects, open borders, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, pez dispenser, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social web, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, transcontinental railway, uber lyft, Vannevar Bush

With ubiquitous broadband, cheap computers, and the cloud, the only physical thing you need to make software is a bunch of ergonomically designed black office chairs for your programmers to sit on and tables where they can rest their MacBooks and empty pizza boxes. It doesn’t take tens of thousands of programmers to make great software; in fact, once you add too many cooks to the development kitchen, software tends to get worse. Michael Staton and his buddies speak with awe about coders like David Heinemeier Hansson, a thirty-four-year-old Danish wunderkind, the “Elvis of software engineers,” who created the popular Ruby on Rails Web development framework, races sports cars in his spare time, and is, they say, worth one hundred ordinary men. The cost of reproducing software is essentially zero, which means large profit margins on every copy you sell or every customer you add after the first one.


pages: 448 words: 117,325

Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-Connected World by Bruce Schneier

23andMe, 3D printing, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Brian Krebs, business process, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Heinemeier Hansson, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Firefox, Flash crash, George Akerlof, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of radio, job automation, job satisfaction, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, license plate recognition, loose coupling, market design, medical malpractice, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, national security letter, Network effects, pattern recognition, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, ransomware, Rodney Brooks, Ross Ulbricht, security theater, self-driving car, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart transportation, Snapchat, Stanislav Petrov, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, The Market for Lemons, too big to fail, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, uranium enrichment, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero day

As part of the process, I enabled iCloud and tried to back up my phone data. I’m not sure how, but iCloud managed to delete 20 years of calendar history. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had a recent backup. 20Some of them are inherent: Roger A. Grimes (8 Jul 2014), “5 reasons why software bugs still plague us,” CSO, https://www.csoonline.com/article/2608330/security/5-reasons-why-software-bugs-still-plague-us.html. David Heinemeier Hansson (7 Mar 2016), “Software has bugs. This is normal,” Signal v. Noise, https://m.signalvnoise.com/software-has-bugs-this-is-normal-f64761a262ca. 20Microsoft spent the decade after 2002: In 2002, Bill Gates sent his landmark “trustworthy computing” memo to all employees. In that same year, Windows development shut down completely so that every employee could take security training. The company’s first Security Development Lifecycle security tools appeared in 2004.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The greater the uncertainty, the bigger the gap between what you can measure and what matters, the more you should watch out for overfitting—that is, the more you should prefer simplicity, and the earlier you should stop. When you’re truly in the dark, the best-laid plans will be the simplest. When our expectations are uncertain and the data are noisy, the best bet is to paint with a broad brush, to think in broad strokes. Sometimes literally. As entrepreneurs Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson explain, the further ahead they need to brainstorm, the thicker the pen they use—a clever form of simplification by stroke size: When we start designing something, we sketch out ideas with a big, thick Sharpie marker, instead of a ball-point pen. Why? Pen points are too fine. They’re too high-resolution. They encourage you to worry about things that you shouldn’t worry about yet, like perfecting the shading or whether to use a dotted or dashed line.


pages: 499 words: 144,278

Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World by Clive Thompson

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 4chan, 8-hour work day, Ada Lovelace, AI winter, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, blue-collar work, Brewster Kahle, Brian Krebs, Broken windows theory, call centre, cellular automata, Chelsea Manning, clean water, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, computer vision, Conway's Game of Life, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, don't be evil, don't repeat yourself, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Firefox, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Google Hangouts, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Guido van Rossum, Hacker Ethic, HyperCard, illegal immigration, ImageNet competition, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, Larry Wall, lone genius, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, microservices, Minecraft, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Nate Silver, Network effects, neurotypical, Nicholas Carr, Oculus Rift, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, planetary scale, profit motive, ransomware, recommendation engine, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rubik’s Cube, Ruby on Rails, Sam Altman, Satoshi Nakamoto, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, Skype, smart contracts, Snapchat, social software, software is eating the world, sorting algorithm, South of Market, San Francisco, speech recognition, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, the High Line, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Zimmermann PGP, éminence grise

“Our desires were lined up with that of our users,” she tells me. Gardner thinks this same principle is why Apple has been comparatively better at building privacy and encryption into its phones and laptops than other firms. Apple’s customers are paying for the tech up front. “When your customers are paying you money, you can actually call them customers and not users, which is a term from drug dealing,” jokes David Heinemeier Hansson. He’s a coder who watched ad-based businesses fall apart in the dot-com crash of the ’90s and thus decided to write only software that people would be willing to pay money for. So he started making an organizational tool called Basecamp, and charging a relatively low subscription fee; soon he was employing dozens of people and catering to oodles of paying customers, without needing to track them or trick them into overusing his wares.


pages: 834 words: 180,700

The Architecture of Open Source Applications by Amy Brown, Greg Wilson

8-hour work day, anti-pattern, bioinformatics, c2.com, cloud computing, collaborative editing, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, continuous integration, create, read, update, delete, David Heinemeier Hansson, Debian, domain-specific language, Donald Knuth, en.wikipedia.org, fault tolerance, finite state, Firefox, friendly fire, Guido van Rossum, linked data, load shedding, locality of reference, loose coupling, Mars Rover, MITM: man-in-the-middle, MVC pattern, peer-to-peer, Perl 6, premature optimization, recommendation engine, revision control, Ruby on Rails, side project, Skype, slashdot, social web, speech recognition, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, WebSocket

Reading through the project's workspace brought me quickly to the same page as others, without the usual hand-holding overhead typically associated with orienting a new team member. This would not be possible in traditional open source projects, where most conversation takes place on IRC and mailing lists and the wiki (if present) is only used for documentations and links to development resources. For a newcomer, it's much more difficult to reconstruct context from unstructured IRC logs and mail archives. 19.8.3. Embrace Time Zone Differences David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, once remarked on the benefit of distributed teams when he first joined 37signals. "The seven time zones between Copenhagen and Chicago actually meant that we got a lot done with few interruptions." With nine time zones between Taipei and Palo Alto, that was true for us during SocialCalc's development as well. We often completed an entire Design-Development-QA feedback cycle within a 24-hour day, with each aspect taking one person's 8-hour work day in their local daytime.


pages: 579 words: 183,063

Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice From the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss

23andMe, A Pattern Language, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, Brownian motion, Buckminster Fuller, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, Colonization of Mars, corporate social responsibility, cryptocurrency, David Heinemeier Hansson, dematerialisation, don't be evil, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, family office, fear of failure, Gary Taubes, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Google Hangouts, Gödel, Escher, Bach, haute couture, helicopter parent, high net worth, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, index fund, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kevin Kelly, Lao Tzu, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum viable product, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Saturday Night Live, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, TaskRabbit, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Turing machine, uber lyft, web application, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

Charles Poliquin on Strength Training, Shredding Body Fat, and Increasing Testosterone and Sex Drive (#91)—tim.blog/charles Mr. Money Mustache—Living Beautifully on $25–27K Per Year (#221)—tim.blog/mustache Lessons from Warren Buffett, Bobby Fischer, and Other Outliers (#219)—tim.blog/buffett Exploring Smart Drugs, Fasting, and Fat Loss—Dr. Rhonda Patrick (#237)—tim.blog/rhonda 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win the Day (#105)—tim.blog/rituals David Heinemeier Hansson: The Power of Being Outspoken (#195)—tim.blog/dhh Lessons from Geniuses, Billionaires, and Tinkerers (#173)—tim.blog/chrisyoung The Secrets of Gymnastic Strength Training (#158)—tim.blog/gst Becoming the Best Version of You (#210)—tim.blog/best The Science of Strength and Simplicity with Pavel Tsatsouline (#55)—tim.blog/pavel Tony Robbins (Part 2) on Morning Routines, Peak Performance, and Mastering Money (#38)—tim.blog/tony How Seth Godin Manages His Life—Rules, Principles, and Obsessions (#138)—tim.blog/seth The Relationship Episode: Sex, Love, Polyamory, Marriage, and More (with Esther Perel) (#241)—tim.blog/esther The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency—Nick Szabo (#244)—tim.blog/crypto Joshua Waitzkin (#2)—tim.blog/josh The Benevolent Dictator of the Internet, Matt Mullenweg (#61)—tim.blog/matt Ricardo Semler—The Seven-Day Weekend and How to Break the Rules (#229)—tim.blog/ricardo Extended Conversations I’ve recorded extended interviews with many of the people in this book.


pages: 982 words: 221,145

Ajax: The Definitive Guide by Anthony T. Holdener

AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, business process, centre right, create, read, update, delete, database schema, David Heinemeier Hansson, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, full text search, game design, general-purpose programming language, Guido van Rossum, information retrieval, loose coupling, MVC pattern, Necker cube, p-value, Ruby on Rails, slashdot, sorting algorithm, web application

When you throw in Microsoft Visual Studio for development, programming times are reduced thanks to the GUI for designing and building individual pages in an application that it provides. The large available class library and the GUI for designing site pages allow more rapid deployment of Ajax web applications than traditional coding. Ruby on Rails Ruby on Rails (RoR or just Rails), which David Heinemeier Hansson developed while he was working on Basecamp (http://www.basecamphq.com/), is a web-based project collaboration tool. It is an open source framework that is based on the MVC pattern, and you can find it at http://www.rubyonrails.org/. It is considered to be a full-stack framework, meaning that all the components in the framework are integrated, so you don’t have to set anything up manually.


pages: 936 words: 85,745

Programming Ruby 1.9: The Pragmatic Programmer's Guide by Dave Thomas, Chad Fowler, Andy Hunt

book scanning, David Heinemeier Hansson, Debian, domain-specific language, Jacquard loom, Kickstarter, p-value, revision control, Ruby on Rails, slashdot, sorting algorithm, web application

Agile Web Development with Rails Rails is a full-stack, open-source web framework, with integrated support for unit, functional, and integration testing. It enforces good design principles, consistency of code across your team (and across your organization), and proper release management. This is the newly updated Third Edition, which goes beyond the award winning previous editions with new material covering the latest advances in Rails 2.0. Agile Web Development with Rails: Third Edition Sam Ruby, Dave Thomas, and David Heinemeier Hansson, et al. (784 pages) ISBN : 978-1-9343561-6-6. $43.95 http://pragprog.com/titles/rails3 RubyCocoa RubyCocoa brings together two enthusiastic development communities: now the joy of Cocoa meets the joy of Ruby. Through this hands-on tutorial, you’ll learn all about the Cocoa framework for programming on Mac OS X. You’ll see test-first development of user-interface code, little domain-specific languages that take advantage of Ruby features, and other Rubyish tricks.