With the coming launch of Backpack (our third application) just around the corner, it was a fitting occasion to revisit 37signals.com. The relaunch reflects the company transition from world-class web design shop to application maker striving for the same accolades. I admired the former for years before getting on board to help create the latter.
And just like we try to do with the apps, we've said goodbye to bloat on the presentation too. So its just that single page you see. Instead of static praising that invariably grow out of date (and fashion), the focus is on the conversation instead. Through Signals vs Noise and the personal blogs of our people, like this.
It's been a fun ride. From we first started thinking about Basecamp a year and a half ago to today where we're steering a whole suite of applications forward. It's a testament to the flexibility of small companies. A reinvention of the self in a short time span and incurring none of "restructuring costs" of the giants.
Having been through a number of such re-inventions now, I've been growing ever more confident in saying the words: you can do it too! Whether its you as a company owner, employee, or independent consultant. We've never had better opportunities to break out and make it on our own, make it differently, and making it with passion.
The barriers of old are crumbling. Seize the excitement. Break out.
Congratulations, this is a great development. I hope other smart design firms are also considering getting into the software development business.
So this seems like as good a place to ask as any: are you guys planning to publish some APIs for the apps? It seems like there's so much oppurtunity around them for it. I'd love to build a Dashboard widget for Basecamp, for example....
There is an API planned... 37signals said so:
I just wanted to let you know how appreciative I am of you work. I'm in the process of starting the first major project that I can really call my own. While the idea has been floating around in my head, I could never really see how it should work.
Your projects have become an inspiration of how applications should work, and if I can do something that is only a small percentage of the work that you guys have done I will consider my project a success.
Good Luck and Thank you.
For those Windows users out there, I thought I would mention a little trick that makes using web applications like Backpack a little easier. If you copy the below code into a "foo.hta" file, then execute it, it will run the Backpack web site in its own window, complete with titlebar icon. That way it doesnt get confused with all your other browser windows, and feels more like an app than a web site.
Oops, lets try this...
<IFRAME src="http://www.backpackit.com" application="yes" width="100%" height="100%" marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 border=0>
Congrats. By the way, your email link in the new 37signals.com footer does not work.
One thing I notice about this site and all the sites you guys put out. You guys are true graphic designers. Do you consider color schemes in your design. Good work. I like the KISS style.
I am not a 100% Ruby advocate, but that is ok.