Getting Real

The smarter, faster, easier way to build a succesful web application


Publisher: 37signals, 2008, 187 pages

Last modified: Feb. 27, 2008, 1:52 p.m.

Getting Real is the business, design, programming, and marketing philosophies of 37signals — a developer of web-based software used by over 1 million people and businesses in 70 countries.

  • Introduction
    • What is Getting Real?
    • About 37signals
    • caveats, disclaimers, and other preemptive strikes
  • The Starting Line
    • Build Less
    • What's Your Problem?
    • Fund Yourself
    • Fix Time and Budget, Flex Scope
    • Have an Enemy
    • It Shouldn't be a Chore
  • Stay Lean
    • Less Mass
    • Lower Your Cost of Change
    • The Three Musketeers
    • Embrace Constraints
    • Be Yourself
  • Priorities
    • What's the Big Idea
    • Ignore Details Early On
    • It's a Problem When It's a Problem
    • Hire the Right Customers
    • Scale Later
    • Make Opinionated Software
  • Feature Selection
    • Half, Not Half-Assed
    • It Just Doesn't Matter
    • Start With No
    • Hidden Costs
    • Can You Handle It?
    • Human Solutions
    • Forget Feature Requests
    • Hold the Mayo
  • Process
    • Race to Running Software
    • Rinse and Repeat
    • From Idea to Implementation
    • Avoid Preferences
    • "Done!"
    • Test in the Wild
    • Shrink Your Time
  • The Organization
    • Unity
    • Alone Time
    • Meetings Are Toxic
    • Seek and Celebrate Small Victories
  • Staffing
    • Hire Less and Hire Later
    • Kick the Tires
    • Actions, Not Words
    • Get Well Rounded Individuals
    • You Can't Fake Enthusiasm
    • Wordsmiths
  • Interface Design
    • Interface First
    • Epicenter Design
    • Three State Solution
    • The Blank Slate
    • Get Defensive
    • Context Over Consistency
    • Copywriting is Interface Design
    • One Interface
  • Code
    • Less Software
    • Optimize for Happiness
    • Code Speaks
    • Manage Debt
    • Open Doors
  • Words
    • There's Nothing Functional about a Functional Spec
    • Don't Do Dead Dcouments
    • Tell Me a Quick Story
    • Use real Words
    • Personify Your Product
  • Pricing and Signup
    • Free Samples
    • Easy On, Easy Off
    • Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for Kids
    • A Softer Bullet
  • Promotion
    • Hollywood Launch
    • A Powerful Promo Site
    • Ride the Blog Wave
    • Solicit Early
    • Promote Through Education
    • Feature Food
    • Track Your Logs
    • Inline Upsell
    • Name Hook
  • Support
    • Feel The Pain
    • Zero Training
    • Answer Quick
    • Tough Love
    • In Fine Forum
    • Publicize Your Screwups
  • Post-Launch
    • One Month Tuneup
    • Keep the Posts Coming
    • Better, Not beta
    • All Bugs Are Not Created Equal
    • Ride Out the Storm
    • Keep Up With the Joneses
    • Beware the Bloat Monster
    • Go With the Flow
  • Conclusion
    • Start Your Engines
    • 37signals Resources


Getting Real

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Very Good ******** (8 out of 10)

Last modified: Feb. 27, 2008, 1:52 p.m.

As an old ERP and OS guy, the book makes no sense whatsoever, and seems a bit naive… But as a CMS-guy, I couldn't agree more!

And the authors acknowledge this (somewhat) themselves, even if they believe it is mostly applicable in both worlds (Community- and Group-oriented web-applications versus large-scale, rule-based Enterprise systems). I can agree with some of that, as certain of the advice is very down to earth and could be applicable in nearly all development, if you modify the details and take the gist of their arguments.

It is nicely written and an easy read and is definetely a must read for todays programmers (aspiring and current) and is in fact a nice complement to Brooks "Mythical Man-Month". Of course, if you're into XP, you're gonna love this book, as it is heavily geared on that philosophy.


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