Jason Fried at Web 2.0

Just saw Jason Fried, the founder of 37 Signals (I use Basecamp and also am a regular reader of their blog) give one of the micro-keynotes at the Web 2.0 conference.  Here are a few quick notes:

Building Software requires…
– no raw materials
– can build anywhere

Challenges with building software
– Doesn’t have the same kind of feedback as a real material (used the example of a clear plastic bottle of water vs. one that was black…would you know that water was inside, etc.)
– We can look at object and tell pretty quickly if it is good or bad design
– software doesn’t have weight, size
– When thinking about software – what would happen if it was a physical device
– we have to be curators, and know when to say no
– think about product as museum
– all the art in the world in a room is a warehouse, not a museum
– you are not building for an individual but a group
– software trends towards bloat – hard to move back from the bloated stage
– good software is a museum of careful decisions
– customers may ask for what is possible but only in their terms
– need to attach costs to features

Question from the audience about if he was working on a new MS Office
Answer:  Thank god I don’t!  Office works fine, but office work is less about word, ppt, excel and more about collaboration, so that’s there I’d start.

Steve Jobs – ultimate curator

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