Friday, June 08, 2007

Small Is Perfect

The Time story on 37signals is a modern day retelling of an old adage - too many cooks spoil the broth, so don't do it. Even after eight years since founding they are only eight employee strong - just that is an amazing achievement.

The story has so many lessons for elephantine organizations where the moving parts cannot keep pace with each other, wheels are reinvented all the time because no one knew several old ones existed. The hapless customer has to wait for what feels like eternity to get an upgrade on a product that was over-priced to begin with. The smallest tweak requires "customization" that may be rendered unupportable in future releases unless you continue to pay for it. The 37signals subscription model is just perfect for everyone :

Subscribing to the Web-based software costs $12 to $149 a month, depending on the amount of disk space and the number of features you use. The thousands of paying users--Fried won't say exactly how many--provide 37signals with a steady revenue stream. The subscription model minimizes the up-front cost for small businesses and makes software spending more predictable for firms worried about cash flow. The monthly fees include ongoing service and updates.

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