Getting Real – Book on Web Applications

By August 25, 2014 books

Yea yea yea I know the book is about five years old at this point but in case you’ve never picked up a copy, do yourself a favor and get Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application by the Basecamp crew (formerly 37signals).

The book is a very quick read and you could probably get through it in half a day (or a several lunch breaks). The book isn’t technical but rather outlines the philosophy behind the approach Basecamp took to build out several of their web applications. Most of it is common sense and can apply to several walks of life. Not just building a web app.

Several of my takeaways included:

  • It’s alright to be small company. Don’t try to fake being a big corp.
  • Do something rather than talking about it ad nauseam.
  • No is a perfectly acceptable answer.
  • Have the builders interact with the users to gain a better understanding of how the product is used.
  • Grow naturally. You won’t need what you think you need at the start.
  • Design and build to the point where help docs aren’t needed.
If you are stuck in a world of life sucking meetings or a commute which would rival that of taking the Oregon Trail then you’ll also want to check out Rework by the same authors.