David Heinemeier Hansson Talk [the broken link has been removed] at Startup School 2008 (Paul Graham‘s Y-combinator school). It is helpful to appreciate the importance of some simple ideas. Working on web focused businesses people often get carried away with the huge potential and sometimes lose touch with reality. While the ideas are more obvious when looking at web related business their is plenty here for many companies (the second half might be more helpful for many).
In this talk David does a great job of explaining how 37 signals has chosen to work. They are not concerned with becoming large. They focus on doing what they want to do – creating great software solutions (see: Systemic Workplace Experiments). And on making money to allow them to stay in business.
Some tidbits of advice: create great applications, charge people money, make a profit. Yes to those outside the web world this might seem obvious… He discusses a very similar idea to the idea of 1,000 true fans. He mentions to bring in a $1 million, all you need is 2,000 customers paying $40/month. 37 Signals has done well focusing on small business. Don’t be in such a hurry.