Jason Fried

Notes from Jason Frieds speech; How to make big things happen with small teams

4 guys, 3 products, 200000+ users

Reducing mass

“The more mass an object has the longer it takes to change direction”

Embrace change

The right people

Happy and average > Guru and disgruntled

Being small has advantages

Act your size

You’re small, act like it, don’t pretend. Let the big guys be confusing.

Embrace constraints

The only time you will really come up with the great stuff, is when you have constraints – things you can’t do.

Example: Basecamp

Make things manageable

Hard to stay manageable while small

Lowering the cost of change

Build half a product – not a half-assed product

There’s unlimited time in the future to add new stuff, and we’ll be more experienced

Build less software

Go for “good enough”, not “the biggest and the best”

Get real, start with the UI

There’s nothing functional about a functional spec. The spec isn’t clear, it’s hard to describe what you want. Start with the customer experience. Textual specs are illusions of agreement.

  1. Start designing
  2. Start prototyping
  3. Start experiencing
  4. Start changing
  5. Rinse and repeat

Make decisions just in time

Less decisions to adhere to means less mass means easier change.

A problem isn’t a problem until it’s a problem.

Make decisions when you have real information.

Example: Basecamp

Basecamp couldn’t bill people at launchtime, since they had 30 days until the first billings had to happen. Excellent constraint.

Turn big into small

12 week project vs 12 1 week projects.

  1. Break into small chunks
  2. Finish
  3. Iterate
  4. Celebrate

Feel the hurt

Get the tech guys, builders, dev to support the product. You need to know what frustrates people. Feel the people when people complain. Shared annoyance. Annoyance leads to actions.

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