Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Web Application” as Want to Read:
Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Web Application
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Getting Real: The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Web Application

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  6,010 Ratings  ·  223 Reviews
Book report

Getting Real is the business, design, programming, and marketing philosophies of 37signals — a developer of web-based software used by over 1 million people and businesses in 70 countries.
Why is the book relevant?

37signals used the unconventional Getting Real process to launch five successful web-based applications (Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack, Writeboard, Ta-d
ebook, 171 pages
Published 2006 by Self
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Getting Real, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Getting Real

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 14, 2010 Robin rated it liked it
First of all, you can read this for yourself, online, for free. That spoke to me... Here's the link:

This book is written by the software development team that built Basecamp, Backpack, and Campfire. They are successful, opinionated, and have soom good ideas. Now their business is software development, which is different from instructional design, but it is on some ways analogous. Both involve creativity and technical expertise, teams, budgets and typica
Unlike their Re-work book, this book actually makes sense. It's kind of a set of 'best practices' on how to efficiently build a web application. I would even claim that many of the advice could be successfully applied outside the web application or even software domain. The book is organised in 'themes' like 'Organisation', 'Code', 'Process', 'Feature Selection' and offers practical, actionable 2 page tips in the form of elaborated aphorisms (did that sentence make it any clearer how this book i ...more
نهى خالد
Aug 31, 2016 نهى خالد rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That was just awesome. It is really helpful in "getting real" with your ideas to turn them into project. I loved how honest Jason is about all steps that might come up. I also loved the quotes mentioned, they all refer to good books/articles.
37 Signals take on how to do business and build products (particularly web software products). Sanctimonious, but it works.
Yevgeniy Brikman
Jan 17, 2015 Yevgeniy Brikman rated it it was ok
Very quick read, but not a particularly good one. The advice is extremely simplistic, bordering on platitudes, and much of it is not particularly actionable. A lot of it simply does not apply to *many* companies: e.g. building for yourself is all it takes to find a market (tell that to the many engineers who built something that *only* they would want), everything can be self-funded (many business cannot), everyone should give away all of their data for free (unless, of course, data is your diff ...more
Jul 28, 2009 Shawn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All web developers
Recommended to Shawn by: Justin James
An "agile" project management methodology and a general guide for start ups from the original developers of Ruby on Rails. Short and very well written in plain language. Some of it breaks sharply with conventional project management, but for many projects (especially web projects) ... I think there is a lot of wisdom in this guide.

A few highlights:
- "Functional specs force you to make the most important decisions when you have the least information" ... so keep specs extremely simple, develop in
Jan 17, 2013 Wouter rated it liked it
Given you never read Rework or the $100 startup and you're not familiar to scrum or eXtreme Programming practices, only then this book will inspire you and open your eyes. Otherwise it's a nice rehash but there's nothing new under the sun. Scratch your own itch, meetings are toxic, release early and often, watch out for code complexity, ... - some things are literally found again in "Rework", but I did read Rework first so I might lower that rating too ;-)

It's quite a quick read and that's a go
Feb 02, 2009 Mark rated it it was ok
This is a quick read without a lot of substance. I feel like a lot of the principles advanced in the book were covered in Extreme Programming Explained. This book felt more like a collection of truisms. And as many folks on the startup sites I read have pointed out, these strategies pretty much only work if you are 37Signals - other companies don't have the same kind of pull to be able to market stripped down applications as superior.
Matt Langan
Jun 10, 2014 Matt Langan rated it it was amazing
This book is worth its weight in gold. Simply put, it is all business. Each chapter is crafted in digestible, highly valuable chunks. It's free of fluff and business jargon, which is unlike most business books out there that basically say the same thing in a thousand different ways.

Internet/software entrepreneurs will appreciate this book more than folks in corporate environments, but we could all learn a lot from the tips it shares. Highly recommend!
Janet Richards
Mar 25, 2010 Janet Richards rated it it was amazing
Great ideas - although I'm not a web designer - many of the ideas apply to what I do - corporate training. Basically - do more, think about doing more a lot less. I 100% agree - more and more I feel like I'm documenting what I'm going to do, meeting about what I'm going to do, and telling managers what I'm going to do than I get time to do it! :) This book is ammo to stop doing that!
César Frick
Jan 03, 2012 César Frick rated it really liked it
It's a really interesting book, if you understand that it's the 37Signals perspective and there are some things that could work for you and other that couldn't.
It's not just for the "entrepreneur", but for anybody who wants to push his/her work to a new level without (and I think this is one of the most important attributes of the book) all the "entrepreneur crap" you usually get everywhere
Oana Sipos
Sep 12, 2013 Oana Sipos rated it it was amazing
Shelves: programming
Getting Real is about programming. And in my view, it was also about life and common-sense.

I would highly recommend it to anybody interested in programming (of any kind) and those who want to develop something bigger in this direction.

Light read and condensed good pieces of advice.
Almothana Alghunaim
الكتاب مناسب لك إذا كنت تفكر بتطوير تطبيق على الانترنت. يعرض لك فلسفة لشركة متميزة في تطوير تطبيقات الويب، و هي مختلفة تماماً عن الفلسفة التي تعلمتها في هندسة البرمجيات.. قرأت النسخة المتوفرة على الموقع "" .. الكتاب ممتاز و متوفر أيضاً باللغة العربية
Pavlo Huk
Oct 30, 2014 Pavlo Huk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Перечитую вже вкотре і завжди круто.
Mazen Aldarrab
Jul 06, 2010 Mazen Aldarrab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read , Easy to understand - to the point !
Dec 08, 2012 Steven rated it it was amazing
The better, faster, no BS way to build a web application.
Feb 07, 2007 Sundeep rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone starting a web company
good book...quick read...very in line with my way of thinking about startups (move quickly, etc.)
Jun 08, 2017 Andrea rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chad Warner
Mar 09, 2014 Chad Warner rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, business
The book is written for those who create web applications, but as a web designer who creates WordPress websites, I found plenty of relevant advice about planning, project management, client relations, hiring, and productivity. The 37 Signals authors make many similar points in Rework.

You can download the book for free.

“Months of planning are not necessary. Months of writing specs are not necessary – specs should have the foundations nailed and details figured out and refined during t
Jun 02, 2017 Nirant rated it really liked it
The book is elegant and beautiful in the simple and obvious insights it shares. It has no fuss. It doesn't delve into the rigour of most business writing. It's a perspective that you will want to agree with a lot. And at points you disagree, you will form a new more informed opinion.

In summary, the books preaches well. You can keep parts of the sermon and iterate to see what works for you.
Wojtek Erbetowski
May 15, 2017 Wojtek Erbetowski rated it it was ok
I don't think I've got anything out of this book. It just touches many topics, without going deeper into any of them. The one thing I've found good about it was that it was short. Usually, I try to recommend books to people in certain context, that could find it helpful, but I didn't figure out who could gain from reading it :-(
Jean-philippe Cyr
Jan 26, 2017 Jean-philippe Cyr rated it it was amazing
Of all the many books you can read on how to run a company, this is one I remember the most. It's the prelude to the following books REWORK and REMOTE. It's an point of view, an opinionated point of view that you can only admire and want to pursue for yourself and wish everyone around you would fall in love with so you can begin a movement toward changes.
Nathan Friedly
May 06, 2017 Nathan Friedly rated it it was amazing
A few years old now, but sill surprisingly relevant. I've been trying to apply a lot of the advice there as I'm working on the new version of and more generally in the work that I do both at IBM and Incline.
Tarek Amr
Feb 24, 2012 Tarek Amr rated it really liked it
Shelves: own

37Signals' Getting Real, which you can read online by the way, is their trial to summarize how one can create software quickly by dealing with the actual problems he is trying to solve and staying agile and less complex. Or as they put it here.

Getting real is less. Less mass, less software, less features, less paperwork, less of everything that's not essential (and most of what you think is essential actually isn't).

I advise you to read it, however let me put here the most import point I liked t
Mar 13, 2017 Paula rated it really liked it
Proposes an agile way for building software in a very bold way.
Oct 12, 2016 Adolfo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fazer o que realmente interessa, desprendendo-se de coisas como otimização prematura e funcionalidades que não importam. É de tudo isso que esse livro fala.
Jan 20, 2016 Book rated it it was amazing
As many readers after reading "Rework" from the 37signals (J. Fried, H. D. Hansson and M. Linderman), I was eager to read their previously published book "Getting Real".

In general, "Getting Real" is also inspiring read but because it was published earlier some familiar things can be found, which were repeated in "Rework".

True to their own philosophy, the book is really short, can be read in 2 hours maximum and it's divided into short chapters. Through the entire book the authors supplemented the
Ed Mazurek
Sep 18, 2016 Ed Mazurek rated it really liked it
Shelves: learning
Sukhneet Singh Virk
Oct 16, 2014 Sukhneet Singh Virk rated it really liked it
Excellent book for business, and especially for building web applications.

Many of the lesson are found in articles throughout the web.

One big one that stuck out is if you've exceeded your budget/timeline, cut back on scope. The idea is to create a better quality product that does less rather than trying to please everyone with the original feature set and delayed indefinitely.

Many of the lessons revolve around making a quality product, focusing on doing less but doing things better, keeping your
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Practices of an Agile Developer: Working in the Real World
  • The Passionate Programmer
  • Defensive Design for the Web: How to Improve Error Messages, Help, Forms, and Other Crisis Points
  • Agile Web Development with Rails: A Pragmatic Guide
  • Start Small, Stay Small: A Developer's Guide to Launching a Startup
  • Hardboiled Web Design
  • The Inmates Are Running the Asylum: Why High Tech Products Drive Us Crazy and How to Restore the Sanity
  • Undercover User Experience: Learn How to Do Great UX Work with Tiny Budgets, No Time, and Limited Support
  • Eloquent Ruby
  • Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial: Learn Rails by Example (Addison-Wesley Professional Ruby Series)
  • Responsive Web Design
  • Bulletproof Web Design: Improving flexibility and protecting against worst-case scenarios with XHTML and CSS
  • Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware
  • The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software
  • Learn to Program
  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
  • The RSpec Book
  • Things That Make Us Smart: Defending Human Attributes In The Age Of The Machine

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »

Share This Book

“Be a surfer. Watch the ocean. Figure out where the big waves are breaking and adjust accordingly.” 24 likes
“Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints drive innovation and force focus. Instead of trying to remove them, use them to your advantage.” 22 likes
More quotes…