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Getting Real

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  7,570 Ratings  ·  247 Reviews
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.

37signals used the unconventional Getting Real process to launch five successful web-based applications (Basecamp, Campfire, Backpack, Writeboard, Ta-d
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published 2011 (first published 2006)
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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
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
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book which highlights the traditional rubbish (eg. never ending meeting, paperwork and so on) and points out how to overcome them based on their experience when it comes to build a web application.
Aniruddh Sudharshan
This was a good introduction to building a product, quick and insightful read.
نهى خالد
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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.
Yevgeniy Brikman
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
37 Signals take on how to do business and build products (particularly web software products). Sanctimonious, but it works.
Leena S N
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the books that every software professional should read regardless of their role. "Less is more" the mantra repeated throughout the book along with the techniques to achieve the same by keeping things simple and small.
Jul 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Levi Bostian
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: founder
Love Getting Real. Planning on reading again shortly.

* Short, to the point chapters.
* Even though book written years ago, still relevant today and will continue to be true into the future.
* Book covers each topic from idea to launch to making your product successful.

* Whole books talks about "keep it simple. Make everything simple..." but yet, the book covered a lot of topics. Maybe this is not a con??

I have always loved the ideas covered by 37signals (now Basecamp) founders. Perfe
Feb 02, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it it was amazing
Перечитую вже вкотре і завжди круто.
Mazen Aldarrab
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read , Easy to understand - to the point !
The better, faster, no BS way to build a web application.
Feb 07, 2007 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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lars K Jensen
This book was written back in 2006, before Agile and Scrum and other frameworks really took off and gained popularity. The team behind it were called 37signals at the time, now they are just caled Basecamp - named after their most popular product.

With that in mind, I was totally surprised at how readable and enjoyable this book still is 12 years after its publication. That is no small feat in the field of digital product development.

The book is written like a manifest with very short chapters (s
Eduardo Donato
First of all, this is a book from 2006. Twelve years ago, some ideas from this book were really disruptive and Agile was becoming the de facto standard in Software Development. So, if you read it now the majority of the ideas will seem obvious. But there are still some practices that are not followed in every tech company.

The one thing I didn't like was the fact that the book is a collection of cards, in which there is no continuity. All the ideas are superficial and some of these ideas appear
Chad Warner
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, non-fiction
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
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finishing a book within a day after so many days! It was literally 'unputdownable'.

A book about how Web Apps should get real, how developers should treat them through the dev cycle, and while handling their after release cycles. This book appealed to me particularly because of similar challenges I face at work almost every day and it was interesting I recollected all those discussions that we have had had over those issues faced then. This was kind of a walk through my memory over the past 5 yea
Hunter Hart
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredibly insightful piece of condensed real work experience and an eye opener for most people. It will give you excellent perspective on how to build things for tech. I remember when Base Camp first launched and reading about how these decisions were made brought me back to why I used the products. Also IT WAS FREE!

Big Takeaway:
-80 percent of the value comes from 20 percent of the features/users
Truls Skeie
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
An easy-to-read-book. It's more like a encyclopedia than a book you read cover to cover. Even though the book is about building a webapp the concepts can be used in modern software development as well. If you're familiar with lean development and lean startup, most of the concepts are familiar. However I liked the part about what you do before you launch, the chapter about words and also that you should have daily goals
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Jason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals. Jason believes there’s real value and beauty in the basics. Jason co-wrote all of 37signals books, and is invited to speak around the world on entrepreneurship, design, management, and software.
“Be a surfer. Watch the ocean. Figure out where the big waves are breaking and adjust accordingly.” 26 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
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