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Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful Web application

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  9,713 ratings  ·  283 reviews
Getting Real details the business, design, programming, and marketing principles of 37signals. The book is packed with keep-it-simple insights, contrarian points of view, and unconventional approaches to software design. This is not a technical book or a design tutorial, it's a book of ideas. Anyone working on a web app - including entrepreneurs, designers, programmers, ex ...more
Paperback, 194 pages
Published November 18th 2006 by 37signals, LLC (first published 2006)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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 ·  9,713 ratings  ·  283 reviews

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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
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
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
Aniruddh Sudharshan
This was a good introduction to building a product, quick and insightful read.
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.
نهى خالد
Aug 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
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. ...more
Dec 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're already reading info from other small entrepreneurs, then the content of this book is not very surprising. It's solid advice for anyone interested in staying small and focused in software business. ...more
Jesper van Haaren
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An excellent handbook full of simple guidelines to build and maintain simple and quality products. It's crazy that a 14-year-old book is still so relevant today, especially in such a fast-paced industry. ...more
Gaurang Varshney
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Getting Real is not just for web but for any kind of product for which you have an opportunity to build in agile. this guide would evolve your insights to develop minimal and more realistic product.
Mohit Khare
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall a nice guide for building saas products. I wish I would have read this before my first launch. It did provide a simplistic view but it's not always that straight forward.

In case you are building new saas business - go and read this.
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
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! ...more
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.
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.)
Mazen Aldarrab
Jul 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Easy to read , Easy to understand - to the point !
The better, faster, no BS way to build a web application.
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
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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: 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
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
Although it's an old pick but the reason why I went for this book coz I just fall in love with the book from the same organization(37signal) "Rework" and the blog that they regularly update named SignalvsNoise.
I recommend checking that blog, it's really cool and this book, if you're into some trap of startup thing and it might help you be a programmer as well, coz this is the organization responsible for Ruby on Rails and they do have something to say through this one.
Definately recommend readin
Marcus Kazmierczak
A good quick read around product development practices. It was written in 2006, the PDF has been sitting in my ebooks folder for over 10 years. Amazingly, for a book about web development, released prior to the iPhone, it is still quite relevant and good pracitical advice.

The book did not provide me with anything earth shaking, especially if you've been doing app development for awhile; but it is good a collection of still sound principles and reasoning for modern development processes, and pro
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work
Reading this 10 years ago, it would've been 5 stars. Reading this in 2019 without background in Agile, it would've been 4 stars. However, it is still a useful reminder of essential concepts, even if some concepts have turned from state-of-the-art to bread-and-butter or even downright outdated.

Chapter headings, i.e. topics covered:
The Starting Line
Stay Lean
Feature Selection
Interface Design
Pricing and Signup

You can get the P
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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.

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