Web2.0 NY Wrap-up: Jason Fried of 37 Signals

by Kate Brodock on 17 September 2008

Posted in: From the Field

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We’re at Web2.0 NYC this week and so far I wanted to highlight my favorite keynote of the day: Jason Fried from 37Signals.  Incredibly dynamic speaker, knew his stuff, got to the point, and made the point a good one.

He talked about “being a curator (of a museum)” while developing software.  What do I care about software?  Well, probably not a ton unless it’s working (or not working) for me, but his analogy is applicable to every business owner, or anyone trying to get something done.  A few key points are below.

  1. Learn how to say no. The job of a curator is not to say yes.  It’s to say no.  It’s to refine and make the most informed decisions and only bring in the art pieces that make sense for the museum.  Careful selection.
  2. Remember all of your visitors, not just the most vocal.  If you had to listen to the most vocal minority of your visitors, you’d likely have the art pieces that appeal only to them, in limited styles.  But that’s probably not what’s best for the majority of your visitors.
  3. Don’t be a warehouse, be a museum. In a warehouse of art, you have so much stuff, and things stay in inventory, don’t get used and just take up space. The great thing about a museum is that there are pieces NOT in there.  You’ve chosen the key pieces of artwork, and you’ve spent time putting them together in a coherent and meaningful way.

For a rundown of the full line up, check out Anya’s blog.

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