Fired Reddit cofounder and noted nontrepreneur Aaron Swartz says developers shouldn't roll out software with a Hollywood-style launch, as the rock-star coders at collaboration-software makers 37 Signals say. Swartz favors "the Gmail Launch," he writes on his blog, Raw Thought. The gist of his argument, below.
A thousand people — 1 out of 8 attendees at the SXSW Interactive conference — have packed the room for programmer Jason Fried's talk. "He's like our Barack," a friend tells me. Instead of hope of change in politics, Fried, a cofounder of 37signals, offers hope of change in ... Web-based software? And for this, he's treated "like a demigod," as Seth Godin says in a recent Wired profile of Fried and his partner, David Heinemeier Hansson, right. (Photo by Jessica Wynne/Wired)
In November of last year, one of Rackspace's data centers went offline for several hours. One of the companies affected was Chicago-based 37Signals, makers of fancy collaboration software used mostly by Valley companies (including this publication). This morning, 37Signals went offline again — we made a joke about Rackspace in our post, but it seems we were more prescient than we realized. 37Signals is blaming the outage on Rackspace.
When Website-hoster Rackspace went down last fall, 37signals, the maker of Web-based collaboration software called the calamity a "perfect storm" and said it "will be using this situation as both a wake-up call and a learning experience." Well, somebody hit the snooze button. 37signals' suite of software services are down , leaving many of the Valley's startups — Valleywag included — without crucial collaboration as the day begins. Anybody up for making it a four-day weekend? Update: Darn. 37signals is back up. Do I still have to work?
Remember the power mishap in July that brought down 365 Main, the San Francisco datacenter? A similar incident took place today at the Dallas datacenter of Rackspace, a San Antonio, Texas-based firm which serves several local Web outfits. Unlike the July outage, which killed all the websites we waste time with — LiveJournal, Craigslist, and so on — this one took out some sites which really mattered. Laughing Squid, Scott Beale's popular Web-hosting company, went down, taking a long list of customers with it, and 37signals, the maker of Web-based software, went out — a serious matter, since 37signals actually charges for using its software. So what exactly happened at Rackspace?
Every new Web app gets compared to its predecessors. Pownce, the new messaging, sharing, and microblogging service from Digg founder Kevin Rose, is no good because it's just a poor man's Twitter, right? No, says startup expert Lane Becker, because Pownce isn't a messaging service — it's a productivity app, and it's competing with development boutique 37 Signals, the makers of Basecamp, Web-based software for group collaboration. To which 37 Signals says, "First of all, it's named after a cat treat." [Satisfaction: Pownce]
"Get real," says 37Signals, but the famous Chicago design firm (designers of Meetup.com and creators of Basecamp and other web apps for businesses) is well-known for getting cocky on its corporate blog (a common faux pas of companies that think they're leading a movement). That's why an outside designer told me: