Hackers Incorporated

37signals have talked a lot about how they build new features for existing products using Shape Up, where they carefully hammer the scope to avoid letting anything ever drag on for more than six weeks. But there's not a lot of information out there about how they approach new product development, where it can take over a year to actually get the first version out the door.

In this episode, Adam goes deep with Jason Fried about building and shipping their new HEY Calendar product, and whether or not Shape Up was part of that process.

  • (00:00) - Building the HEY Calendar with Jason Fried
  • (01:04) - Why build a calendar
  • (04:12) - How 37signals approach new product development
  • (07:30) - Deciding on scope before launch
  • (13:13) - Was there a six-week version of the HEY Calendar?
  • (15:38) - Deciding how much time to spend on a new product
  • (17:46) - Was the HEY Calendar built using Shape Up?
  • (22:20) - Working on one feature at a time vs. in parallel
  • (28:47) - What cycles look like at the early beginnings of a product
  • (38:49) - How a project starts
  • (45:46) - Increasing surface area vs. finishing things
  • (47:57) - The development process for HEY Calendar going forward


Creators & Guests

Adam Wathan
Creator of Tailwind CSS.
Jason Fried
Founder & CEO at 37signals.

What is Hackers Incorporated?

Ben Orenstein and Adam Wathan on surviving the transition from dev to founder.