Getting Real, book by 37signals

Getting Real

I’ve just finished reading Getting Real: The smarter, faster, easier way to build a successful web application by 37signals (the folks behind Ruby on Rails).

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.

It’s packed full of business, design, programming and marketing advice, hints, tips, philosophies and insights into how this successful software company gets stuff done. I found it quite inspiring in places.

Here’s an example:

Epicenter design focuses on the true essence of the page — the epicenter — and then builds outward. This means that, at the start, you ignore the extremities: the navigation/tabs, footer, colors, sidebar, logo, etc. Instead, you start at the epicenter and design the most important piece of content first.

Some of the content sounds obvious and like common sense, some of it might not work for your setup, but I certainly found inspiration in more than one of the books short chapters.

You can buy the book in paperback or PDF formats, or read it online for free at

My only criticism of the “take it with you” paperback version is that the pages numbers in the table of contents is wrong; one of the downsides of publish-it-yourself technology (they use Lulu) is that you don’t have a publishing team to handle that side of things for you. A great book none-the-less.

This entry was posted in Book by Gareth J M Saunders. Bookmark the permalink.

About Gareth J M Saunders

Hi, I'm Gareth J M Saunders, 6' 4", father of 3 boys (twins and singleton), I'm a priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, employed as the Web Architect at the University of St Andrews. My main interests are DSDM and Scrum Agile development and business analysis.

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