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Pound Takes » 2009» February
Ideas on Engineering Breakthrough Applications

Archive for February, 2009

Ingredients for a breakthrough

Breakthroughs are one of those things that are hard to define, but easy to spot when you see them. Like love, no one can agree on a definition, but we all know it when we experience it. For our purposes, we’ll assume that breakthroughs exceed user’s expectations in terms of design, engineering, and utility. In other words, the product is beautiful, useful and “just works.” Remember the first time you used Net Flix or Gmail?

If you’re in the business of developing applications or running a web business, your seeking breakthroughs.
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Lessons from five years of Basecamp


If you are involved with developing websites or applications, you know about Basecamp. Basecamp is a web-based project management tool sold as a service that helped inspire droves of design and development shops to launch their own attempts at developing subscription products. We’ve used Basecamp to organize our client communication for the majority of those years.

Basecamp turned five last week. On that day, their storied and successful history was summarized wonderfully by the founder of the product on their company blog. A few months of development, a willingness to launch a basic - some might say incomplete - product and a plethora of domain knowledge (they primarily built the product for themselves) has led to over 3,000,000 users within five years. All that in the face of dozens of free competitive offerings.
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