Jason Fried of 37signals on the benefit of not planning

8 Jul

A good interview at Tom Peters’ site. (Actually, the site renders it as tompeters! I don’t know if that’s how he writes his name now, or if that’s the logo for his company. Either way, I’m psyched!)

This bit interested me for several reasons. As a former IT guy, I like to plan as much as possible in advance. But as a writer and (occasional) Web designer, I sometimes find that I can’t plan in advance: I have to jump in and start working on an article or a Web site in order to discover what its structure will be. And thirdly, Basecamp is pretty cool.

“We’re not much into planning or writing a lot of things down that are concrete. My personal opinion is that every decision you make should be temporary. So when you start writing things down, you start putting signatures to things, and you start being locked into your past actions. You’re letting your past determine the future. So I prefer to just start designing and see where things go. Then you can make adjustments and tweaks, realizing that every decision you make and everything you do can be changed if you come up with something better…

“…We used to do it the old way, which included a lot of up-front planning, functional specifications, flowcharts, and such. We realized that we were doing those things for process sake, not really for end benefit. We did all this work and then once we started designing, it didn’t have anything to do with what we’d planned originally.

“So we started working on our own stuff without planning for it, and then we started doing some client projects without doing much planning. And it’s a leap of faith. You have to find the right clients who are willing to let you experiment in that way. In the end they certainly appreciate it, when their product turns out to be better.”

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One Response to “Jason Fried of 37signals on the benefit of not planning”

  1. Tony December 30, 2005 at 1:49 am #

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