Jason Fried

January 3, 2024

To make

I've consulted. I've done client work. I've advised. I've served on boards. I've invested. I've written books. I've spoken on the circuit. I've blogged for years.

I have to say, I've found no greater professional joy than working with a tight group of people to ship and support our own products. And for those products to find people willing to trade their own hard earned treasure for a little bit of ours.

Betting on an idea — and seeing it through — is enormously fulfilling. The creative and intellectual stimulation is beyond compare. Especially when you're the first customer for anything you make.

When I was a consultant doing work for hire I thought it was the peak. I got to bounce from client to client, sign big contracts, do a lot of work, cash large checks, etc. But then you realize most of what you do is never implemented. Yes, you got paid for it, but it was just advice, recommendations, and suggestions. Words on pages that were received, but not really read. Designs in files that were delivered, but never really deployed. There was nothing there in the end. You didn't get to make any bets, you just played with someone else's chips.

You thought you were changing things. Changing them. But it wasn't change, it was an exchange. You handed it over, they handed you something in return, and that was that.

I'm glad I went through it, otherwise I wouldn't have known it.

Been giving other people advice for years? Give yourself the advice and see if it's any good. Meet the market.

Go make something. Join a team that's making something. Put your fingerprint on something that won't just sit on the shelf somewhere.


About Jason Fried

Hey! I'm Jason, the Co-Founder and CEO at 37signals, makers of Basecamp and HEY. Subscribe below to follow my thinking on business, design, product development, and whatever else is on my mind. Thanks for visiting, thanks for reading.