Small Is Essential

With a million users and a payroll of eight, software sensation 37signals excels by doing more with less

At 37signals, a company with just eight employees whose Web-based collaboration software is used by thousands of small businesses, there isn't time to sit around a conference room sipping latte and deconstructing memos. Come to think of it, there isn't even a company conference room. There are just a couple of cubicles, loads of brainpower and three simple goals: make useful business software, make it easy to run, make money selling it. Repeat.

Founder and president Jason Fried, 33, decided early on that he didn't need to be in the shiny valley of Silicon to make cool software. Half his team...

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