By the way, in case you did not know, Kathy Sierra is part of the Head First group at O'Reilly. While I am sure all the Head First books are great, the only one that I have read is Head First Design Patterns. And, yeah, it is really that good. Not dull and boring like other books that I have to put up with.
I cannot help but agree with Kathy on the importance of passion. With passion, even the impossible seems surmountable. While doing my projects, I find using great software makes the task that much more interesting. And the task seems extremely boring when the textbook itself serves nothing more than being an bulky and expensive paper weight. So, the question that every software company asks is how to make users passionate about your technology. Not many company can do this. Apple is one of the few.
Please head on over to Kathy's page and read about her review of 37signals.
The other posts that Kathy makes is about Ruby. Yup, Ruby is a poignant language in the words of why the lucky stiff. And the massive growth of Ruby is attributed to the passion that its users have. Passionate enough that they want to wear t-shirts with Ruby code on them.
I think creating passion is something that is not going to be attainable using common marketing tricks. The developers need to have a burning desire to contribute to their customers' needs and adapt to their needs. No point in making the world's best satellite if not one is passionate enough about it.
Also, I am glad that Kathy has caught the Ruby passion from David Heinemeier Hansson. Maybe it is the beginning of a new Head First book.
Update: Obviously, there is a fine line between passion and being over-zealous. Paul Scriven in his 37signals: Part 3 and my coffin is being prepared entry says that 37Signals have certainly generated a lot of passion from their users. But their latest endeavors have also generated lots more hype than they can handle. Words such as "Getting Real", "Your life", etc are being littered across their product lines. Well, there is always that stage between being a small company and expanding into a bigger one. Maybe 37signals is in that stage of growth and have to try to readjust their priorities and philosophy. Read Paul Scriven's entry. It has some insightful things on what 37signals is up to.Tweet
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