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My skills are design, writing, business, strategy, and product vision.

I'm not a programmer, but I'm intimately involved with every piece of UI across our product line as well as our marketing sites.

Some of the UI I design myself, some I work with other designers on, and other bits I give advice, feedback, and guidance on.

I also write the copy on all of our sites, and I'm involved with most of the copy in the apps themselves as well.

I hired DHH as a programmer (and then made him a partner) because those were skills I didn't have. I've done some PHP programming in the past, and I met DHH when he was a PHP programmer, so I was able to evaluate his talent at a very basic level. Beyond that, however, I liked his business mind and general approach to things - they were closely aligned with my own.

I hope this helps explain the dynamic a bit. Let me know if you have any other questions.




Thanks for clarifying your role at 37signals, which I think illustrates the importance of the non-technical but still crucial skills that make a business successful. We programmers are IMO too prone to over-emphasize the importance of coding ability since that's what we're comfortable with.

BTW, I sincerely meant no disrespect. I've been following 37signals since the homepage was the manifesto (http://37signals.com/manifesto) and am a great admirer of the 37signals' bootstrap business philosophy which I think is a healthy counter-weight to the VC-centric Silicon Valley mindset.


No disrespect taken. Thanks for your support.

I just wanted to clarify my skills/role for people who were curious.


Just out of curiosity, to what extent do you do design? Is it just interface design, making that interface look good through Photoshop, or going as far as coding up the HTML and CSS? Additionally, what would you say are requirements for becoming good at business, strategy, and product vision? I'm looking to eventually move into these roles myself.


I code all the way through HTML/CSS. I don't use Photoshop for web design (beyond scaling photos and stuff like that). My take on why I skip Photoshop and go straight to HTML/CSS when designing web UIs: http://37signals.com/svn/posts/1061-why-we-skip-photoshop

I think it's crucial that anyone who designs interfaces for the web understands how to design and code in HTML/CSS.




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