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37signals Introduces ONCE

37signals Introduces ONCE

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27 September 2023

In a world where subscriptions have become the norm for everything from streaming services to heated car seats, the team at 37signals recently unveiled a new venture that's poised to reintroduce the notion of software ownership with a pay-once model called ONCE.  Today, Kimberly Rhodes sits down with Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, the co-founders of 37signals to introduce ONCE to listeners of the show.  Listen in for a behind-the-scenes look at the driving principles, unique challenges, and potential impact of David and Jason's vision to offer simpler, more user-centric software, that they hope will transform the digital landscape and empower users worldwide.  Check out the full video episode on YouTube Show Notes:  [00:00] - Kimberly opens the show, with the team introducing ONCE today on the show.   [00:25] - Jason clarifies exactly what ONCE is. [01:16] - Inundated with software subscriptions? Why 37signals is aiming to reintroduce software ownership with a pay-once model.  [02:03] - The shift from software as a product to SaaS and why now is the time for an alternative.  [02:58] - The distinction between product and service.  [03:42] - When SaaS models just don’t fit (and when they lead to data ownership concerns).  [04:56] - Basecamp in the White House? David shares the story. [05:57] - How transitioning from a service to a product model will change the landscape.  [07:08] - Jason shares that ONCE is an umbrella for future products and offers listeners insight into the future of Basecamp and HEY. [09:18] -David shares the challenges of applying the ONCE idea to different software solutions.  [11:38] - David shares the desire for a simpler and more straightforward user experience akin to turning on a TV.  [13:22] - The need for a different software development approach, and why it will be a good time—even if it doesn't work.  [14:51] - Kimberly inquires about the availability of the code.  [15:42] - Jason highlights the transparency of the ONCE concept, sharing his hopes that it will serve as an educational tool for other product teams.  [16:40] - David reflects on how newer products have lost their repairability, emphasizing the value of open source principles and the lasting legacy embodied by a product like ONCE. [20:41] - The importance and value of transparency and open collaboration. [21:47] - Kimberly raises questions about branding, the origin of the name ONCE, and the challenges of acquiring a short domain name. [21:51] - Jason shares some of the optional names they tried out and the philosophy behind the name ONCE. [22:40] - The process of acquiring premium domain names. Jason shares 37signals previous experiences and the behind-the-scenes of the recent negotiation to purchase [24:18] - A symbolic gesture of their commitment to the ONCE concept and a convenient home for their umbrella of products.  [24:50] - The significance and cost of valuable domain acquisition and why David advises against doing it on your first venture. [26:16] - Kimberly inquires about how they manage updates and product development across Basecamp, HEY, and the new umbrella product with their current team. [27:06] - Jason shares their approach to allocating resources to manage multiple products.  [28:28] - David recounts how Basecamp was developed, and 37signals ongoing commitment and dedication to both simplicity in product development and tools that empower single individuals to build entire products. [30:09] - A calculated bet and the essential attitude needed for Founders when pursuing ambitious g


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