Getting Real Book Summary - Getting Real Book explained in key points
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Getting Real summary

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

The Smarter, Faster, Easier Way to Build a Successful Web Application

4.4 (45 ratings)
18 mins

Brief summary

Getting Real by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson is a business book that guides readers on how to build successful web applications and businesses using a "less is more" approach, by focusing on simplicity, speed, and flexibility.

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    Getting Real
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    Key idea 1 of 8

    Early entrepreneurs should build apps that speak to a demographic they know best: themselves.

    Has anyone ever told you that when starting a business, a surefire strategy is to identify the most competitive company in your industry and copy it? Well, this strategy is dead wrong.

    Instead of trying to mimic successful companies, do the opposite: underdo your competitors. Committing yourself to perpetually trying to one-up the competition is a dead end. What’s more, such strategies often result in the creation of overly complicated, poorly working products. 

    That’s why the better idea is to do less. For instance, if your competitor makes a product that offers ten features, you should create one with just five features. By selling a product with fewer options, you’ll position yourself as the company with the simple, quality choice – and leave the complicated projects to the people with the established resources to take them on.

    But how can you tell which features of your new product are the essential ones?

    Simply build a product you personally would want, as you can be sure that others will want it, too. That’s because people who are like you probably share problems similar to your own. So, by making something that solves your own issues, you become your own target audience – which means saving time and money on surveys and customer feedback.

    Take Basecamp, the author’s first web application. His web design company was in need of a communication tool for keeping in touch with clients and following up on projects. Since he couldn’t find a good option in the market, he just made his own! 

    And guess what? Basecamp was an instant hit.

    But remember, when building your own product to your own specifications, it’s essential to avoid seeking external funding to do so. If you line up a bunch of investors, you’ll soon be answering to their specific demands for involved market research and a competitive product.

    At least at first, it’s smarter to begin with whatever cash you have in hand and remain your own boss.

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    What is Getting Real about?

    Getting Real (2011) offers a comprehensive breakdown of the challenges facing entrepreneurs in the market for web applications. These blinks are full of hard facts and solid advice about what to do and not to do when starting your new app business.  

    Getting Real Review

    Getting Real (2006) is a book that offers valuable insights on building successful web-based products. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides a refreshing approach to product development, emphasizing simplicity, iteration, and focusing on what truly matters.
    • Practical tips and real-life examples make the book highly applicable and relevant for anyone involved in the tech industry.
    • The book's straightforward language and concise chapters ensure an engaging read, keeping readers invested in the subject matter.

    Who should read Getting Real?

    • Developers, programmers and marketers
    • Entrepreneurs eager to develop a “big idea” app
    • Managers looking for optimal ways to organize teams

    About the Author

    Jason Fried is a co-founder of 37signals, a web development company.

    David Heinemeier Hansson is a partner at 37signals and the creator of the Ruby on Rails programming framework.

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    Getting Real FAQs 

    What is the main message of Getting Real?

    The main message of Getting Real is to build successful software by prioritizing simplicity, customer feedback, and rapid iteration.

    How long does it take to read Getting Real?

    The reading time for Getting Real varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Getting Real a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Getting Real is worth reading as it provides valuable insights on software development, emphasizing practicality and avoiding unnecessary complexity.

    Who is the author of Getting Real?

    Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson are the authors of Getting Real.