Mitch Wagner at Information Week, thinks 37signals might be the new Google.
I don’t know whether 37signals will grow from the plucky little startup it is today to become a multi-billion-dollar world-shaking powerhouse. But 37signals does have the zesty, refreshing, flavor of a little company called Google, ca. 1998.
37signals currently offers four Web-based applications for individuals and small workgroups. Backpack is personal organizer software, allowing individual users to post notes, to-do lists, photos and files, and share that information with others. BackPack will also send you reminders, either by e-mail or text messaging.
Basecamp extends Backpack, providing simple project management for small workgroups.
Writeboard is a word processor that lives entirely on the Web, allowing users to create and collaborate on documents, and export documents to their desktop.
And Ta-da List allows users to create to-do lists and share them online.
Both Writeboard and Ta-da List are incorporated into Backpack and Basecamp.
The applications are built using Ruby On Rails, which is a software platform invented at 37signals, then open-sourced.
37signals has something in common with another dotcom success story: Like Amazon.com, they don’t have an ad or marketing budget. News about their apps is spread by word-of-mouth and blogs.