37liveuse.jpgI and over 800 people sat down this afternoon and had a cozy 1-to-1 with Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson of 37signals.com, courtesy of online video streaming company ustream.com.
Now if you’re not a 37signals.com fan as I am, or Basecamp/Highrise/Campfire/Backpack user, you could care less, right? Wrong. Developers, startups and microISVs, I have seen the future, and the future is television.
Not the kind of tv you grew up on, or one of those videos of questionable moral rectitude that ping pong around the old cube farm. You on television, because the cost, complexity and general hassle has dropped to zero and video byte for byte remains the most persuasive medium we’ve yet come up with.
Video streaming companies like ustream.tv, viddler, myshowroom.tv and livecast want to make you and your startup or microISV a star with your very own channel. You get their infrastructure for free; sponsors and advertisers foot the bill.
Two things impressed me about 37signals live: it was “good tv” although the sole prop was the backdrop consisting of a brick wall in Jason’s house and that at one point 890 people were popping questions and comments at the Dynamic Duo.
While some of those comments were what you’d expect from video couch potatoes (my favorite was “Some people call me the Space Cowboy” over and over), most of the comments were serious, engaging questions that Jason and the redoubtable DHH fielded. For example, their sequel to Getting Real is done; they’re shopping it to traditional book publishers presently and it’s much more about starting a small business than web development.
For exactly zero dollars, 37signals was able to reach out and converse with their customer base, something that small ISVs of whatever stripe absolutely need to do if you want to succeed. It would be interesting to know what either Jason or David thought of the experience.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post. We really enjoyed our first foray into Live On The Web broadcasting. It was invigorating and went off as well as could be expected given the circumstances. We learned a lot about the process and look forward to improving everything the second time around. Hope to see you there next time!

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