Don Norman vs. 37signals

The battle between Don Norman’s “Why is 37signals so arrogant?” and Jason Fried’s “Why we disagree with Don Norman” is even better than the Layer Tennis matches. Mr. Fried had lid a fire under Mr. Norman’s ass:

Norman may not be one of our customers because our products don’t solve his problems. (We’re not sure since he’s never sent us a feature request or suggestion.) That’s fine—we’re not here to solve everyone’s problems any more than Norman is here to write books that interest every reader.

But to infer that not meeting his needs means we’re not meeting other people’s needs is a stretch. And to call 37signals a “hobby” reveals a shallow understanding of what’s really happening. 37signals is a business in every definition of the word. A healthy, profitable, debt-free one at that.