37signals' "Profitable and Proud"

I love the idea of this new blog series from 37signals, “Profitable and Proud.” The first post covers Campaign Monitor, a mailing list service. Having used Campaign Monitor for several companies, I can attest that it’s a fantastic service with extremely responsive employees — like 37signals.

The 37s are obviously furthering their point that venture capital isn’t needed, and isn’t desirable, to build great companies. I imagine they’re also out to show they aren’t some incredible exception to the rules, as people sometimes argue (“it worked for you but wouldn’t work for us because…”). Highlighting companies they admire who built their businesses without VC is a great way to make that argument.

I think it would be interesting to compare customer service satisfaction across companies with different kinds of ownership structures. I noticed a while that some of my favorite businesses near my home — Cheese Board/Arizmendi, Zachary’s Pizza, and Missing Link Bicycle — which have the best customer service in their local markets, are all co-ops, owned by the employees. 37signals often argues that running a business their way is better for the business, but I think it is nearly unarguable that it’s better for customers, too.

  • Marsha Collier

    I have been impressed with 37Signals for a long time. Not only are their apps top drawer, but they continue to show respect for small business by offering beginner versions for start ups.

  • Kenneth Vogt

    Tim O’Reilly, 37Signals, CampaignMonitor, Arizmendi, Zachary’s, and Missing Link all mentioned in one post? It’s hard to stand all the good karma! Tim, we need to bike over to Zachary’s and have a little talk about this amazing circle of friends you keep. :-)

    There are some great companies that have been started by folks who always intended to get VC backing, do something big, get acquired, and head for the beach. But the folks referenced in your post always intended instead to do something under their own power, to do it well, and to stick around. Cheers to them all – I hope they will find me and my company to be their compatriots.

  • Marc Hedlund

    Kenneth, just for the record, Radar is a group blog and I wrote this post, not Tim. I hope that doesn’t sway your measure of the karma load overly much. :)

  • azfan

    yes,Arizmendi! I have never understood why this model isn’t used more. They make great bread, cookies, pizza and other delights. And the service is fantastic. Why isn’t this used elsewhere?