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.