I am a great fan of 37 signals. I have been using backpackit service for the last 5 years and have always loved the web app for its simplicity and UI design. The fact that Ruby on Rails got a major push because of the founders , is one of the best things to happen for people who believe in rapid prototyping, as they could use Ruby on Rails to quickly test the traction for their web app ideas.
This book is from the founders which summarizes their learning’s from running 37 Signals gig.
One specific thing which I found particularly nice which echoes with what I believe, as far as statistical tools are concerned. One can have the biggest and the mightiest of servers, the most expensive statistical software with 24*7 support and still churn out plebeian data analysis. One the other hand a nimble guy with basic open source components which might cost nothing , and who PUTS in hours working on stuff , can actually churn out kick ass stuff. The authors in the book name one of their essays as, “TONE IS IN YOUR FINGERS”, which is my favourite from the collection of thoughts in this book. It goes something like this:
Guitar Gurus say,”Tone is in your fingers”.You can buy the same guitar, effects pedals, and amplifier that Eddie Van Halen uses. But when you play that rig, its still going to sound like you. Likewise, Eddie could plug in to a crappy Strat / Pignose set up at a pawn shop, and you ‘ll still be able to recognize that its Eddie Van Halen playing. Fancy gear can help, but the truth is your tone comes from you.
Many amateur golfers think they need expensive clubs. But it’s the swing that matters, not the club. Give Tiger Woods a set of cheap clubs
and he‘ll still destroy you.
– Jason Fried & Co