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Episode details

A panel discussion on 37signals' first ONCE product, the launch of Campfire ("pay for it once, install it, and run it on your own server"). Ian Landsman, Tyler Tringas, and Justin Jackson share what they expected to happen before the launch, what did happen, and what it means for indie hackers and bootstrappers who want to launch SaaS companies. Is this the end of SaaS?


I want to hear your thoughts:

If you listen to the episode, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts:

  • Can you think of a low-price, pay-once, on-prem software product that's succeeded? (The only one I could think of was ​Statamic CMS​)
  • Do you think a different Once product might have made more sales? What kinds of products do you think might work?
  • Did you buy Campfire? What did you buy it for? Are you using it as a chat tool for your company?
  • Other thoughts on our discussion.

👉 ​Leave a voicemail here​

🐦 Reply on Twitter


  • (00:00:00) - "I appreciate that 37signals exists."
  • (00:01:58) - 37signals' influence in the bootstrapped startup space
  • (00:03:58) - What did we expect from the Campfire/Once launch?
  • (00:06:23) - DHH's tweet on Campfire sales – is that what we expected?
  • (00:09:49) - The Once model, philosophy, and Campfire's history
  • (00:17:21) - Misconceptions about what IT Managers want
  • (00:19:49) - How Campfire was marketed and positioned
  • (00:26:01) - Basecamp's PR, virality, and audience 
  • (00:28:29) - Can you do customer research to validate demand?
  • (00:32:01) - The volume of sales as a success metric
  • (00:33:33) - The Potential for Campfire's expansion
  • (00:37:37) - Distribution opportunities with hosting providers
  • 00:39:31) - The intuition behind HEY Email's success
  • (00:43:42) - The Value of an Audience and Customer Overlap
  • (00:45:12) - The Compounding Advantage of Longevity
  • (00:49:54) - Scorecard

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Published on Feb 09, 2024 in Business
US English


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