The Distance by 37 Signals (a few good stories)

The Distance by 37 Signals

Project management software giant 37 Signals just announced that they are changing their name to Basecamp (their strongest product), and focusing on its evolution exclusively, while spinning off their other apps. Its a big move for a company that is 15 years old, and a great example of how small businesses that persevere often have reinvention in their timeline.

It catches our attention because AcctVantage was born 27 years ago. Sharing this for inspiration – the new Basecamp has launched a blog called “Time and Distance” dedicated to capturing the stories of businesses that have been around 25 years or more.

Here’s a snippet of the top post – just look at the gorgeous images in this story. Big business can’t compete with high-integrity small businesses like this one:


Image Credit: 37 Signals (link)

Time and Tide

There’s a reason why a wooden boat from Van Dam Custom Boats takes two years to complete.

Steve Van Dam can remember every boat that has come out of his shop. There’s Jacqueline, a blue and yellow beauty that spends its summers on Lake George in New York. There’s the aptly named Patrician, a 55-foot day-sailing yacht. And there’s the Alpha Z, a sleek powerboat with a hand-carved mahogany dashboard and its name spelled out in stainless steel.

Van Dam Custom Boats has made 58 boats in its nearly 40-year history — just two to four boats each year. At first, this slow, deliberate pace was a simple necessity for a hands-on builder who wanted to be deeply involved in each project and whose modest shop lacked the space for a large staff. But as the business has matured, this focus on meticulous craftsmanship has become a philosophy that makes the boat builder an outlier in an era of mass production and instant gratification.

A Van Dam wooden boat takes eight to 24 months to complete, representing thousands of hours of labor by a team of eight skilled craftsmen. The business likes to have a three-year pipeline of orders. This means that customers who commission Van Dam boats have to wait a few years before they can break their champagne bottle over the bow. But it also means they’re getting a one-of-a-kind object that’s been obsessively constructed, down to the boat’s hand-painted name in gold leaf. The company doesn’t duplicate designs unless the original client gives permission.

Read entire story here: (link)