Ciao Odeo, benvenuti tutti!

February 25, 2005

Odeo rides out on rails today, cruising into TED, and debuting on the NYT tech page. Wow! What a start. Congrats to Ev, Rabble, and the rest of the team.

Congrats to DHH as well – there are 223 more people that want to build an application on rails, lots of amazing stuff to come.

As someone with the goal of being fluent in Italian, the coolest thing that happened to 43 Things this week was this great article in La Repubblica:

11,000 people in 824 cities are doing 40,554 things including …

February 21, 2005

After launching a couple new features last week and being chosen as one of Kim’s Kool Sites (which has a surprising number of subscribers), we shot past 10,000 registered users this weekend on 43 Things, and actually just passed 11,000 as well.

There’s some heated debate at the co-op about who exactly the 11,000th person was. I personally think it was cheesebikini and don’t have to go into the many reasons why I think this, but others who claim to have “ess queue elle” on their side say it was ebyrnes. Well, we love all of our users equally, regardless of what their outfits are made out of, so I guess it’s not worth fighting over too much.

43 Things outages

February 20, 2005

We have been experiencing a couple outages yesterday and today due to a problem with our load balancer. We rely on our host to handle the load balancer issues and are thinking that it might be a good idea to get our own pretty soon (or at least, find a solution that allows us to have a bit more control over our own fate). In any case, we’re very sorry that the site hasn’t been up as much as we’d like it to be. I’ll keep updates here as things progress.


  • As of 8:30am, we’re down again.
  • Back up at 9:17am.

New Features Just Launched: Cheers, Cities, Help, and more!

February 16, 2005

Hello Quackers! The latest version of 43 Things is now live.

Cheer This Goal!
Cheers allows you to support people and their goals by cheering them on. Click the “Cheer this goal” link next to goal on the profile pages of people you admire. We only give you a handful of cheers a day, so spend them wisely.

Cities adds a new regional dimension to the site. You can now see popular goals by city. At launch these are the top 3 goals in a sampling of cities:


  1. Discover secret coves of wholesome fun in Seattle.
  2. eat at every restaurant on 1st and 2nd between Bell and Pike
  3. find 43 bugs in 43 things


  1. Buy a Golf GTi
  2. create an online cv website
  3. take up archery.


  1. travel to argentina
  2. be more sincere
  3. visit Seattle


  1. drop acid
  2. Help Boris refurbish his old boat
  3. rock out with renewed authority


  1. get all montreal podcasters together for a beer
  2. Rédiger et déposer ma thèse de maîtrise en communication
  3. travel the world, discover new landscapes and meet people

Find your city here and add it to your account to start influencing your city’s list.

I Want To Help Others Do This!
Select the “help others” option when completing a goal and you’ll become a resource for those in need. Stuck on the progress of a goal or just looking for a little advice? You can now submit a plea for help that gets sent directly to the people who are interested in helping.

A few of the smaller new features include…

  • Today’s most popular goals
  • WordPress support for posting to your blog
  • Javascript include of your goals that you can put on your website
  • More accurate search
  • Number of people doing a goal now includes people who haven’t yet published their lists
  • Lots of new zeitgeist pages including “Popular completed goals,” “Entries by people doing the same things as you,” and “How other people are tagging goals that you have”

Not to mention 73 other little bug fixes and performance tweaks…

As always, we love hearing your comments, suggestions and bug reports. Drop us a line.

Help is on the way!

February 15, 2005

Want to Learn Ruby? 98% of people that have completed this goal think it’s worth doing. More importantly, lots of them are willing to help.

When Quackers releases, if you have the goal to Learn Ruby you will be able to post a “plea for help” – basically ask a question of folks who’ve “done this” and get answers back from the community of people who have met this goal.

The stats help you see which goals people think are worth doing and which are not. Some examples?

  • Interested in corrective eye surgery or lasik? 21 out of 22 people (95%) think this is worth doing. Got a question? Post a plea! Now you’re seeing clearly.
  • How about get married? Well only 89% of folks who’ve done it think this is worth doing. Careful, Valentine!
  • Thinking about checking out SXSW Interactive? 88 people want to go and 84% of the people who have gone before think that it is worth doing. Would you do better at Emerging Tech? 41 people want to go and 100% of the people who have gone in the past think it was worth doing.

We are polishing up the last bits – it should be online by the end of the week.

Here comes Quackers

February 9, 2005

First there was Snuzzle, then Hugster. In the short but proud history of using My Little Pony names for 43 Things releases, next week we’ll be releasing Quackers … the next version of 43 Things.

What can you expect from Quackers? Here’s a preview of things to come:

Currently on 43 Things 16 people want to Attend a Building of Basecamp Seminar in London. But wouldn’t it be even cooler to see what 43 Things users in London are up to? What are the most popular goals in your city? Does anyone else in Pittsburgh want to ride in a hot air ballon? Quackers will answer these questions.

Plea for Help
You may have noticed the “Would you be willing to help others do this?” checkbox on your final entry after completing a goal. Quackers will leverage the community of people who’ve completed a goal and are willing to help the rest of us who are trying to complete the same goal. Want to quit smoking? Soon you’ll be able to ask these people for advice.

Enhancements and Improvements
As always, you’ve provided us with great feedback and all sorts of feature ideas. We’ll be rolling out a few more enhancements and improvements such as:

  • better search
  • better integration of anonymous users
  • support for WordPress
  • adding your list to your blog with a javascript include

…and of course one or two surprises.

Quackers will launch next week and we’ll be excited to hear what you think.

On background

February 8, 2005

Some folks have asked for more details on the sequence of events to our funding. Here’s a bit more of the story as to how 43 Things came into the world.

If the beginning is when you sit down with friends and decide to start a company, Amazon wasn’t there at the beginning. We started the company in Daniel’s basement with a list of crazy ideas we’d been kicking around for months. We started building the prototype using instiki – not even writing code – and then enlisted the help of DHH to start thinking about developing the site using Ruby on Rails. We roped in our friends at 37 Signals to help. And we started recruiting more of our friends to work at the co-op. Along the way, friends at Amazon heard me out on some of my ideas, but all was very casual at this point.

As we congealed around what we were building and how it might come together, I started conversations with various people in a position to help. I spoke with folks at Amazon (I worked there from 1996-2001, and Microsoft from 2002-2004) as well as several other angel investors and VC firms. We decided to self fund until we worked out a deal with That came together in the Fall of 2004. We were working toward a public announcement on the investment next month, but the story came out ahead of the announcement.

We are committed to what we call The age of the amateur and if that means we are going to make missteps as we build the company, so be it.

We don’t see Amazon’s investment as defining what we are doing. It just helps us do it. We are focused on building 43 Things, and other products that create networks of shared experiences to borrow John Udell’s phrase. Some would like more detail on terms, and others want to craft conspiracy theories about how this came together. We don’t really have a shared interest in either topic.

So thanks for the congratulations and support. I hope you’ll try out 43 Things and send us some feedback on the product. We’re listening to your suggestions and evolving the site to make it more fun and useful.

Word on Investment

February 8, 2005 has invested in The Robot Co-op. We think it will get easier to meet our goal to Start a company that survives longer than 2 years though we still have lots of work to do. We are excited that we will have a chance to build products that are innovative and change the way people share information and connect online.

Nothing changes about how we run The Robot Co-op or 43 Things. You can check out the FAQ, the Terms of Use or the Privacy Policy if you have questions about any of those items.

To all the folks who’ve tried out 43 things, reported bugs and thought about how we might change the world, thanks for getting us this far!


February 7, 2005

The Robot Co-op is opening its doors to a Designer available for immediate contract design work. We’re intent on hiring the right Designer as a full-time Robot—contract work is a great way to see if we love working together. Our products are built around human aspirations and what we refer to as networks of shared experience. Our office is low frills; high thrills.

You should be passionate about:

  • Simple design that ultimately serves the user
  • Concise evolution of 43 Things
  • Defining our future sites and products (now in development)
  • Super strong HTML/CSS skills
  • DHTML/Javascript skills a plus
  • Ability to self-manage, work on a small team and help us make it up and make it happen

We’re looking for someone who:

  • knows that removing a feature can be more powerful than adding one
  • wants to work in a big room with a big window
  • fully understands and adheres to design standards, but is willing to embrace undiscovered solutions that make sense
  • is considered, hands down, the best designer among their peers
  • wants to design where others haven’t yet gone

A bit about us:

  • we’re in Seattle
  • we love what we do
  • we walk to coffee and lunch every day

Ideally you’ll be located in Seattle, but we realize the right designer may live someplace else. Please send a URL to your current work along with your resume to [email protected].