Playbook v2

We’re pleased to announce the second major, 14,000 word version of our playbook. We’re giving it away for free and licensing it as Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

The playbook is the most comprehensive description that we’ve ever gathered of how we run our company and how we make web and mobile products. We did not invent many of the techniques we describe, but we use them regularly in the course of doing real work.


We released the first version in August of 2011.

Some of our tools and techniques are the same as then, such as Heroku for application hosting, New Relic for performance monitoring, and Airbrake for error tracking.

The developing section is strongly influenced by Extreme Programming rules, which continues to be best practice well into its second decade of popularity.


Some things are new.

Right up front are product design sprints, strongly influenced by Google Ventures’ design team.

Another overhauled section is about using Trello to manage our planning (strongly influenced by UserVoice), sales, and hiring processes.

We mention for the first time our style guide and how to follow the guidelines pragmatically.

We include a production checklist to make sure we don’t forget an important part of a production deployment before launch.

We mention Zapier quite a few times. It has become important to us as glue between systems like StackOverflow and Campfire, FreshBooks and Campfire, email to Trello, Trello to Campfire, Stripe to Campfire, Wufoo to Trello, and a few others.


The HTML version is free at You can get the PDF, MOBI, and EPUB versions for free by subscribing to get our blog posts weekly via email.

We hope you find it useful.