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November 24, 2009 / The_Mike_Johnson

Stan Lee and Jason Fried from Inc. Magazine November 2009

Stan Lee

I came across these two profiles/interviews featuring Marvel Comics and Spiderman creator Stan Lee, and Jason Fried of 37signals in the November 2009 issue of Inc. magazine.

Stan Lee is still going strong at the age of 87, and his story is told in the feature, How I Did It.

My favorite part is here:

“After about 20 years on the job, I said to my wife, “I don’t think I’m getting anywhere. I think I’d like to quit.” She gave me the best piece of advice in the world. She said, “Why not write one book the way you’d like to, instead of the way Martin wants you to? Get it out of your system. The worst thing that will happen is he’ll fire you — but you want to quit anyway.” At the time, DC Comics had a book called The Justice League, about a group of superheroes, that was selling very well. So in 1961 we did The Fantastic Four. I tried to make the characters different in the sense that they had real emotions and problems. And it caught on. After that, Martin asked me to come up with some other superheroes. That’s when I did the X-Men and The Hulk. And we stopped being a company that imitated.”

The full story can be found here.

Jason Fried of 37signals

Also in the same issue, Jason Fried, CEO of 37signals provides insight into his workday and how he operates his company.

Some interesting quotes:

“Employees come to the office if and when they feel like it, or else they work from home. I don’t believe in the 40-hour workweek, so we cut all that BS about being somewhere for a certain number of hours. I have no idea how many hours my employees work — I just know they get the work done.

It really bothers me that the definition of success has changed from profits to followers, friends, and feed count. This crap doesn’t mean anything. Kids are coming out of school thinking, I want to start the next YouTube or Facebook. If a restaurant served more food than everybody else but lost money on every diner, would it be successful? No. But on the Internet, for some reason, if you have more users than everyone else, you’re successful. No, you’re not.”

You can read the full story here.

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