37signals, the little-software-outfit-that-could and prolific producer of popular collaborative services such as Basecamp and Backpack, has its first venture investor: Bezos Expeditions, the personal investing firm of Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. As 37signals founder and President Jason Fried explains:
Since we launched Basecamp we’ve been contacted by nearly 30 different VC firms. We’ve never been interested in the typical traditional VC deal. With a few exceptions, all the VCs could offer us was cash and connections. We’re fine on both of those fronts. We don’t need their money to run the business and our little black book is full. We’re looking for something else.
What we’ve been looking for is the wisdom of a very special entrepreneur who’s been through what we’re going through. Someone who sees things a little differently and makes us feel right at home. Someone with a long term outlook, not a build-to-flip mentality. We found a perfect match in Jeff. Jeff is our kinda guy.
I haven't talked with Bezos, but I think I know what interested him in 37signals. He has long been a fan of what he calls two-pizza teams, those small enough be fed by two pizzas. He thinks that's about the right size for any new project. That fits right in with Fried's "less is more" philosophy.