Make a Dent in the Universe
29 Jul 2010

David Heineimeier Hansson, a young entrepreneur from Denmark behind Ruby on Rails and 37signals, suggests that the most important thing an entrepreneur can do is “make a dent in the universe” with their company. 

Hansson is known for creating Ruby on Rails — a “basic development environment” for web programmers—and is a partner at 37signals. At 37signals, he has helped develop Basecamp (which GEW uses for its Host-only intranet), Highrise (which GEW uses for contact management), Campfire, Backpack and other Web-based applications that facilitate project management and information-sharing. 

In an hour-long presentation available through Stanford University’s e-Corner, Hanson also shares the following pieces of advice:

  • Start small
  • Avoid 80-hour weeks
  • Don’t take venture capital money
  • Out-teach your competition

Hansson received his bachelor’s degree from the Copenhagen Business School in 2005. In that same year, he moved to Chicago and received Hacker of the Year honors for his work on Ruby on Rails from Google and O’Reilly Media. He runs a blog called