Answering the question “Did you ever consider techniques like personas or user journeys, or any of those UX design methods?” Ryan says, “That stuff is all terrible”. He then obliterates the use of personas before going into a bit more detail a couple of questions later:
The things that get called User Experience come from the agency world. It really seems to be like that. Every time you meet people who are doing all of these UX methodologies they come from the consulting world. My background isn’t in the agency world; it’s in the product world. The whole game changes when you don’t have the pressure of delivering to a client on time, or trying to convince a client that you’re worth hiring or worth sticking with.
This is where I disagree. I started my career in the product world. I worked at big companies, startups, and now an agency. I’ve used (and have observed others using) these “terrible” UX methods very successfully. Ryan is extremely lucky to work at a company like 37signals where personas, user journeys, and wireframes are not needed. But that is evidence of how great the 37signals culture is, not that certain UX methods are useless.