We the Basecamp!
For more than two decades, we’ve been proving that you don’t have to be a big company to have a big impact. From creating one of the first software-as-a-service web apps, inventing Ruby on Rails, writing influential and NYT best-selling books, to running a remote company a decade before the rest of the industry caught on; we make waves and build great software while we do it.
22 years and running
2021 marks 22 years in business, yet we feel like we’re just getting started. For our first 15 years we were called 37signals. We changed our name to Basecamp in 2014 to reflect our focus on our most popular product (coincidentally named Basecamp).
In 2020 we went back to being a multi-product company with the launch of our integrated email client & service, HEY. We built HEY to scratch an itch; we needed to communicate with people outside our company and the standard options were invasive, needlessly complex, and frustrating to use.
Today, millions of people all over the world have used a Basecamp product. With customers in nearly every industry and every country on Earth, we’re helping a whole lot of people communicate better and do their best work.
We’re *big* on sharing
Sharing is baked into our DNA. We've written influential and NYT best-selling books that are packed with the lessons we’ve learned from running our own business. Most of the ideas in our books were germinated in one form or another on our long-running blog, Signal v. Noise.
We produce a popular podcast called REWORK that focuses on better ways to work and run a business. It replaced another podcast called The Distance where we shared the stories of small businesses that have been around for 25 years or more.
Ruby on Rails was born here!
If you run in tech circles, you’ve surely heard of Ruby on Rails. Over the past decade, Rails has become one of the world’s most popular programming frameworks. Sites like Twitter, and GitHub, and Shopify, and hundreds of thousands more all run on Rails.
The first Rails app, however, was our very own Basecamp. Rails was invented in 2003 by David Heinemeier Hansson, a partner here at Basecamp. Today Rails is as vibrant as ever, and still at the heart of Basecamp. Many of Rails modern innovations start as experiments inside Basecamp.
Doubling down on simple and straightforward
We’re big believers in the power of keeping it simple. Every bet we’ve ever placed on making something easier for our customers has always paid off.
In the decades to come, we’ll continue to make big bets on simplicity, clarity, ease-of-use, and honesty. This goes for our products, our publications, and our company.
Investing in things that don’t go out of style
The best business advice we ever got is from Jeff Bezos from Amazon.com (Jeff bought a small piece of our company in 2006). He told us “Find the things that won’t change in your business and invest heavily in those things.”
He explained it like this... “Take Amazon for example... 10 years from now people aren’t going to say ‘I wish Amazon shipping was slower’ or ‘I wish Amazon had a worse selection’, so we invest heavily in fast shipping and a broad selection.”
So what are those things for us? 10 years from now people aren’t going to say “I wish Basecamp was harder to use” or “I wish Basecamp was slower and less reliable” or “I wish it took longer to get an answer from someone at Basecamp”, so we invest heavily in infrastructure, great design, and customer service.
We don’t chase fads and trends, we stay focused on the things that will always be important.
Giving a damn
Treating people right is fundamental to how we do business. We treat our customers as we’d want to be treated, we treat each other like family, and we treat ourselves to a good day’s work and a good night’s sleep.
Our goals have always been the same: Have fun, do exceptional work, build the best product in the business, experiment, pay attention to the details, treat people right, tell the truth, have a positive impact on the world around us, give back, and keep learning.
We’re also big believers in business 101. We don’t spend more than we earn, we don’t waste money on things that don’t matter, we don’t give away everything for free and hope we’ll figure it out before we run out of cash. We’re in business to stay in business, and we have 22 profitable years in a row to back it up.
Always at your service
If you have a general question for us, just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get back to you within a day. If you’re a customer, and you want to talk to someone in customer service, drop an email to email@example.com and we’ll get back to you right away.
We love sharing our ideas on business, culture, design, and technology with the world. You can follow Jason Fried, our CEO and co-founder, on world.hey.com/jason, and David Heinemeier Hansson, our CTO and co-founder, on world.hey.com/dhh.
If you’re just browsing, enjoy your stay. If you’d like to become a customer, we’d love to have you. Either way, thanks for visiting Basecamp.