We the Basecamp!
Basecamp was founded in 1999. We started out with four people, and today we’re a company of about 50 spread out across 32 different cities around the world. Our headquarters is in Chicago, but everyone at Basecamp is free to live and work wherever they want. Many of us love working remotely – we literally wrote the book on remote working!
We’re designers, programmers, tinkerers, writers, speakers, bikers, engineers, runners, developers, chefs, analysts, campers, musicians, filmmakers, knitters, hikers, authors, photographers, pilots, race car drivers, readers, travelers, gardeners, volunteers, parents, and hard workers.
With such a diverse group of people, from so many different places, we bring a unique perspective to everything we do. We’re big into sharing, so we even wrote a NYT best-selling book called REWORK that details how we run a happy and healthy business.
21 years and running
2020 marks 21 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 (coincidently named Basecamp). Here‘s the full story about the transition if you‘re interested.
Over the years we’ve been fortunate to earn the repeat business of thousands of customers including some of the world’s largest - and smallest - companies. It’s rare that a business tool is equally popular with the big guys and the small guys, but Basecamp is that kind of tool. Freelancers, small shops, mid-sized companies, and multinationals all rely on 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.
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.
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 15 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 watch presentations we’ve given on these topics, and read up on what we’ve been thinking lately on our company blog.
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.