August 31, 2023

🥾 New Cycle, New Kickoff

Hey there—

I’ve had a few conversations lately about how to plan and organize work, and not just in product development, but all areas — marketing, customer support, operations. Shape Up is familiar to many programmers and designers, but did you know you can also apply it to more than development work?

Right now, at 37signals, we’re at the start of a new cycle, which means the teams have just finished posting their Kickoffs. A Kickoff 🥾 tells everyone in the company what you’re committing to doing in the next six weeks. Just writing it forces you to think hard about how you’re using your time, and your team’s time. And publishing it live creates visibility and accountability.

We often get asked if teams whose work is primarily “reactive” or “ongoing” can use Shape Up. Yes! For example, in Customer Support, we don’t use Shape Up for the everyday work of responding to our customers. We use it to take on special projects to provide a better experience and to make Basecamp customers more successful.

Here’s the actual Kickoff for our Customer Support team this cycle:

Read the full Kickoff here.

Like a Kickoff for Product, each item on the list is a summary of what we’re going to do, a little on why, and specific assignments of people and the expectation of the work.

How do you choose what you’re committing to? That’s a process of shaping, pitching, and betting that you can read more about in Shape Up. Have more questions about how to use Shape Up? Drop me a line at

In the meantime, here are a few other things you might have missed…

Things We’ve Shared

37signals datacenter overview

During our journey off the cloud, we got a lot of questions about our datacenters. All of 37signals’ apps that serve millions of users every day are served from one datacenter in Ashburn, VA and one in Chicago, IL. This includes Basecamp, HEY, and our many heritage apps that we have dedicated to run until the end of the internet. Eron Nicholson, director of operations, gives a high level review of what 37signals’ datacenter presence looks like.

…and how we monitor performance

Victor Bogo, from our Ops team, covers how we use Prometheus to properly ingest, store, and alert based on metrics in a way we can confidently migrate and manage infrastructure and applications on-prem.

Things We’re Excited About

New Openings.

People in Brazil and India might have noticed that we recently launched new, localized pricing to make Basecamp more accessible to small businesses in those countries. The great response suggests that we could use a couple of enthusiastic and entrepreneurial people who want to help others learn more about Basecamp and how it can make their organizations better. Check out our first-ever country manager roles here.

Enterprise Extravaganza!

Are you with a small company that wants to feel “big?” Download the EnterpriseExtravaganzaSuite™ today and get all the complexity and confusion of a big company! Use it as your desktop wallpaper! Look busy! Hours of mesmerizing, eye-watering fun!

Until next time,
Elaine, COO of 37signals

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