Happy 10th birthday, Basecamp!
If you’ve got a minute, I’d like to share the unlikely story of how Basecamp was born ten years ago on February 5, 2004.
It all started back in 2003. Back then we were a web design firm. Companies hired us to re-design and simplify their web site.
Business was great and we were busy. But we were disorganized. With so many concurrent projects, things began to slip through the cracks.
Projects dragged on too long. We dropped the ball on key deliverables. We had some major miscommunication (“Wait, who said that? We did? When? Where?”).
Back then, we relied on email for everything. Email’s great for many things. But it’s not great for long-running projects. Things get lost, people get left out of conversations, there’s nowhere to go to see what’s left to do. Know what I mean?
So we started looking for a project management tool. We needed something to help us communicate ideas, organize the work to be done, and present work to stakeholders. Simple as that.
We tried a few tools, but they were complicated and too hard to use. So we slowly slipped back to using our old standby - email. Our problems continued.
Frustrated, we decided to build our own simple project management app. A few months later we had something ready. We started using this tool with our existing clients.
Immediately projects ran better! We regained the sense of order and calmness we’d been craving. And clients noticed - they really appreciated the improved communication and organization.
Then our clients started asking us what software we were using to run these projects. Turns out they wanted to use it for their own in-house projects!
Hey, maybe we’ve got a product here! So we polished it up, priced it fairly, and put it on the market. On February 5th, 2004, Basecamp was born.
We announced it on our blog. Within a month, we had about a hundred paying customers. Hundreds more followed. Within a year, Basecamp was generating more income for us than our web design business. We had a hit! So we stopped designing web sites and went all-in on our software business.
Soon we started hearing stories of Basecamp being used in schools, governments, churches, consulting firms, publishers, and just about every other industry on earth. The stories keep coming and we keep growing.
Today, 10-years after Basecamp first hit the market, nearly 15,000,000 people have worked on a project with Basecamp!
We’re so grateful that Basecamp has become a world-wide phenomenon almost entirely through word-of-mouth alone. We take great pride in the fact that many of our paying customers have stuck with us for years. Nearly 10,000 have been with us for 5 or more years, and over 3,000 have been with us for 7 or more. We still have customers from our very first day in business back in 2004! We can’t thank our customers enough for their continued support. We owe them everything.
Our outstanding team is always at your service. Everyone at Basecamp interacts with customers regularly. Our job is to help you do your job better.
Thank you for all your support over the last ten years. Here’s to the next ten!
Working hard for you every day,
Jason Fried, Founder & CEO, Basecamp
BTW: I’m @jasonfried on Twitter or email@example.com via email. Say hi.