Backpack: What’s next from 37signals 22 Mar 2005

55 comments Latest by aldrin

Backpack logo Get in line for Backpack, the next application from 37signals. We’re shooting for launch in the next 30-45 days. We’ll post more about it shortly. Sign up for the mailing list and you’ll be the first to know about it when we go live. We’ll also be picking some random people from the mailing list to join the private beta before the public release, so if you want to get in early you should sign up for the list now.

One last thing: For those who’ve heard of “Honey,” Backpack is Honey. Honey was the codename before we announced the official name today.

55 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Dan Boland 22 Mar 05

So Honey becomes Backpack… you’ve piqued my interest. Too bad I’ve always used the word “bookbag.” ;D

Casey Gollan 22 Mar 05

Honey is out of the pot eh? Looks cool!

Steve, via Den, Fla and now RDU 22 Mar 05

I smell an outdoorsy theme going on here.

Steve, via Den, Fla and now RDU 22 Mar 05

My guess is a WhiteBoard/Wiki thing.

PM 22 Mar 05

My guess is a WhiteBoard/Wiki thing.

Nope, that’ll be WriteBoard.

Brian Breslin 22 Mar 05

I am guessing its a file sharing system for projects. i.e. upload your presentations w/annotations, etc. and share within your group. Also replaces flash-drive keychains….

Steve, from Co, FLA and now RDU 22 Mar 05

It’s a task assignment tool. Assign a Project Pilot, Co-Pilot, etc.

Maybe just have flying on my mind……..

Jason Santa Maria 22 Mar 05

I am guessing it’s something that will be useful offline, perhaps tips on ways to better pack my gear for a camping trip :D

Jay 22 Mar 05

My guess is with Brian. Some sort of file repository, that can be linked to Basecamp projects and/or Ta-da lists.

Jim 22 Mar 05

I’m hoping for something a la bsag’s Tracks for GtD. The whole “Backpack helps you bring life’s loose ends together” sounds about right for that. If not GtD then something like it.

JD 22 Mar 05

Agreed with others here. Looks like an online PIM for personal use.

Basecamp -> For team and big projects
Backpack -> For an Individual to manage his/her life.

Name choice sounds very logical to me! :)


JD 22 Mar 05

Forgot to add, I would love to be in the privileged ‘beta-release’ list! Looking forward to the new app!


Matthew Oliphant 22 Mar 05

No no no no… It’s a web-based version of Basecamp, that you can take with you anywhere.

Wait a second…

Jaime Macias 22 Mar 05

I dont know what it is, but I am pretty sure I want it. Give it to me please.

Ben Nolan 22 Mar 05

I bet that it’s some kind of aggregator (similair to what erik benson uses for his weblog).

Jason Santa Maria 22 Mar 05

I dont know what it is, but I am pretty sure I want it. Give it to me please.

Man you guys really command some allegiance. Speaks of a proficient track record.

Jamie 22 Mar 05

Looks like a webapp version of the Hipster PDA. :P

Guy 22 Mar 05


… just put me on the private beta list (please).

Josh Armantrout 22 Mar 05

If your launch timeframe for Backpack is 30-45 days, does that mean that you moved this project up in priority over Writeboard? It seems like you announced Writeboard a long time ago, maybe too long before the actual launch. I’m curious if that was intentional or if your plans changed a bit midstream.


JF 22 Mar 05

Yes, we moved this ahead of Writeboard. It wasn’t intentional, it just happened this way based on our own needs (we build stuff based on our own needs). Ta-da also moved ahead of Writeboard. Writeboard is real, and about half done, so it will make its appearance soon.

Will Pate 22 Mar 05

I’m guessing it’s the Files capability of Basecamp, ala Ta-Da List

Matt 22 Mar 05

You guys rock.

~bc 22 Mar 05

I guess, I think� that you put these type of posts up to solicit ideas from unsuspecting people, with the thought being people will guess products that they want to be, therefore giving you guys a free and easy list of ideas to choose from. Then you find one, talk it over and say “we’d like to have this too” draw some pretty CSS, crack the whip of on your Danish code slave and a few months later… bingo, back at the beginning of the cycle� “It’s called honeypot… what do you think it does?”

Bill Bradford 22 Mar 05

I’m hoping (praying?) that it’s some sort of online personal organization system, ala GtD (as Jim talked about above). I didn’t have any needs that Basecamp could fill, but I’ve got my wallet out waiting for this one.

Larry Burningham 22 Mar 05

You guys should have called it : FANNYPACK

You could have used 80’s inspired graphics and sold 37signals Members Only jackets.

But I am sure this will be cool too.

Do you all sleep or what? How many apps in a year are you going to do. You keep it simple which seems to work all the way around. Nice job.

Grant Carpenter 23 Mar 05

Oh no.

Backpack is PEOPLE.

Sunny 23 Mar 05

I signed up but how can I boost myself up to the private beta list?

Geoff 23 Mar 05

This is all great and I can’t wait to see what it is, but how about some updates for us paying Basecamp users?

I find myself using my Tadalists more than Basecamp now because of the speedy Ajax-powered response. It would be great to see that written into the Basecamp todo lists.

Or an Ajax-powered personal notes section? I’m working that into my personal extranet for always-accessible brainstorming and multi-line todo lists, but I wish that Basecamp had a tackboard-type personal notes app.

It’s a little odd to think of the happy Tadalist user who upgrades to Basecamp and gets old-school 2003-style lists instead of the snappy response they are used to seeing with Tada. Fortunately I went the other way and was happy with Basecamp first (and I still am, but I would love to see the benefits of the public R&D being done on the other Signals apps).

David Heinemeier Hansson 23 Mar 05

Have no fear, Geoff. We’re definitely going to shoot up Basecamp with a solid dose of Ajax in the foreseeable future. As heavy users of Basecamp ourselves, we’re definitely feeling the same hurt as you are on big lists.

dru 23 Mar 05

Honey => Backpack

What was Basecamp’s codename?

JF 23 Mar 05

This is all great and I can�t wait to see what it is, but how about some updates for us paying Basecamp users?

We’re updating Basecamp all the time. Here’s a list of the changes so far this year (the first 14 or so are from 2005). We have a lot more planned soon including a massive hardware infrastructure improvement to increase speed and reliability). Basecamp development is moving forward at full speed.

We haven’t Ajaxed Basecamp yet because Basecamp needs to support IE 5 folks. Tada doesn’t support IE 5 folks so we can add these advanced features. IE 5 has all sorts of issues surrounding Ajax-like features, but we are working on it and you’ll see some pretty cool Ajax support added to Basecamp soon.

Pedro - Brazil 23 Mar 05

My guess about Backpack:

Subscribe to the feeds you want and receive all of them in your email at the time you want. Some sort of “rss newsletter”.

Bill Bradford 23 Mar 05

Subscribe to the feeds you want and receive all of them in your email at the time you want. Some sort of �rss newsletter�.

I sure hope not - aren’t there enough RSS aggregators/readers out there already? I’m a big fan of NetNewsWire.

JF 23 Mar 05

I promise you that Backpack isn’t an RSS aggregator. It does, however, have RSS feeds in the same way that Basecamp and Ta-da use RSS.

Matthew Oliphant 23 Mar 05

What was Basecamp�s codename?


Derek Nelson 23 Mar 05

I definitely think it’s Basecamp for the home.

How great it would be if you could use basecamp to manage personal schedules, grocery lists, appointments, contacts, kids school projects, etc. all in one place?

While it’s entirely possible to use Basecamp in this way, it’s cost-prohibitive and, I believe, needs a number of things tailored for the home.

Bill Bradford 23 Mar 05

I’m pretty sure it’s got to be something more of a personal-level PIM.

“Basecamp” - where you work on stuff.
“Backpack” - you carry your stuff in it.

Pies 24 Mar 05

I’m guessing a sort of organizer/PIM/notepad, perhaps even with mini personal finance module.

Tony 24 Mar 05

The mark makes it seem like it is related to document management — but I don’t pretend to know what it really is or even be all that familiar with their other offerings (but i’m learning).

duff 24 Mar 05

I’m totally jealous of the speed at which you guys crank out quality software.

If I could crank out websites that fast I’d be RICH! RICH I TELL YOU!

jon 24 Mar 05

misto?? are you for real?

I’ve got one of those, full of olive oil. ;-)

and where, pray tell, did that code name come from?

JF 24 Mar 05

Misto is a restaurant down the street from our office.

JD McMillan 24 Mar 05

Tell us what Backpack does already. I’m sick of waiting and I want to know! haha. How long will we have to wait to find out?

lcreekmo 25 Mar 05

I’m sure I’ll want it too but I don’t want to have to wear a Members Only jacket. Been there, done that.

Danny Cohen 26 Mar 05

I think the general consensus is that Backpack is to help organize your life online. And this will finally be something that works, hopefully.

Just considering how easy Ta-Da List was, finally, for making to-do lists and keeping them online, anything that extends that to schedules, maybe personal project management… e-mail?

Address book (maybe an LDAP server for being able to plug into it from anywhere….)?

Anders Markstrom 29 Mar 05

Hope it is a project file sharing system. Basecamp could really use one.

AnonymousCoward 29 Mar 05

Why not a Web Content Management tool? Inline editing using the nice Yellow Fade technique.

A wike would get my vote too by the way.

antirealist 02 Apr 05

I’d wager it’s some variety of walking clock.

aldrin 19 Apr 06

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