2008 is over. For all the economic doom and gloom as of late, 2008 was a good year for 37signals. We continued to grow our customer base and our revenues. That makes 5 consecutive years of double-digit revenue growth. We’re very proud of that.
We also hired four new full-time people this year. Sarah Hatter joined us full time in March (she was working on as a contractor prior to March). She heads up customer service/support. Jeffrey Hardy came on in January. He’s a remarkably talented and efficient programmer. Jamie Dihiansan joined us in September. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Jamie’s design work in the coming months. And Joshua Sierles also joined us in September. Joshua’s our second system administrator. It’s really an honor to be able to work with these people — and our whole team — every day.
We’ve also been very hard at work improving our products. Aside from some significant infrastructure enhancements to increase speed, capacity, security, billing, and reliability, here’s a list of some of the major public-facing improvements to our Big 3: Basecamp, Highrise, and Backpack:
- Image Grid View: Any images you upload to Basecamp can now be browsed in a thumbnail grid view.
- Post comments to Basecamp projects via email: Huge new feature. You used to have to log into Basecamp to post a comment. Now you can just reply to the message via email. Especially useful for mobile email users. Hundreds of thousands of comments have now been posted via email.
- More storage, same price: Double (or more) storage increases on all paying plans without a price increase.
- New project switcher: Moving between frequently accessed projects is a lot easier now.
- Bigger file upload limit: Moved up from 10 MB per file to 100 MB per file if you’re using Basecamp file storage.
- Much easier color customization: Brand new color picker brings color customization to the masses.
- Email replies can now include file attachments: Attaching a file to your email reply will post the file to the project now as well.
- Redesigned People & Permissions screen: All new, much easier to navigate, follow, and use.
- Comments (and file attachments) on to-dos and milestones: Huge new feature. Before only messages had comments and attachments. Now you can discuss a to-do item right on the to-do item. Same with milestones. Major productivity gains.
- Deal tracking and a Deals API: Huge new feature. Track proposals and deals in Highrise. Keep track of deals won, lost, and pending. Keep track of how much money you’ve earned from each client.
- Advanced search: Search by location, phone, email, and more.
- Bulk delete: Top request: Delete multiple contacts or companies at once. Deleting people is no longer a hassle.
- Improved import review and undo: Review previous imports and roll-back with a single click.
- File view: Now you can just view files attached to a person or company. No more wading through all the notes and emails to find the PDF proposal.
- Major improvements to tasks: Cleaner UI, better date picker, iCalendar feed for dated tasks, and more.
- Bulk tagging: Tag multiple people or companies at one. Big request satisfied.
- Better contact filtering: Recently viewed, recently added, people without notes in 30 days, people who aren’t tagged, etc.
- Faster sidebar search: Major speed increase for the most commonly used Highrise feature.
- CSV/Excel import: Import your contacts from CSV or Excel files. Top request.
- Export all notes and emails: Now you can export all your notes and emails as well (before you could only export contacts).
- New marketing site: Total redesign.
- Backpack Multiuser: Huge change. Backpack grows up. More intranet-focused, multiple people from your company can use the same Backpack account, share information and files and calendars across the office or group.
- Calendar strip in the Newsroom: Upcoming events now appear in the Newsroom. You don’t have to click to the Calendar to see if anything is going on today.
- Improved calendar reminders: Select multiple people to receive a notification.
- Introducing the Backpack Journal: Huge new feature. Keep track of who’s working on what and what they’ve finished recently.
- Share Backpack pages even if someone doesn’t have a Backpack account: Previously people had to have a Backpack account to view a Backpack page. Now you can just share via email without requiring the other person to have a Backpack account. Big.
- Reply to Newsroom messages via email: No more logging into Backpack to respond to a Newsroom message. Just reply to the email.
- Read-only page sharing: Now you can share a page with someone without fearing they are going to change or delete it. Big improvement for a lot of people.
- Page notifications and up-front sharing settings: Specify who can see a page when you are creating it. Before you had to adjust the sharing options after creating the page. Removed a couple of steps.
We’re working on some very cool stuff for 2009. We’re looking forward to getting it in your hands just as soon as we can.
Thanks again for reading our blogs (Signal vs. Noise and the Product Blog), following our company on Twitter, buying our Getting Real book, posting jobs on our Job Board, and, of course, using our products. Thanks for being our customer. You make it all possible and worthwhile.
Wishing everyone success in 2009!