I’m working on some copy for the new Basecamp 3 marketing site, and I figured I’d share some work in progress here. This needs editing, and it should probably be half as long, but I wanted to share it in its current state. I’ve always enjoyed seeing work in progress, so here’s some of mine:
Why Basecamp? That’s a fantastic question! In fact, it’s the question, in’t it? We’ve got some great answers for you.
1. Basecamp understands what you’re up against
You’re in charge. You’re running something. It’s on you to get it done. You have to pull people together to make it happen. That’s a huge responsibility, and you can use a hand making it all happen. You need to communicate, you need to stay organized, you need to make sense of feedback, you need to share work, you need to set deadlines, and you need everyone to deliver.
And on top of all that, you have to manage people and personalities and different work styles and preferences. People are often the hardest part! Talk about pressure! We get you, and we’ve got your back.
The reason we built Basecamp was because we had the exact same requirements you do. We worked for clients (and bosses and stakeholders and organizations…). They demanded the best from us, and we were paid to deliver for them. Before Basecamp we dropped balls, stuff slipped through the cracks, deadlines were missed, and communication was scattered in too many places. This is why we built Basecamp – we had to calm the chaos. We had to get organized. We had to stay on top of things. We had to reduce the anxiety. We had to get our shit together.
So we made the tool we always wanted. We’ve honed it and – with the help of hundreds of thousands of bits of feedback from customers along the way – shaped it and perfected it over a decade. Today’s version of Basecamp is the best we’ve ever made. If you’re nodding your head at anything written above, then we think you’ll absolutely love Basecamp.
2. Basecamp bundles everything you need together in one place
Any work you’re doing with any group of people requires a few things… You need a place to outline and divvy up the work that needs to be done. You need a place to discuss the work – sometimes quickly (chat), sometimes more carefully (topic-based, organized message threads). You need a place to keep decisions and feedback on the record so it’s official and visible to everyone you’re working with. You need a place to lay out key dates and deadlines. And you need a place to organize key assets, files, and documents so everyone knows where everything is and nothing gets lost.
Basecamp is not one of those things, it’s all of those things presented in the most straightforward way you’ve ever seen. When you use Basecamp you don’t have to use a handful of separate tools, all offered by different companies at different prices with different interfaces and apps and all that complexity. Basecamp is a one-stop-shop. Stop juggling tools and switching back and forth – start using Basecamp instead. We promise you won’t look back.
3. Basecamp gets used because it’s straightforward
Maybe you’ve tried a similar product before. Maybe you’ve tried a dozen. You’re probably here because those other ones weren’t working and you’re still struggling. That usually means that you had a hard time getting other people on board to use the tool you chose. Too complicated, too difficult, too fancy, too much or not enough.
It doesn’t matter what a product says it does – if no one uses it then it doesn’t do anything. Basecamp gets used. Over and over. By hundreds of thousands of teams across the world. And if you ask our customers – any one of them – you’ll likely hear the same thing: “Basecamp is easy! It just works!” And at the end of the day, that’s what wins. And that’s why we’re here, celebrating our 17th year in business in 2016.
4. Basecamp works with people’s patterns, not against them.
We’re thrilled that Basecamp has been adopted in all sorts of places that software is usually rejected. A key reason: Basecamp doesn’t demand adoption from anyone. It doesn’t require people to change their patterns or methods. You can go all-in with Basecamp – logging in, using the mobile apps, etc – while other people you’re working with can just reply to emails that Basecamp sends out. Anyone, no matter where they land on the spectrum of “I love using new tools” or “I don’t want to be bothered by something new” can get a ton of value out of Basecamp.
And what’s great is that you, the person who’s deciding to check out Basecamp, can introduce a product that works with people, not against people. After trying to implement other things that didn’t work, you’ll finally be the hero when people learn they don’t have to “adopt more software” – they can just respond to anything you send them via email and Basecamp will take care of the rest.
5. Basecamp leads to organization which leads to progress
You can make a mess when you work alone because you know your own messes. But the moment you pull multiple people together to work on something, you need to get organized. Shared spaces and common places require extra attention to organizational detail. When we all have different ways of working, knowing where everything is, who’s responsible for what, and when things are due is essential. It’s got to be organized and it’s got to be clear to everyone. Luckily there’s Basecamp.
Basecamp is organized by default. You can’t make a mess. Everything is tidy from the start, and stays tidy as you go. Discussions are organized into topic-based threads so you can always find them later. To-dos and tasks are neatly organized in lists that make sense. Docs and files live in folders that make sense to you. Everything that’s dated – no matter what it is – flows into the Schedule. When you use Basecamp everyone knows what they need to know, everyone knows where everything is, and nothing slips through the cracks.
6. Basecamp is flexible because every person and every project is different
People and projects move at different speeds. Sometimes quick back-and-forth informal chats are perfect. Other times you want to slow down, dig in, make a case, and present yourself more formally. Some people prefer email-style communication, others prefer more texting-style communication. Trying to force everyone to communicate the same way is like trying to fit everyone into the same size shoe. It’s not a good fit.
From group chat to instant messaging to traditional discussion threads, Basecamp lets everyone involved communicate any way they’d like.
7. Basecamp makes the past, present, and future of your work clear
Any chunk of work – a long project, a quick riff, a team huddling up about some ideas – has a past, present, and future. Basecamp lays these out clear for you to see. Knowing where you’ve been, knowing why you’re headed in a given direction, and seeing clearly what’s ahead is such an important part of delivering something great.
The past… With Basecamp you can keep chats, discussions, feedback, and decisions on the record. Basecamp automatically documents the who the who, the why, and the what around anything that’s discussed. This way you can always go back in time, revisit a decision, point it out to everyone who’s curious about how it was made, and remember the details you need to move forward.
The present… With Basecamp you can discuss things quickly, assign work instantly, set or adjust deadlines, keep things rolling, pass documents and files back and forth, track progress, and stay organized as you go. The present – the work that’s happening every day – is automatically documented, organized, and tidied up so you don’t leave a mess behind you as you move forward.
The future… Basecamp helps you lay out the future, know what’s left to do, see what remains, and plot the course to get it all done on time. If something’s falling behind, there’s a report for that. If you need to see what’s on someone’s plate, there’s a report for that. If you want to know if you’re adding more work than you’re completing, there’s a report for that. Getting from now to done is clearer when you use Basecamp.
How’s it read so far?