Basecamp turns 15

Yesterday, February 5th, was Basecamp‘s 15th birthday. As a company we’ve been around for 20 years (we used to be called 37signals), but one random Thursday back in 2004 marked the beginning of Basecamp, the product.

And we launched it right here in this post on this very blog, Signal vs. Noise. The blog looked a lot different then, but the spirit’s the same. And here’s a link to the original home page, as well.

The comments are especially interesting to read after all these years. They give you insight into what a launch is like – uncertainty, “I needs” and immediate feature requests, doubt, praise, questions, etc. Every launch is a mixed bag of emotions and opinions. Ours, potential customers, lovers, haters, etc. But that’s what makes it exciting! No one really knows what’s going to happen. Launch day is the easiest day you’ll ever have – it only gets harder from there on out.

There are so many people to thank. Our 100,000 paying customers, our incredible crew who’ve put in over a million collective hours developing the product, supporting our customers, and keeping the machine humming. It’s truly a continued honor to get to work with such bright, interesting, talented, thoughtful, and kind human beings.

But let’s also recognize that we have luck and fortuitous timing to thank. They are a large part of our success. I didn’t used to think luck played a part. I didn’t believe in timing. It’s easy for your ego to dismiss those things as something you didn’t need because you’re so fucking good. Probably not. Of course I was younger and dumber back then. I’ve since learned that luck and timing play an outsized role in anyone’s success. No need to hide from that. It doesn’t make you less of a person, or less of an entrepreneur, to admit you rode the wave of luck.

So, here’s to continued luck! Let’s make it another 15, 20, 25! Thank you everyone.

Psst: We’re hoping luck and timing come together again later this year.

35 thoughts on “Basecamp turns 15

  1. Congrats to the basecamp team! It’s also a testament to basecamp’s style of work and culture.

  2. Happy Birthday! Thanks for providing great software that we’ve used every day for years and years. Out of interest, is there any easy way to find out when we first became a customer? I don’t really need to know this information, I’m just strangely curious to know how early into your 15-year adventure we signed up. I’m not sure if we were there within the first year, but it might have been pretty soon after that.

    1. I wondered the same. I was able to go into Adminland and visit my first version of Basecamp and find out I signed up on Aug 26 2007 for $12. And I remember some feedback I wrote being quoted by Basecamp. I compared Basecamp to a Mercedes car – lots of small but brilliant features that work so effortlessly you might not even notice them for 6 months.

  3. Someone buy chris rhee (first comment) a drink. He clearly glimpsed the future of everything at Basecamp. 👏🏻

  4. In today’s era where everyone claims that it is only their ‘hardwork’ that they made it, it is so humbling to know there’s someone out there to give luck its due respect. And I respect you for that. Thank you!

  5. Congratulations on this important anniversary! You’ve built a great product and company.

  6. Well done. Supreme software and culture in every way. Thanks for your leadershiip.

    PS are you hinting at a launch of version 4?

  7. Congrats for all you guys. It’s amazing to see Basecamp working, the culture that you guys teaches and use the product on an every day basis (for business and personal projects). I’ve been in and out of Basecamp a lot in these years and I keep coming because the product just work. I remember using Backpack, Highrise and the other tools you guys created that were always out of the box.

    Thanks and congrats guys, keep doing this amazing work!

  8. I think what you guys are doing is marvelous.

    At first I wasn’t a believer, and as an IT Professional trying to support around 500+ global users, I still struggle with some of the way you manage permissions, but overall I’m incredibly impressed with your development speed, stability, and the power with these tools you’ve provided.

  9. Happy Birthday, Basecamp <3
    You guys are doing awesome and thank you for making our project management life better.

  10. Congratulations to everyone at Basecamp. This is our second, I think, year of using it and it has done amazing things for our company. We rave about you to others! Keep up the awesomeness!

  11. Congratulations, Basecamp! 🙂 You made our business better and stronger! Thank you! – With love from a creative agency in the Philippines 🙂

  12. Happy Birthday basecamp-Team!

    We use basecamp every day (but not on the weekend ;)) and we literally run our business with your tool.

    And thanks for the great support – the fastest and best in any (software) company! You are always there when we need you.

    Thank you from all of us – with love from Berlin, Germany


    PS: List is endless – also thanks for your books and spin-offs (Claire and her “Know Your Team”) and on and on 🙂

  13. Congratulations Jason! You guys are a company that constantly reminds me why SIMPLICITY and FOCUS is the key to success! I love Basecamp!

    Looking forward to next 15 together!!! 🙂

  14. Congratulations! I’ve been using bc for about 13 years. Love it! The functionality has got better and better, and I love your chatty easy style of content and communicating. Have a couple of new functionality ideas on my wish list too – where’s the best place to send you those?

  15. Bon anniversaire Basecamp : )
    Thank you for all the work you have done so far! Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

  16. Congrats. We (Open Medicine Institute) have been over 8+ years I guess using Basecamp, enjoying the work culture, sharing our business and watching the growth of Basecamp. Glad to see my very first post still without losing the data. That’s where you guys are standing. Keep the sprit and support.

  17. Basecamp has been a godsend for my own companies and all the companies I have served, or worked for, over the past decade plus. All I can say is that you have saved me more time and money than anything or anyone could ever have. In fact Basecamp has been an “employee” of our company in many ways, where there would be no way to hire someone who could do the job better, nor for how much it costs.

    Thank you and thank you again! Keeps getting better.

  18. The Basecamp team has created a great product. In addition to that they’ve been a role model for many things that can (and should) be done in a tech company (and other companies as well). Kudos to all the team for all of the effort and results. Loved the transparency with the “luck”!

  19. Hi,
    My company has been used Basecamp for a year. It is helpful and wonderful so far. However we propose a crucial things for improvement by providing sections :
    1. Issue and its tracking status (not just topic to discuss, chat, or announcement).
    2. Meeting (inc. attendee and apologize) and the minutes.

  20. Basecamp is an awesome product! I wish I would have found it 15 years ago instead of two. It has made running my business so much easier.

  21. Things i have seen in terms of laptop or computer memory is the fact that there are specifications such as SDRAM, DDR etc, that must fit the features of the mother board. If the personal computer’s motherboard is rather current while there are no operating-system issues, improving the ram literally will take under a couple of hours. It’s one of the easiest computer upgrade types of procedures one can envision. Thanks for revealing your ideas.

  22. Sorry to be late… well Happy Birthday Basecamp Hope you are growing day by day… year by years !!

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