How Basecamp takes a feature from idea to completion

This is a behind the scenes look at how we work at Basecamp. It is Part II of my article, Getting from ⭐️⭐️ to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

In Part 1, I wrote about how we were unhappy with the App Store ratings of Basecamp 3.

We were mostly getting reviews from people who had problems. The customer pain was real and we deserved the complaints. But they didn’t tell the whole story. The big picture is that Basecamp 3 for iOS is well-liked and heavily used. The challenge was to ask the happy customers to leave ratings, and to do so in a way that wasn’t annoying or reeked of begging.

This article is for those who want to see how the sausage is made. (If you are like me, this is your favorite.) This is part of our continuing effort to show you how Basecamp uses Basecamp to build Basecamp.

There was a long, asynchronous conversation during the design and implementation of the What’s New screen. It wouldn’t have been possible to have this conversation using group chat. Ideas would have flown by, people would give off-the-cuff opinions, and it would be lost to the ether. Instead, by using the tools in Basecamp we were able to take the time to have a thoughtful discussion that could be read by anyone who happened to be around at that moment, or not.

It started with Jason posting a Message to the iOS Basecamp.

This spawned a To-do that was given a due date and assigned to me. Something I love about Basecamp 3 is that anything can have a discussion thread attached to it.

A conversation ensued and ideas were kicked around.

A new idea emerged from our collaboration.

Refine the idea.

Iterate, iterate, iterate.


Basecamp 3 works where you do on iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows — anywhere you’ve got a web browser and an internet connection. Your first Basecamp is completely free, so try it today. It takes just a minute to sign up.