Good bye, Basecamp

For VoiceRepublic, we have been using Basecamp to get going fast. However, in the last year we tried various tools and have organically grown into an agile company. This is my answer to their exit survey. After offering me a refund and showing me the nicest good-bye page imaginable (see below), they had me hooked to give a little something back. So here it goes:

No rant here.

Basecamp is a great product to get started easily. Everyone can use it and that’s awesome!

However, being an agile process (Scrum, XP, Kanban, GTD, Lean..) and tooling nut, from the beginning of our project I tried to push something with more structure.

Whence a product grows (and the discussions as well as todo lists), there is too little transparency in Basecamp – for example as to when stuff will be shipped (like a burn up graph).

Basecamp discussions tended to bring the following effect for us: “Hey, we talked about it, isn’t it done already?”

Therefore, we’re doing discussions in Slack, now. It’s real time and it’s clear that it’s nothing like a User Story, a Todo or any kind of thing that is tracked to be done. For that it needs to be a story in PivotalTracker.

I do realize that Basecamp has Todos. They are great to get started fast, if you just need lists. For software development and project planning, I do prefer to be able to put some story points there, however. It’s not that I’m not a fan of lists, I’m doing Getting Things Done by David Allen privately. But for a software development company, there’s different requirements than just for me alone.

So, Basecamp to me looks great for a team with less process experience or a team of loosely collaborating people. Meaning, most of the world. Lucky you(;
I do want to make sure to express big thanks to you guys. You made Rails which is one of the tools that makes me earn my daily food and tea. I’m lacking the accurate words to describe my feelings for that. If you (whoever reads this) do have the chance to give a Rails core member of 37Signals (Sorry for that, I’ll hang on to that name for a bit longer^^) or one of your blog/book authors, I would much appreciate that!

Last words – great refund policy! Even though we haven’t been using Basecamp since February, I will not make use of it. I could export my data cleanly and host it somewhere else, that’s a great thing to offer! You’ve built a great product and I do not want my money back^^

Again, big hugs to you guys and sorry to leave…

Munen Alain M. Lafon


Thanks, 37Signals!


Thanks for trying Basecamp

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