Basecamp (company)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from 37 Signals)
Jump to: navigation, search
Privately held company
Founded 1999; 18 years ago (1999)
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Key people
Products Basecamp, Ruby on Rails, Backpack, Campfire, Highrise
Services Web applications
Number of employees
50 (2015)[1]

Basecamp, formerly known as 37signals, is a privately held American web application company based in Chicago, Illinois. The firm was co-founded in 1999 by Jason Fried, Carlos Segura, and Ernest Kim as a web design company.[2]

In February 2014, the company adopted a new strategy, focusing entirely on its flagship product, the software package also named Basecamp, and renaming the company from 37signals to Basecamp.[3][4]

Since mid-2004, the company's focus has shifted from web design to web application development. Its first commercial application was Basecamp; this was followed by Backpack, Campfire, and Highrise.[5] The open source web application framework Ruby on Rails was initially created for internal use at 37signals, before being publicly released in 2004.[6][7]


The company (37signals) was originally named after the 37 radio telescope signals identified by astronomer Paul Horowitz as potential messages from extraterrestrial intelligence.[8] Work on the company's first product, the project management application Basecamp, began in 2003.[9]

By 2005, the company had moved away from consulting work to focus exclusively on its web applications. The Ruby on Rails web application framework was extracted from the work on Basecamp and released as open source.[7] In 2006, the company announced that Jeff Bezos had acquired a minority stake via his personal investment company, Bezos Expeditions.[10][11]


Basecamp is 37signals' first product, a web-based project management tool launched in 2004. Basecamp's primary features are to-do lists, milestone management, forum-like messaging, file sharing, and time tracking.[12] Basecamp Next was released in 2012, while Basecamp 3 was released in 2014.[13][14] Campfire is a business-oriented online chat service, launched in 2006.[14]

Ruby on Rails[edit]

Main article: Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails is a free web application framework created by David Heinemeier Hansson, one of the 37signals programmers. It was originally used to make 37signals' first product, Basecamp, and was since extracted and released as open source in 2004, as well as being the framework that 37signals use to make their web applications.[7]


  1. ^ Hinkle, Haley (October 21, 2015). "Basecamp's Jason Fried aims to let 'great ideas set the course'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  2. ^ Caplan, Jeremy (May 17, 2007). "Small Is Essential: With a million users and a payroll of eight, software sensation 37signals excels by doing more with less". Time. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Kepes, Ben (February 5, 2014). "37Signals No More - Changes Name To Basecamp And Drops All Products But Its Namesake". Forbes. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  4. ^ Fried, Jason (March 2014). "Why 37signals Refocused on a Single Product: Basecamp". Inc. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  5. ^ Harris, Melissa (February 5, 2014). "37signals changing name to Basecamp, shedding products". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  6. ^ Harris, Melissa (September 4, 2012). "37signals takes stake in The Starter League". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Park, Andrew (February 25, 2008). "The Brash Boys at 37signals Will Tell You: Keep it Simple, Stupid". Wired. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  8. ^ " What's in a Name?". 37signals. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  9. ^ Dusto, Amy (May 27, 2014). "How Basecamp grew from an internal project to generating millions in revenue". Built in Chicago. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  10. ^ Arrington, Michael (July 20, 2006). "37 Signals Takes Jeff Bezos Investment". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on 23 March 2008. Retrieved March 21, 2008. 
  11. ^ Hof, Rob (July 19, 2006). "37Signals, 1 Big New Investor: Jeff Bezos". Bloomberg. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Empson, Rip (February 8, 2013). "After 8 Years On The Web, Project Management Platform Basecamp Finally Launches An "Official" iOS App". TechCrunch. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 
  13. ^ Hendershot, Steve (March 31, 2012). "37Signals vaults from base camp to summit". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 20 September 2016. 
  14. ^ a b Hempel, Jessi (November 4, 2015). "Basecamp 3 Will Change the Way You Think About Work—Again". Wired. Retrieved 19 September 2016. 

External links[edit]