Been using Basecamp for years and years and been part of several startups, some small and failed, some medium and profitable, some large and funded. Throughout all of them we've used Basecamp.
Last year, we started and sold a company called Bac'n. The site sold real bacon online. We'd have about 600lbs of bacon at any given time in our freezers, and we had a fun project to work on during our full-time jobs. Since then we've sold the company and started Urban Airship, which is doing great and we're having a great time.
The interesting part of the story is that in 2009, while talking about our experience creating the company in three weeks, we were asked to write a book about our experience. So, we did: From Idea to Web Start-up in 21 Days: Creating bacn.com [Amazon].
I held the first copy in my hands last week. And in that book, we discuss using Basecamp and how it was critical to working with vendors and managing communication and tasks between us who all worked at different places. We also talk about how 37signals was inspiration to our methods and agile development.
Our current company, Urban Airship, is a young, 17-person startup with the vast majority of our team being engineers. They of course have all sorts of ways to communicate and keep track of their code. However, this has also meant that we have worked with a pretty strong list of vendors for everything from copywriting, design (print and web), and to a few other positions with contractors in other cities. Keeping track of us all has been a struggle at times. We use a variety of tools, such as Dropbox to keep some things easy to share and synced on the desktop; but when there are comments needed and versioning, Basecamp works wonders.
We're currently reconfiguring our website, as well as the backend admin interface for new features and updated messaging. So sending feedback to and from our designers and site developers, while also allowing our team on-site to communicate and provide feedback, while always keeping track of the current designs and workflows, has become super simple with Basecamp.
Also, Urban Airship was one of the first companies to join the Portland Incubator Experiment and Basecamp is how all the companies, past and present, communicate within that space. We've used it to plan and host events, sell vehicles used in the Chalkbot campaign during the Tour de France, and to remind each other when it's time to get a new keg.
There's pretty much no part of our business that Basecamp hasn't touched at least once.
Sorry if our tale is a bit non-linear, and involves a bunch of quasi-connected companies. But that's part of how today works, and it's a testament to Basecamp that it's one of the few threads that we've used in each situation.
Do you use a 37signals product in an interesting way? Let us know.