Sometimes, the Best Way to Improve Something is to Begin Again

This article about starting over, especially when it’s regarding your top-selling product, was very interesting. Living in Atlanta I remember the disaster called New Coke and anyone on Facebook has seen the outrage that occurs every time Facebook makes a change. Saying that, I have tried Basecamp and am very interested in seeing the ways they plan to improve their project-management software.

Starting Over

Sometimes, the best way to improve something is to begin again from scratch. Even if it’s your top-selling product.

By Jason Fried

In 2004, 37signals, the software company I co-founded, released a Web-based project-management and collaboration tool called Basecamp. At the time, we mostly did Web design; Basecamp was a side project that we developed in our spare time to make it easier for us to work together.

Back then, project-management software was mostly about charts, graphs, statistics, and one-way broadcasts. Basecamp was different. It provides team members with a consistent place to work on projects and tools to swap ideas, share feedback, make revisions, and deliver the final project online. Millions of people across nearly every industry have used Basecamp to manage more than eight million projects; 96 percent of users say they would recommend the software to others.

That can mean only one thing: It’s time to start over.

Why mess with something that has proved so successful? There are a couple of reasons. For one, eight years is a long time. Consider the ways in which the world has changed over the past eight years. We’ve learned a lot about collaborating in that time. We’ve received tons of feedback from users, many of whom have shown us the ways in which they work. Plus, there are technologies available that didn’t exist back then.

To read more about the Basecamp strategy go to


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