Please note: This site's design is only visible in a graphical browser that supports Web standards, but its content is accessible to any browser or Internet device. To see this site as it was designed please upgrade to a Web standards compliant browser.
The Building of Basecamp Workshop: Go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to launch a new web-based application... From an idea on a napkin to launch and beyond.

Register today

The workshop is sold out!
If you are interested in attending, please email us at workshop at — depending on the response we may consider adding a second date.


Jason Fried, Designer and Project Lead

David Hansson, Lead Developer

Matt Linderman, Marketing

Ryan Singer, Designer

Comments from people who've attended other 37signals workshops:

"You guys are great"
"You guys are great — smart, polite, well-prepared and obviously competent and caring."

"A whole new way to think"
"This workshop gave me a whole new way to think about what to consider when developing a web site."

"Worth every penny"
"I paid for this out of my own pocket. I couldn't convince my boss to pay for it. Worth every penny!"

"Truly amazing"
"The seminar was truly amazing and we learned a great deal of applicable information. We will be incorporating many of your principles in our upcoming projects and we look forward to more of your seminars."

"Attention to detail is exquisite"
"Your attention to detail is exquisite. I appreciate the thoroughness of this workshop & will return for other topics."

"Very well presented"
"Good examples. Good real-world easy solutions to implement. Very well presented. Put on more workshops, I'll be there.

"Definitely worth the price"
"Definitely worth the price. I'm looking forward to seeing what future workshops you'll offer."

"A great change from sitting in front of a computer. Good interaction and energy. Great examples of what not to do and what to do! Eye-opening."

Comments from people who've used Basecamp:

"We love it, our clients love it"
"We love it, our clients love it, and they love us for having it."

"Basecamp has single-handedly revolutionized how I interact with client"
"First off, you guys have done, and continue to due at an alarming pace, a fantastic job creating and improving a great product! Basecamp has single-handedly revolutionized how I interact with clients."

"A massive, positive impact on our working practices"
"Basecamp has already been key to winning a project, being the main thing that differentiated us from a very close competitor, and it's had a massive, positive impact on our working practices, even after just a couple of weeks."

"Astonishingly elegant... and completely intuitive"
"The design is astonishingly elegant and the interface completely intuitive."

"Fast, usable, powerful"
"Excellent job on Basecamp. Fast, usable, with powerful features hidden behind a simple interface gotta love it!"

There's more on the Basecamp Buzz page.

Immerse yourself in the hectic process of concepting, designing, developing, marketing, supporting, and maintaining a web-app used by thousands of people worldwide.

What will we talk about?

We'll take you behind the scenes of the development of Basecamp, our popular web-based project management tool. We'll explain our process, our mistakes, our home runs, and the lessons we've learned. Then we'll discuss how you can transfer that knowledge to your own projects.

What will you learn?

It usually takes months (or years) of development trial and error to learn what we'll show you in one day. You'll leave armed with plenty of great ideas for making your own web app succeed.

Who's it for?

If you're considering building a web app, already have one, or just want to know what it really takes to make it happen, this workshop is for you.

Some of the issues we'll be covering:


  • How do I get inside my customers' heads?
  • How do I decide what features to launch with and which to introduce later?
  • How do I measure myself vs. competitors (how do I know if I even have competition)?
  • What is the app's unique selling point?
  • What are the advantages to being web-based?
  • What obstacles will surprise me?
  • What's the biggest pain about developing a web app?
  • What's the best part of developing a web app?
  • How do I plan the app, write the requirements, and execute the plan?


  • What qualities are important in a designer?
  • Do we design in-house or hire an outside firm?
  • Do we go CSS or tables or a combination of both?
  • How does the interface differ from that of a normal web site?
  • Do I need to worry about accessibility?
  • Do I need to worry about people using my app on a handheld or palm?
  • What specific interface design techniques apply?
  • Where do I find best practices that I can follow?
  • Do I paper prototype, photoshop prototype, or HTML prototype?
  • What design problems will I face?
  • What contingencies, error and otherwise, will I need to design for?


  • What qualities are important in a programmer?
  • How do I keep developers happy and empathetic to my business needs?
  • Which development methodologies are relevant for small-scale development?
  • What's a technical estimate and why don't they ever stick?
  • How, when, and from where do I staff the development team?
  • How can I prevent or, at worst, handle a technical crisis?
  • What programminng language (PHP, Perl, Ruby, .NET, etc.) should I develop in?
  • What's involved in planning for and scaling from 100 to 10,000 users?


  • How should I promote the app before/after launch?
  • What's important on a promotional site?
  • How do I get press coverage?
  • How do I get blog coverage?
  • How do I get testimonials?
  • What should I do with testimonials?
  • How should I organize a tour of the app?
  • What makes for a good domain name?
  • How do I build an audience?
  • How do I build goodwill and get others to promote for me?


  • How can I test before launch?
  • Who should my testers be?
  • How do I get feedback from users (before and after launch)?
  • How do you gather information from users?
  • What do you learn from testing and how do you transform findings into software requirements?
  • How do you decide what is important and what isn't?
  • How do I deal with "known bugs"?
  • How do I track bugs and feature requests?


  • How much should I sell it for?
  • How should pricing work (flat fee, subscription model, donationware)?
  • Should I process orders on my own or through PayPal?
  • How much should I give away free?
  • How does pricing work for foreign markets?
  • Should I give refunds and/or free trials?
  • Should I offer different pricing plans/tiers?
  • How should I handle bad accounts or invalid credit cards?
  • How should I charge? Per-person? Some other measurement of usage?


  • How long after launch should I update the app?
  • How do I learn about bugs from users?
  • Should I release big updates like traditional software, or release small, incremental and regular updates?
  • How do I decide whether something should be a v1 or v2 item?


  • How should I set up help?
  • Should help be inside the app or external (another site, printed manual, etc)?
  • What are the hidden costs of help and customer support?
  • How do I keep help up to date?
  • Should I charge for support and/or training?
  • Should I offer training?

Isn't that a lot to cover in one day?

Sure is, but we're ambitious, passionate, and fast talkers. We promise you you won't get tired or bored at this workshop! And, don't worry, there will be plenty of breaks and ample time for Q&A.

Register today

The workshop is sold out!
If you are interested in attending, please email us at workshop at — depending on the response we may consider adding a second date.

Workshop Q&A

What is "Basecamp"?

Basecamp, by 37signals, is a web-based tool that lets you manage projects (or simply ideas) and quickly create client/project extranets. It lets you and your clients (or just your own internal team) keep your conversations, ideas, schedules, to-do lists, and more in a password-protected central location. You can find out more about Basecamp by taking a tour, discovering different ways to use Basecamp, reading what other's have to say, or getting more general information (and trying it for free) at the official Basecamp site.

How many seats are available and how long is it?

We limit workshop enrollment to only 40 people in order to assure personal attention and an intimate learning environment. The workshop will run from 10am - 5pm (plus beer, extended Q&A, and networking afterwards). A catered lunch is included.

Where will the workshop be held?

The workshop will be held at 37signals' Chicago office:
400 North May Street #301
Chicago, IL 60622

I'm coming from out of town. Do you have hotel recommendations?

The following hotels are within a short cab ride:
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, 20 East Chestnut Street, Chicago, IL 60611, (312) 324-4000
Claridge Hotel Chicago, 1244 N Dearborn Street, Chicago, IL 60610, (800) 245-1258
Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel, 163 E. Walton Place, Chicago, IL 60611, (312) 751-8100

Do you offer workshops on other usability/design topics?

Yes. We've spoken at leading design/business conferences and universities on a wide variety of subjects dealing with the intersection of simplicity, design, usability and business. We are happy to develop a custom workshop/presentation to meet your needs. Get in touch and we'll discuss what we can do for you.

What if I have other questions?

Get in touch and we'll gladly answer all your questions.

Back to Top ^

Get started working with 37signals today:

Get in touch and we'll deliver a proposal in a week or less.
Download "Why Should I Hire 37signals?" (PDF, 46K) to learn why we're the smart choice.

Subscribe to our free newsletter and receive updates on our latest projects, research, and more.
And don't worry, we're a selfish bunch: We'll never sell, disclose, or trade your email address.

And, don't forget to check out our Weblog, Signal vs. Noise, for daily discussions ranging from usability to design to politics to technology to life in general. Thousands of visitors per week since 1999.

Free Trial: Basecamp Web-Based Project Management