The next cycle: Blackburn (Sep 19 - Oct 28)

Jason Fried
Jason Fried
Hey all!

Blackburn’s the next cycle and it runs from September 19th through October 28th. Thanks for putting up all the pitches - you'll see we'll be tackling some of them along with pieces of others, plus addressing some long standing frustrating issues that keep coming up.

Here's what's on the product development docket:

Big Batch

Jonas Downey Jonas
Kris Niles Kris
, and
Pratik Naik Pratik
  will continue the onboarding work that we started last cycle. This work involves the new Basecamp home screen split up by HQ/Teams/Projects, the new business model and trial tweaks, and related work. They’ll finish it up in the first few weeks of the cycle, ship it, and then move on to the following:

  • Continued tweaks and adjustments post launch of the new Basecamp home screen, onboarding, etc. These are major changes so there will be inevitable updates required.
  • Auto RSVP if you already have a Basecamp account. If you already have a Basecamp account, and you're invited to another account, you have to do this confusing dance today where you have to claim the invitation and RSVP. There's no good reason for this and it causes a lot of confusion. I got tangled up in it myself last week. So if you already have a Basecamp account, and someone invites you with the same email that's attached to your ID, you'll automatically be part of that account - no need to claim or RSVP. We'll make it easy to leave the account if you don't want to be part of it vs. today we made it hard to join it.
  • Easier RSVP if you don't have a Basecamp account. Today if someone invites you, and you don't click the "join" button in that invitation, but you get emails for other notifications later and you click one of the links in the emails (but not the invitation itself), you end up in this weird no-mans land of being asked to sign in but you don't have an account yet. It's a cluster. We're going to fix this by tokenizing every link in any notification email if you haven't RSVP'd yet. This way we'll know you haven't and instead of asking you to sign in, we'll ask you to set up an account.
  • A/B testing various aspects of the buying Basecamp screen and related call-outs. Don't know what these may be yet, but Jonas will likely dream some up!
  • We'll be considering taking people directly into the app if they're logged in and they hit Today you have to log-in manually every time you hit We want to make it work more like GitHub, Twitter, and most other services - you hit the root and, if you're logged in already, you're dropped into the app instead of seeing the marketing site.

Scott Upton Scott
Jeffrey Hardy Jeffrey
, and
Tom Ward Tom
will be working on Templates! Our long national nightmare without templates in BC3 will be over! The functionality in BCX will set the tone. People will be able to set up template projects, use a template to kick off a new project, etc. You'll be able to set relative dates on to-dos and events and then have a chance to modify everything before publishing the project and going live. At this time we won't be doing separate "to-do templates" - we're going to launch with the whole project template enchilada and then we can swing back down the road and consider introducing another feature called "The Library" where you can save any single object (one message, one to-do list, one document, etc) that you can reuse in any other project. In the meantime, if people want that single reusable object functionality, we can encourage them to create a "The Library" project, make stuff in there, and then copy stuff from there wherever they want.

Small Batch

Conor Muirhead Conor
George Claghorn George
will work together on the small batch projects this cycle. Here's a list of some of the things we'd like to get done, time permitting:

  • Notification options when creating a document, uploading a file, and potentially a few other places. When you save a document today there's no way to notify people about it without posting a comment and tweaking the subscriber list ahead of time. We want to make this as smooth as posting a message.
  • Zip all files in a folder and download them at once as a single archive.
  • My Assignments / Stuff I've assigned should be editable inline. Right now these reports are read-only which is a major pain if you want to reassign something, etc,
  • Late to-dos should send a notification to the people assigned and the person who created the to-do letting them know the to-do is past the deadline.
  • Edit names/emails of people who don't have other Basecamp accounts. This will address some common complaints re: being unable to fix a misspelled name or email address for someone else.
  • Image/file view for pings - allow someone just to see the images/files you've shared with someone via ping (super useful in iMessage and hopefully as useful in Basecamp if you send screenshots, images, and files back and forth via pings).

So that's the plan for Blackburn

It's a hefty collection of work that customers should love. This cycle also wraps up the first year of BC3 - we launched at the end of October 2015! There's always so much more to do, but looking back we've done a ton of great work this year. What a year!

After this cycle we'll be focusing the rest of the year on cleanup, optimizations, tying up some loose ends, and polishing up some other fundamentals so we'll be prepped to hit 2017 hard with some wonderful new features and ideas.

Sam will be posting the cycle work for the Research & Fidelity team separately. And the mobile teams will share their ideas separately as well.

Here we go!