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|Privately held company|
|Headquarters||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Products||Basecamp, Ruby on Rails, Backpack, Campfire, Highrise|
Number of employees
Basecamp, formerly named 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.
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. The open source web application framework Ruby on Rails was initially created for internal use at 37signals, before being publicly released in 2004.
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. Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have published several books under the 37signals name.
The company (37signals) was originally named after the 37 radio telescope signals identified by astronomer Paul Horowitz as potential messages from extraterrestrial intelligence. Work on the company's first product, the project management application Basecamp, began in 2003.
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. In 2006, the company announced that Jeff Bezos had acquired a minority stake via his personal investment company, Bezos Expeditions.
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. Basecamp Next was released in 2012, while Basecamp 3 was released in 2014. Campfire is a business-oriented online chat service, launched in 2006.
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.
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson published several books under the 37signals name. Rework (2010, RandomHouse) became a New York Times best seller. Remote: Office Not Required (2013, RandomHouse), which is about allowing employees to work from remote offices, was also a New York Times best seller. The book was about 37signals' experience with a largely remote workforce.
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