Basecamp isn’t like most other software as a service products. Every few years a major new version of Basecamp is released that rethinks how their product functions. The new version doesn’t replace the old version, it’s released and supported in addition to the previous versions that teams are still happily using. Customers can update when it’s easiest for them… or not at all!
That means there are currently three distinct versions of Basecamp still being actively supported: Basecamp Classic, Basecamp 2, and Basecamp 3. Because of this approach, there are three distinct versions of the Basecamp API that we had to choose from when we started Field Trip. We naively thought this was a no-brainer and almost everyone would be using Basecamp 3. After all, it was released in 2015.
Two hours after we released on the Slack App Directory we started to notice a problem. Users were signing up for Field Trip, but lots weren’t finishing the installation steps! We thought we had an on-boarding bug and started investigating where users were dropping off.
Turns out, we did have a small bug that stopped a handful of users from activating Field Trip which we quickly fixed. But the biggest surprise was that a ton of teams were using Basecamp 2!
Half our signs ups were using Basecamp 2.
We didn’t want to assume a solution and repeat our mistakes, so we quickly added a button to request Basecamp 2 support. Over the next few weeks, 40+ users asked for Basecamp 2. This gave us all the validation we needed to start working.
After a few months of development (and Christmas break!) we’re ready to start sending your Basecamp 2 activity to Slack!
We built Field Trip to solve our own communication problems between Basecamp 3 and Slack. In hindsight, we got lucky because we guessed that everyone was a Basecamp 3 user just like us. If we had talked to our users earlier we would have known that a ton of companies were still using Basecamp 2.
Starting with Basecamp 3 was still the right choice, but we could have built Basecamp 2 support earlier instead of pivoting right after we launched. In short, we learned a very valuable lesson:
Never assume what your customers want, just ask them.
You’ve seen what happens if you leave things up to us, so make sure you reach out and let us know what you want Field Trip to do next! Your suggestions have already helped us prioritize what to work on so keep the ideas coming by emailing us at email@example.com.