Jan 12, 2024

It ended up being Hey (I’m as surprised as you are)

I have a weird relationship with the Basecamp guys, aka 37signals. On the one hand, they talk good shop, with buy apps once and challenging the status quo. On the other, it’s the utter nonsense sometimes spewing from the founders’s mouths and I have trouble dealing with it.

Our clients don’t, however. In fact, even the most technically challenged love the project management software Basecamp. That’s a testimony I don’t want printed on the official page just yet, but truth be told, I’ve been an on and off Basecamp user for over a decade. I migrated from the previous version, I moved from Campfire CRM, that’s how long I’ve been around.

And I don’t even appreciate the fuss DHH & Co. makes every time they can concerning Apple and the App Store. I mean, come on, just make it easier on all of us and do it the way it works from the start. I don’t care about your crusade when you’re launching a new calendar app (and pushing it through by ripping off a sole creator) or jabbering about email. Honestly, just get your products out there. We are, after all, paying for them.

It’s all PR, of course.

I’d quit Basecamp if I could. That’s it, that’s how I feel about the way they run their company. They’re not evil or anything, on the contrary, but they’re prone to aggression and, honestly, a bit whiny.

But Basecamp is good.

So is Hey, they’re take on email.

Hey isn’t compatible with anything, much like Proton. You can’t use your normal email app, or IMAP, it’s Hey or bust. But you get the excellent Screener feature, which asks you if you want to receive email from a contact or no, and if it’s the latter, you won’t, although it’s there if you need to find it. That’s their killer feature, the rest is potential gravy if you buy into the concept of the Paper Trail or Feed. I’m not going to sell nor explain it, but I will say that I get it, and work with it.

Because yes, I’m on Hey now, after another troublesome journey searching for the best email solution. I’ve put my private mail on there, despite the ludicrous pricing, and the agency email too. I don’t mind the pricing on the latter, the collaborative features alone could mitigate that, but for my personal use, using your own domain pricing is silly. I’m not surprised though, they just raised Basecamp costs by about 20%, closing in on $1,300/year. These guys are in business because they do good software, but more importantly, because they can charge for it. And I pay for it, have for a long time, as mentioned.

Yes, it hurts. I think the founders are, well, out there. If we didn’t have clients loving Basecamp, I’d move, but we do, and it’s good, so thus we’re all in.

Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are.

There’s no calendar yet though, that’s what I wanted to write, but there is. I just haven’t received access yet, but when I do, I hope to silently applaud the sensible approach to calendaring. Because, in the end, they did actually get email right. Hey is overpriced, and I hate that it’s locked in the way it is, but it’s the best choice I’ve found, after a veeery long journey. So here we are.