When considering whether we should build the integration of FreshBooks with Basecamp, there were a few questions all of us here wanted answered before proceeding:
1. How would our small business customers use Basecamp and FreshBooks together?
2. Would any integration we build bring enough benefit to our users for it to be worthwhile?
3. Does anyone even really use Basecamp that often?
I think we were able to answer questions one and two with some effective design sessions, user interviews, and experimentation. We came up with what I think are two great options on using FreshBooks and Basecamp together. It clearly doesn’t cover all the possibilities, but judging from the feedback we have received and usage to date, I think we have covered off 80% of the use cases that provide the most benefit.
Number three was a toss up. 37signals is clearly a darling of the Web 2.0 world and one of its first real success stories, so there is no doubt they have a lot of people using Basecamp. We didn’t know for sure how many businesses were using Basecamp and certainly had no idea how many would use it with FreshBooks. But in true Web 2.0 style, we just built it anyway. As it turns out, there are a lot of businesses that use Basecamp.
As of today, over 6% of the businesses that actively use FreshBooks have enabled access to their Basecamp accounts. Considering this was released less than a month ago, I would consider that a very high percentage and an indicator of just how many businesses use Basecamp.
We don’t really have any other service that we can compare this to, since Basecamp was the first project management service we have integrated with. However, we do have a number of businesses using online payment gateways. The most popular is PayPal. 39% of the businesses who actively use FreshBooks have enabled a PayPal account. That is impressive, but I’m guessing Basecamp will catch up to PayPal as time goes on.