Running a profitable business in today’s ever-changing tech world is no easy feat, but it’s exactly what Jason Fried and his team at Basecamp have been doing for over 17 years.
As a cloud-based software company, Basecamp provides businesses with one central location to organize all internal communications, projects and client work. While a lot has changed since the software first launched in 1999, the company’s Chicago-based CEO tells CNBC Make It that there is one key piece of advice from Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos that has helped his company thrive over the years.
“The best advice he’s given us is to focus on things in [our] business that don’t change,” says Fried. “Figure out what people are going to want from [our] business 10 years from now and double down on those.”
Fried says that originally Basecamp started as a web design company and found themselves “swamped” by client projects.
“We wanted to have a better way to interact with our clients because we weren’t clear on who was doing what, what was due and we started dropping the ball on things,” he says. “We started looking for a software to help us and couldn’t find one, so we built our own tool.”
Eventually his web design clients started asking about the tool he and his team were using to stay organized, and from there the company began to take shape. Fried said he and his team have continued to focus on the things that they know will remain important for years to come: customer service and a product that’s fast and easy to use.
“For us, people are not going to wish our customer service was worst, which is why I think we have the best customer service in the industry,” he says. “People are not going to say I wish Basecamp was slower so we put a lot of energy into making sure the product is fast.”
The company has grown to roughly 56 remote employees and an estimated revenue of $25 million according to Forbes, but Fried says Bezos’ advice still holds true.
“There will always be new trends and fads, but what is constant is how we can continue to grow.”
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Basecamp CEO: This piece of advice from Jeff Bezos helped my company thrive