Paying customers, not paying Facebook, Google, or Twitter.


Our new Basecamp Referral Program splits $100 between existing customers and new customers rather than putting it in the pocket of those that track your every move online.

Last year we experimented with running ads on Facebook, Google, and Twitter. All-in we spent 6 figures on the experiment. And then we stopped.

But what stopped us wasn’t the spend, it was the feel. Every dollar you spend is a vote, and we were casting hundreds of thousands of votes for big companies that are tracking people’s every step, every move, every curiosity, and every detail of their lives. Fuck that.

Yeah, they could bring us customers. But we don’t like the way they do it. We don’t want to be complicit in the how. No thank you, no vote.

So, armed with the dollars and the drive, how do we introduce Basecamp 3 to more people? Who can we vote for to help us do this? The answer became clear: Our customers.

Why give money to Facebook, Google, and Twitter when we can give it right back to our customers? They’re better advocates for Basecamp than any ad we can write. They’re not a platform, they’re people who know other people who can surely benefit from Basecamp just like they are.

We want to cast millions of votes with our customers. We want to pay customers for customers. So that’s what we’re going to do.

Introducing the Basecamp 3 Referrer Program.

It’s simple. Refer someone to Basecamp, and we’ll PayPal you $50 cash. And that person you referred will save $50 on their first month. We’re basically splitting $100 — half to you to say thanks for sending someone our way, and half to them to say welcome aboard!

You don’t need to apply to be part of the referral program. All you need is a Basecamp 3 login. If you’ve got one of those, you’re already on board.

Just log into your Basecamp 3 account and look in the bottom right corner of your Home screen. You’ll see something like this:

Click it. Then you’ll see something like this:

Send your link to anyone you want. Or click one of the social sharing buttons below to spread the word on your social networks.

If someone signs up, pays, and remains a customer for at least 75 days, we’ll PayPal you $50. Easy peasy.

Designed differently

We used to have a referrer/affiliate program way back when, but it was complicated, you had to apply to be part of it, etc. We didn’t want to do it that way again. And many referrer programs pay you in credit towards the product you’re using. Problem with that is that if you’re on someone else’s Basecamp account, then your referral would give them credit. You wouldn’t see any of that cash. Not good either.

So we designed this program to pay cash to the person to referred, not credit to the account they’re part of. Now everyone can make a little something when they tell other people about Basecamp.

One for One

Ideally, we’d love to see every customer we have bring us just one more customer a year. That would be an amazing outcome.

Everyone’s gotta know at least one person who’s struggling at another small business with messy email chains, out of date files, stuff slipping through the cracks, constant hold-ups waiting for other people to get you information, and work scattered all over the place. Someone you know is swamped, and the tools they’re using are partially to blame. Let’s help them!

Save yourself $50 and do some good

If you aren’t already a Basecamp 3 customer, but you’ve been considering it, now’s a great time to try. Use my referrer link and you’ll save $50 off your first month. And I’ll donate the $50 that I’d be getting to the Chicago Food Depository.



Paying customers, not paying Facebook, Google, or Twitter. was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Original post by Jason Fried and software by Elliott Back