Why We Ditched Slack For Basecamp 3 by@emilhajric

Why We Ditched Slack For Basecamp 3

May 29th 2016 1,904 reads
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Emil Hajric

We were pretty late to implement Slack — We implemented it something like a year ago, and it’s been working pretty well, up until now.

Before I go on about why we ditched Slack for basecamp, maybe it’d make sense if I shared a little bit about who we are, what we do and how we do it.

We’re a small SaaS company of about 12 people and thousands of customers. We have one product (http://helpjuice.com), that we sell, and make around 7 figures in annual revenue.

We’ve been doing “this” for exactly 5 years now. Throughout the years, we tried email (when it was just me, sending myself emails as to-do items), basecamp (when we hired ~2–3 contractors), Trello, Hipchat, Hipchat + Trello (roughly when we were ~6 people), then Slack + Trello (~8 people), and now I’m honestly quite sick of it.

Here’s how we’ve been working so far; Once someone joins a company, we devote maximum attention to bring them up to speed with everything, and then start assigning them a bunch of tasks, and use Slack to communicate.

The problem with Slack is:

  • You check it more than Trello — you’re always hearing this noise. Yes, there’s a snooze button, but it’s really a lot like Facebook Messenger. Sometimes it’s easier to chat about a problem, yes. The problem is, you end up ‘tricking’ your brain (due to all the notifications pouring in, most of which are irrelevant & blabber) to constantly check Slack, and end up using it instead of Trello. You end up messaging people instead of checking the status of tasks on Trello

  • Everyone has a tendency to check-in and provide their thoughts — While this is a lot less likely to happen on Basecamp, the real issue with Slack is that it encourages conversation, which is great for team culture building, but not for getting shit done. With Slack the conversation ends up slipping away as it’s a free form conversation, rather than being tied to a specific subject, as it’s the nature of chatrooms.

  • You have no clue what’s going on in your company — Yes, you could say that Slack doesn’t solve this problem, and I’d agree with you. However, when using Slack, you’re so close to people that you do have a tendency to talk to them and understand what they’re working on, but you generally have a vague picture of what’s going on, from a project-stand point (how much progress is being made towards launching the redesign? what’s left to do? what’s next?).

While a lot of my points may sounds silly to someone using Slack, I think the beauty of Basecamp 3 is that it solves all these problems so well that you end up totally resonating with the viewpoint of having Project Management tools also be a place where: you can understand what’s going on in your company, have 1–1 convo’s re. specific topics, aswell as have a general chat & talk to your team mates.

I really like the idea of having mini-projects (e.g.: we have one for our ‘knowledge base’, where we talk about what content we’re going to write, how we’re going to structure it, design it — and actual work gets done there, rather than just talk)

Goodbye Trello, Goodbye Slack. Hello Basecamp 3.

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