Jason Fried

June 16, 2021

HEY turns 1, Happy Birthday HEY!

One year ago, we launched HEY, our brand new email service, with a huge waitlist, some Tweets and a 37-minute video tour.

Launching a paid email service was strange thing to do, and a long-ass video was an odd way to do it. It was also a surprising change of direction for us. While we used to have a number of different products, a few years ago we committed to going all-in on one product, Basecamp, even renaming the company from 37signals to Basecamp to make the point.

But then something happened. We had an itch. So we scratched it. And scratched some more, and started to like the feeling. And then we found ourselves putting our faith in eventually. It felt like we were on to something as we chased that feeling. That's one of the beautiful things about being an independent company — you can take chances no one would give you permission to take. We didn't have to ask a board, or beg a VC to go along for the ride. We just felt it, so went ahead and made HEY.

We're so glad we did. And we clearly struck a nerve. Email was ready for a shake-up and a re-think (email has never done stuff like this before). We even had some fun playing David vs. Goliath in the HEY vs. Apple saga. We pulled hard for small developers, and we hope we made a positive change.

Today, on HEY's one year anniversary, we're honored to have tens of thousands of paying customers, with more joining all the time. We've never seen a product grow this quickly, or be so well received so fast. And with the launch of HEY for Domains, we're now welcoming small businesses and their employees on the platform too. What a rush it's been!

Based on customer suggestions, internal intuition, and new ideas from all over, we've made huge strides to improve HEY over the last year. Here's a running list of just some of the updates we've shipped. We're looking forward to continuing to improve, evolve, and surprise over the next year. And, of course, for many, many years after that, just as we've done with Basecamp for more than 17 years. And HEY won't be all we're improving — Basecamp 4 is on the horizon as well.

Designing, building, launching, and supporting HEY was a full-company effort. I wanted to thank everyone who played a part, including former colleagues who've since moved on. Your work was instrumental to getting HEY off the ground, and helping guide it in the early days. Thank you.

And to our customers: Much thanks and appreciation. You took a chance on us, you put your faith in us, and you've supported us by paying for HEY. As a company entirely funded by customer revenues, this means the world to us. Thank you. We will continue to do our best to improve, impress, and earn your continued business. We hope HEY has helped you get your email back under control, and, with that, hopefully you've been able to free up some time and attention for more important things in life.

Yes, it's the middle of 2021, and an odd time to wish everyone a great year, but it feels like it's a new beginning. Thanks for being part of ours, and we hope we can continue being part of yours.

If you haven't tried HEY yet, I'd like to invite you to give it a try. HEY comes with a 14-day free trial, no obligation, and while you'll get your very own @hey.com email address, you can forward email in from your existing address so you won't have to ask anyone to change the email address they already have for you. Today's as perfect a day as ever to finally get your email life back under control. And once you Focus & Reply, I bet there's a good chance you'll never go back to the old way.

All the best.


About Jason Fried

Hey! I'm Jason, the Co-Founder and CEO at 37signals, makers of Basecamp and HEY. Subscribe below to follow my thinking on business, design, product development, and whatever else is on my mind. Thanks for visiting, thanks for reading.