Shape Up Forum

HEY and the Shape Up method

I’ve always been curious about how to apply Shape Up to much bigger projects, something like HEY. @rjs did Basecamp shape up HEY? How did you apply Shape Up to such a gigantic project (did I hear it took 2 years)?

(P.S. Congrats and great work Basecamp team on that new product!)

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It pre-dates Shape Up by quite a bit, but you might find some answers in this article by Ryan:

Managing Product Development by Integrating Around Concerns

I’ll check that out! Thank you @briandrum.

We used Shape Up 100% for Hey.

6 weeks at a time! That’s the whole idea. Choose what is most important first, make a six week commitment, then pick the next most important thing. We never made a specific commitment longer than six weeks, except for the broad commitment that some number of cycles would go toward Hey instead of Basecamp.

For a while, the first set of cycles were purely R&D cycles. That means the work wasn’t really shaped, and the shaping and building happened in a blurry mix. Then once the key points of the design were settled, we switched into what we call “Production mode” with standard shaping, betting, building. Finally in the last couple cycles we ran in “Clean up” mode where there isn’t any specific shaping or betting, just a free-for-all to fix as many small things as possible.

Details on those three modes on this Twitter thread:


take a look at this episode of FullstackRadio

Jason Fried gave a few examples about how they are using Basecamp to manage the work for


Amazing! Thanks @rjs.

Awesome! I’ll check that out @Jeff. Thanks.