Are you looking for an answer or are you asking about impact?

The question has everything to do with the answer

“What’s one thing you love about Basecamp?”

“What’s the one thing you like least about Basecamp?”

“If you could change one thing about Basecamp, what would it be?”

“Would you recommend Basecamp to a friend or colleague?”

We’ve asked these questions before. They’re ok, but ultimately they’re pretty self-serving. We wanted people to talk about us. What are we doing well, poorly, etc. We were getting answers. That’s what most companies are after when they ask questions — they’re looking for answers about themselves.

But answers are easy to come by. What’s more interesting is impact and outcomes. What kind of impact is Basecamp having on people’s lives? What’s changing for the better at companies that run on Basecamp 3? That’s what I really wanted to know.

So on our latest survey we shifted the question outward. If you want to get people talking, ask them about themselves.

So we asked “What’s changed for the better since you started using Basecamp? and, wow, impact came streaming in. Nearly 4000 people responded in just a matter of days — making it one of our most successful surveys ever. But it was what they said that really mattered…

And about 990 more…

If you read through the responses you’ll see patterns — accountability has increased, people know what’s happening inside their company now, business owners are on top of things again, things are getting done with fewer errors, stuff is going in one place rather than all over the place, people have been able to jettison a cobbled together mess of multiple tools to standardize on one, etc.

None of these are specific features of Basecamp — they are all outcomes. They are the result of impact the product had on a given company’s workflow and lifestyle.

And yes, a webpage that goes on forever with 1,000 quotes isn’t meant to be read from top to bottom. We obviously know that. But if you play scroll roulette, and end up anywhere on that page, you’ll get something good out of it. That, plus the sheer volume of positive outcomes, impacts, and good feels, is the point.

So next time you’re setting out to get some answers, make sure you consider the question first. What’s it going to prompt? Answers about you, or answers about them?

2017’s right around the corner. Going to let your hair burn for another year? Or time to put out the fire once and for all? Business doesn’t have to be crazy. You don’t have to run around with your hair on fire. Get off the conveyor belt or crazy and come over to the calm, organized, sane way to work: Basecamp 3. It’s free to try. Bring accountability, organization, and discipline to your business.