Highrise 2015 — Getting Stuff Done

At the end of 2014, Highrise was spun-off from Basecamp so it could get some well deserved love, and boy did we give it some love last year.

I don’t how you guys accomplished so much. I really don’t. –dhh

One of the ways we’ve been able to accomplish a lot with such a small team (5 full-time, 1 part time) is by implementing a train schedule:

On day one, I established a train schedule — we’d make major announcements on a regular basis. If something isn’t ready, it misses the train. But an announcement is going out; something better be on it.

Another thing we try to make sure to do is to celebrate our successes. And the amount of improvement we’ve brought to Highrise over the last year is very much worthy of celebration. Here are just a few of our favorite things from 2015.

Top 3 we’re most proud of

These three level up the power you have in Highrise. We kept hearing from customers how important it was to make sure contacts were followed up with if they wrote in, how often people had to export contacts and spend more money to send emails from another tool, and that Deals could be so much more useful if they just had a bit more flexibility. Our solutions were Good Morning, Broadcast, and Deal custom fields.

Good Morning — your group inbox // 19-Oct


Broadcast — bulk email // 1-Dec


Deal custom fields // 16-Dec



But we’ve talked with so many customers and have heard many more important needs and insights. From those chats, we realized customers have too many steps getting data in and out of Highrise, so we’ve been nibbling away at them, making things more automatic and native to the tool itself. We’ve added things like the ability to connect directly to your Gmail account, and auto-forward all your mail from Gmail right into Highrise.

We also wanted to really extend our support for email. So we added the ability to help you collaborate and share important emails you find yourself sending over and over with:

And we rounded it all out with features you’d expect in a full class email client like:

We found we were often getting the same questions over and over, so we started making changes to the Highrise Help site, but found we really needed a complete redo. We released the new help site in July.

And once we did, we saw an immediate decrease in the number of tickets coming in. We love talking to our customers, but it’s even better when we can remove the step of having to reach out to us :).

Speaking of tickets, the number one thing that caused the most tickets is imports. There are so many ways an import can go wrong when trying to get data from one system into another. So we also completely redid how Imports work in Highrise. The biggest change was simply avoiding frustration with better indicators when we find something wrong.

And the number one feature request was an iOS app. We delivered a 5 star app early in 2015:


I have been using Highrise for many years and this new app is just the thing I’ve been waiting for!


Really, the above is just a few things we’ve done. We polished, tweaked, and improved so much more based on all the great feedback we’ve been getting. You can see the full (and much longer!) list on our blog.

And 2016 is going to see more of the same. Improvements to all the things we’ve already added, but we hear everyone loud and clear on what they need. Better reporting, an Android app, more powerful filters and custom fields. It’s all coming. 🙂

And if you haven’t checked Highrise out in awhile (or ever) now may be a good time! We’re just getting started.

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