Home » Startup Resources » Product Management » Of clients vs customers and why Basecamp doesn’t sell on per seat basis #SAASPricing

Of clients vs customers and why Basecamp doesn’t sell on per seat basis #SAASPricing

Basecamp pricing strategy
Basecamp growth secret
Basecamp growth secret

Basecamp is one heck of a growth business and the company has been known for its red eyed focus on minimalistic features that appeals to its target customer base.

As part of its focus, the company recently shared how the simplistic pricing strategy has actually helped them stay focused even at the cost of losing some big $$.

Basecamp pricing strategy
Basecamp pricing strategy

Why no per seat pricing for Basecamp?

The problem with per-seat pricing is that it by definition makes your biggest customers your best customers. With money comes influence, if not outright power. And from that flows decisions about what and who to spend time on. There’s no way to be immune from such pressure once the money is flowing. The only fix is to cap the spigot.

And that’s the difference between a ‘client’ and a ‘customer’. In Basecamp’s words :

We weren’t going to have clients, we were going to have customers. And lots of them. All pretty much equal in their contribution to the business.

Keeping the product under your own control

Many SAAS companies eventually give in to customer’s demands and end up building specific features based on demands from top customers clients

First, since no one customer could pay us an outsized amount, no one customer’s demands for features or fixes or exceptions would automatically rise to the top. This left us free to make software for ourselves and on behalf of a broad base of customers, not at the behest of any single one.

We sell to the Fortune 5,000,000 and let others worry about the Fortune 500. (source)

Beautiful ?

Well yes – not sure how many companies can afford to be so ballsy, but Basecamp definitely is an inspiration to look up to!

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