37 Signals has been responsible for some impressive technology, including the original development of Ruby on Rails. The company has just announced that it plans to spin off all of its existing products except its project management tool Basecamp, which means a slightly uncertain future for customers using Campfire and Highrise.
The change — which includes switching the company name to Basecamp — was announced on the 37 Signals site. The main justification? Not wanting the company to become too large or too diverse.
"Because we've released so many products over the years, we've become a bit scattered, a bit diluted," CEO and founder Jason Fried wrote. "Nobody does their best work when they're spread too thin. We certainly don't. We do our best work when we're all focused on one thing."
The long-term plan is for business chat service Campfire and contact management app Highrise to be spun off as separate companies. Basecamp says that it will continue to run the services until that happens, but it seems likely some customers will end up choosing alternative platforms, especially if a buyer can't be found. In that scenario, Basecamp says the services will continue but won't be updated. (We actually just switched from using Campfire to HipChat here at Lifehacker.)