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Asana as an Indicator

Recently I had a pleasure pf reviewing Asana (asana.com), the software that promises to build “the modern way to work together”. In addition to using it, I will be following the company and track their adoption numbers. I believe they are giving us one of the best indicators of the things to come in general.

What is the most distinctive feature of Asana? It’s fast. It is very basic in the way it can be configured, it expects the team members self-organize using the tags, the feature set is grossly inferior to almost any system on desktop. It is however remarkably fast, faster than typing in vi running from your local SSD. It is for people who won’t waste time to reach for the mouse, who use Mac OS from command line, whose typing speed makes Tetris players and machine-gun makers envious, and who think even faster. A Facebook co-founder and an their engineering lead created the system for themselves and a few people they know.

The main “Customer Hypothesis” of Asana is that the sufficient number of teams will find such remarkable speed a major advantage to the degree they will bother bombarding Asana with features suggestions. If that happen, they will have a unique advantage of receiving suggestions from the most efficient users – while others are implementing 250 features necessary to work relatively slow, Asana will be implementing 5 features necessary to work fast.

Are there enough people like that? By betting their success on emergence of new enterprise culture that combines innovation, self-organisation and high intensity of work Asana became an indicator of such culture. Any serious traction they get with enterprise customers will be an indication of upcoming major disruptive changes.

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