Photo: Flickr/Mari Smith
Given how much time the average person spends at work, why should we spend it fighting with our software tools?Asana co-founders Justin Rosenstein and Dustin Moskovitz say you shouldn’t. And they are leading the charge to make enterprise software sexy again.
Rosenstein and Moskovitz hail from Facebook (Moskovitz as co-founder and Rosenstein as one of its top programmers).
Their startup, Asana, is a Web tool that helps groups manage projects. It’s free for groups with less than 30 people, but their premium version is aimed at enterprises.
“Historically software for business was seen as unsexy because the products were seen as so poor — they provided such a poor user experience,” Rosenstein says.
Asana is bringing all the design skills used in consumer software, like Facebook, to their tool. (Here’s a peek at Asana)
The problem, as Rosenstein sees it, is that enterprise software is sold to the CIO — not to the people who would then be forced to use it.
“That leads to the company with the best sales team — rather than the best software — winning deals,” he says. “These days there’s a trend where people can just decide what tools they want to use. So we are entering a world where the best software wins.”
In fact, Asana’s entire sales strategy is to get workgroups to pick it and when enough people are using it, IT will come calling to upgrade.
Asana isn’t alone. Tons of tools are coming into the business through the employee backdoor: Yammer, Dropbox, Prezi …
“There’s more excitement in the past few years about consumer software but people are starting to see that beautifully designed software that helps people achieve their work goals is incredibly sexy,” says Rosenstein.