Asana is to 2012 what Microsoft was to 1982
OK, I’ll admit it. I’m an Asana fanboy. I’ve used a bunch of stuff to track personal and professional projects over the years. David Allen’s GTD plug-in for Outlook back in the day. Basecamp. RememberTheMilk. Various story tracking apps. While I liked all of these apps (at least at the time) none of them particularly resonated with me.
About a month ago I started using Asana and while I’ll stop short of saying it’s perfect software (there are a few things about it that drive me a little nuts at times) I will state for the record that I’m a raging fan. And while I was only six years old in 1982 when Microsoft was making its big splash in the market, from what I’ve read about that point in history it seems as if there are a lot of parallels between Asana today and Microsoft three decades ago.
Asana feels to me like it could become the next-generation operating system for business.
Why? Here are a few reasons to kick off the conversation:
Versatility – Prior to hopping on Asana we were using various apps at Entelo: Something for tracking non-technical projects, a story tracker, a bug tracker, a sales pipeline tool and a CRM app. It’s early so check back in a few months but as of right now we’re looking at consolidating four of those things into Asana. The only one we’re stopping short of is CRM but it’s not inconceivable that Asana could end up being our CRM system at some point.
For an early-stage company Asana has astounding versatility as can be seen in its best practice videos on Asana as a lightweight CRM, as an Applicant Tracking system and as a bug tracker. It may not be a perfect tool for each of those things but you know what else isn’t perfect? Switching between apps to handle a lot of things that have similar core functionality (pipelines, milestones, to-do management, etc.)
Speed – Damn, Asana is fast. Part of this is due to Luna, their in-house framework for writing web apps that they built to support Asana. It’s literally the fastest web app I’ve ever touched.
But it’s not just that. It’s also the power features of Asana that allow you to fly around the app. I’m a massive keyboard shortcut fan and would prefer to never use a mouse or trackpad if I didn’t have to. I’ve yet to find anything in Asana that requires me to use the mouse and that’s huge from a productivity standpoint.
Ease of Use – We onboarded a few people onto Asana in the last week and one of the immediate responses was “it’s really easy to use” which you typically don’t hear from people when you’re rolling out powerful software. One of our team members said it best, “Asana helps me stay more organized”. That’s a beautiful thing to hear as someone running a rapidly-scaling startup and gives me a lot of confidence that we can indeed build our business on it.
Admittedly it’s early. Maybe Asana won’t live up to the hype but so far, so good. And I think these guys have a massive vision for how they can change the world. It’s going to be fun to watch. And participate.
(Note: I don’t know anyone at Asana. This is purely me speaking as a fan of the software.)
(Note: When I say Microsoft, I distinctly mean the Microsoft of the early days. If anything, the Microsoft of today is the anti-Asana.)