by Justin Rosenstein
November 24th, 2009
The challenge of groups of people working together effectively is fundamental to human endeavor, but the state of the art falls far short of real efficiency. Despite advances like email and wikis, the friction and overhead of communication remain acutely painful to organizations large and small. Group leaders spend an enormous portion of their time trying to keep everyone on the same page, and knowledge workers struggle daily with inadequate, disparate tools to wrangle the information they need to do their jobs.
The technical hurdles to building the right system to address these problems are immense, and the design challenges subtle and complex. The Asana team has thought deeply about these problems for many years, in leadership roles at some of the world’s best software companies. We are undertaking an ambitious project to tackle them with a vision that reimagines the way people manage information, to speed up knowledge work and communication by an order of magnitude. This is not another enterprise application suite, nor is it an ajaxification of existing desktop software concepts; it is a new kind of software product, built for the Web from the ground up, with a focus on speed, collaboration, and ease of use.
To help us build the company, we’re bringing in Benchmark Capital and Andreessen-Horowitz. The partners at these firms bring a tremendous amount of experience building companies and helping entrepreneurs reach their goals. Benchmark is leading the $9 million round of funding, and Matt Cohler, with whom we already have a close, trusting relationship, will have a seat on the board. Andreessen-Horowitz is the only other VC firm participating, and we’ve already started enjoying the benefits of Marc’s and Ben’s great wisdom.
We plan to use the funding most immediately for growing our team. We’re currently mobilizing a group of world-class peers, and looking for passionate engineers and UI designers to join us. We need people to help us tackle some of the hardest software engineering and computer science problems, including developing a ground-breaking programming system that decimates the time required to build a web application end-to-end.