Episode 10 Summary: Feb 2014 – May 2014

Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein

At the end of every “Episode” of work at Asana, each team writes a summary of the work they’ve accomplished to share with the company. We’ve synthesized the highlights from the episode into this post to help you follow along with our progress.

Asana TeamAsana is steadily becoming an essential piece of infrastructure for the best teams around the world, across the most innovative industries including tech, healthcare, and education. In Episode 10, customer growth accelerated, and today, thousands of companies across every continent but one are running their business on Asana.

We want Asana to be a product that you rely on every day. In Episode 10, we moved closer to that goal: we made major investments in our application infrastructure, ran more growth and user experiments than ever, expanded our team in critical areas, including mobile, and began working on some major new features you’ll be hearing about soon.

Keeping Asana stable and fast

At Asana, we describe our priorities as “security before stability before performance before features.” In keeping with that focus, we made a number of vital enhancements to Asana’s security, stability, and scalability. The most notable work we did in this area involved database sharding, which is key to better performance as we grow rapidly to support more teams and more data. We plan to keep going, too — in this episode, we’ll be working on several near-term enhancements, and a bigger project that involves some updates to Luna, our in-house application framework.

We also dedicated a lot of development time to new functionality. Most of what we’re working on is still behind-the-scenes, but we’re incredibly eager to share some major new features and mobile updates with you soon, so stay tuned here…

Growth experiments, content, and support

Understanding how teams work and communicate about work is something we’re dedicating a lot of time to. Our Growth team and newly-created User Research team spent Episode 10 solidifying user research processes and running more experiments than we ever have before. Their research is already informing new product development. Meanwhile, our Design team put the finishing touches on a visual design update that we expect to roll out across all of Asana in this and the next episode. You’ll notice the new design in our emails, the Guide, and some new features.

Following the Episode 9 launch of the Guide, the Marketing team spent Episode 10 generating new content and developing in-product marketing capabilities to inform users of new product features. Meanwhile, our User Operations team continued to grow while providing top-notch support to users at all levels and stages of their lifecycle. We’ve also implemented a process for asking customers to rate our support in order to improve our content and training even more.

10 for 10

We welcomed 10 new asanas to the team in Episode 10 (not including our 10 summer interns!), filling critical roles across the company, including our new Infrastructure lead, Prashant Pandey. We also rolled out a number of employee benefits and successfully moved our entire team to a new floor in our building that we’ve been working on for several months. As is the case in most companies, our Recruiting, HR, and Facilities teams do the unsung, yet critical, jobs that allow us to grow while maintaining a great work environment.

We closed a really solid episode of progress and momentum-building and look forward to sharing some pretty exciting new functionality with you in Episode 11.

      1. avatarEmily Kramer Asana Team Member

        Big news about mobile is coming this summer. Stay tuned. We did dedicate a lot energy and resources to mobile in E10, and we will remain dedicated to mobile in future Episodes. We can’t wait to share with you what we’ve been working on!

  1. avatarKarkuvel

    Well episode summaries are getting shorter(for episode 8 we had a google document where you have listed each and every activity, whether it was deferred or completed etc..), I wish you could give us some thing more in detail as Episode summary is the ONE and ONLY way Asana communicates with USERS .Mobiie was your priority from the end of Episode 9 till now, could you pls update us USERS on the progress. TEAM ASANA you have already set very high standards in the past and now it is difficult to see you climbing down from there. Looking fwd to a detailed summary.
    I dont want to take away anything away from the quality of the product or the stability/Security of ASANA, what pains me is this approach of interacting with your users, the mail replies are consistent what is not is the activities and the progress of ASANA which is becoming confidential to us. hope this concern will be addressed

    1. avatarEmily Kramer Asana Team Member

      We scaled back the End of Episode summary last Episode, and instead have decided to just share the highlights in an effort to make this process more scalable, while still being as transparent as possible. We do try to keep you updated on our progress and process throughout each Episode on the blog, stay tuned for updates about what we are working on in E11.

      1. avatarKarkuvel

        Thanks Emily, also looking fwd to the mobile app this summer(hopefully that means latest 30th Sept). I hope you guys launch ios and android versions together.

  2. avatarPhil Wolff

    Antarctica? A worthy goal! Expensive, spiky, bursty connectivity (think sat-phone). Power sometimes switches to backups.

    1. Add off-line mode for web and mobile apps.

    2. Compress better. Connectivity is costly at the poles. Elsewhere too on mobile devices in the developing world. So compress data before transmission to avoid chewing into the tiniest data caps you can imagine.

    3. Desktop apps for Linux, Mac, Windows. Quel retro but self-sufficiency is needed when it’s just you and your penguins. Think Skype, Pocket, Evernote.

    4. Asana Satellite. Install-it-yourself customer-run locally-hosted Asana servers. They function autonomously during long interruptions; sync code and data as connectivity permits with the Asana mother ship. Bonus points when they can sync with each other.

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