“And therein lies the real problem of web 2.0 — whether it takes the form of SEO-driven “news” or crowd-sourced accommodation. To make money — real money — at this game you have to attract millions, or tens of millions, of users. And when you’re dealing with those kinds of numbers, it’s literally impossible not to treat your users as pieces of data. It’s ironic, but depressingly unsurprising, that web 2.0 is using faux socialization and democratization to create a world where everyone is reduced to a number on a spreadsheet.”—
I had a conversation with Tyler about project management software the other day, because I invited him to start using Asana to start keeping track of features and ideas for our app.
Tyler was vehemently opposed to any kind of project management software.
Having used a number of tools (basecamp, pivotal tracker, redmine), I’m inclined to agree. But Asana has such a sexy UI that I thought maybe this was the one, this is how project management should be, we should take time to carefully list, monitor and track what we’re building.
This, of course, is wrong.
In the context of startups, project management tools will always suck. If you are using a PM tool then you are not designing, coding, or communicating with customers. You are not even communicating with your team. You are putting an abstraction layer between you and your team, effectively saying “I prefer to engage with this UI which makes me feel valuable and productive because I make lists and assign tasks” instead of actually engaging with the people building the product.
Getting e-mails that say “UserName has assigned you task: XXXXXX” sucks. Developers and designers aren’t fucking robots. They are literally a highly valuable class of modern artisans. If you give them shit like this it’s pretty damn boring and they’ll quickly find other places to work.
So, Asana is pretty, but if you feel compelled to start down the rabbit-hole that is project management, remember that you could (and should) be coding, designing, or selling something, not making lists that few will read that will soon be forgotten.
The business justification for this wild-ass effort is likely not obvious, so I’ll define it: the act of exploration is as valuable as the act of building.
Exploration is hard to justify because it’s hard to measure. When exploration is complete, you often have nothing to hold up to your project manager to explain or justify the expenditure of time. Here’s what you tell them, “My job isn’t just building product; I also build people.”
Google+:HI I FOUND ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND PEOPLE YOU KNOW ON GOOGLE+
Me:...I don't know any of these people. I've never heard of these people.
Google+:THESE ARE YOUR FRIENDS
Me:No, I've never seen these people before in my life.
Google+:GOOGLE+ SAYS THESE ARE YOUR FRIENDS THESE ARE ALL YOUR GOOGLE+ FRIENDS NOW DO NOT FUCK WITH GOOGLE+ GOOGLE+ TALKS TO GOOGLE STREET VIEW SO GOOGLE+ KNOWS WHERE YOU LIVE DO NOT FUCK WITH GOOGLE+ THESE ARE YOUR FRIENDS NOW YOUR ONLY FRIENDS GOOGLE+ SAYS SO ALSO YOUR NEW GOOGLE+ NAME IS "BITCHTITS"