Hi @Diakoptis, thanks for your kind words regarding Instagantt!
I’ll take this opportunity to share my feelings and explain my point of view, as a developer and as an Asana partner, about the impact of this situation. I have received a lot of messages asking similar questions, and a lot of support from current users, so I think this is a good opportunity to answer all questions.
First of all, I want to say that Asana has been incredibly transparent all the time. JR (Justin Rosenstein) shared his vision and showed me the early mockups of the Timeline view almost a year and a half ago. He has been a great mentor and has always encouraged me to build great things. I think like I was the first non-Asana-employee to know about this feature a long time ago.
@Matt_Bramlage and @Jeff_Schneider has been always incredibly helpful and they are doing an amazing job on the API side. We work together to sort things out very quickly, like bugs or requirements. We have a direct communication channel along with monthly meetings. And we’re still working together! And all the people behind behind the API, both engineers and PMs have been very supportive.
@Shannon_McNeil and @Kaitie were also incredibly helpful on the early days of Instagantt. They even helped me writing the first Instagantt help guide! They share their thoughts, and exposes customers needs.
I know that the Sales team and the entire CS team always sent customers to Instagantt, and I think they will keep doing this when there are advanced or power users who needs more than the Timeline view.
With that said, I just want to point out that as you mentioned, the Asana culture and the people behind it are incredible, smart, and kind. I feel that we built a pure relation without expecting anything from the other side. We’re not even running any Revenue Share model, considering that the customers, product, brand, and reputation of Instagantt wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Asana (as I already described).
Instagantt was one of the first 3rd party apps built for Asana. It started 5 or 6 years ago when the API didn’t even had OAuth, and Asana was just about 30 employees. I have seen the team growth and I have always keep the good relation with all the collaborators.
Building on top of Asana
I know and understand what you’re mentioning, and I can read the fear you feel when deciding to publish a new app. How this story ends? I will still encourage developers to build on Asana.
You can think that I’m crazy, but I’ll explain this.
Asana has a vision: help humanity thrive making their work effortless. And you need to understand that this people are passionate about this. This means that their strategy and their product will evolve to whatever it needs to help their mission.
There are 2 categories where you can build apps: Making a feature and Solving a use case.
Making a feature
When you make a feature, you must know that there’s a risk of having this feature built-in at some point. There are many 3rd party apps for Asana that had a similar situation: Hill88 (the first mobile app for Asana), Kansana (Kanban boards for Asana), Templana (templates for Asana). Then Asana launched their mobile app, then they introduced Boards, and then they introduced Templates. All of these are examples of features that could be turned into core-functions at some point. And Instagantt is in this category.
Is it going to die? The answer is no. We will keep working on delight our customers with the features they need. I have never shared our numbers publicly, so this is the first time: We have 4.000 paying companies. For some of them the Asana Timeline is perfect and enough for their needs, but for some others they need the advanced features of Instagantt to manage their projects. And we have already seen this As @Matt_Bramlage pointed out we will release a Standalone Version soon, which is great for the people not using Asana. Fortunately this situation happened at a point where the product is super mature, so we have a lot people that will stick to it. As a Product Manager building products cross-industry and not for niches, it’s impossible to satisfy 100% the needs of your customers when you’re on different industries. It’s common to think of Pareto. “We will satisfy the 80% of customers that will benefit from 20% of the features from a niche-app”. And the rest can be solved by others, like Instagantt.
Developers building apps to solve Use Cases
This is where you’re probably safe. Asana is not thinking in one industry or solving specific use cases. So if you’re building a specific app for solving a specific use case (Inventory management, Purchase orders, HR, etc) you’re good to go!
This is why I will encourage developers to keep building on top of Asana.
1.- The team behind it is the best
2.- They are pursuing a real mission. And they will do whatever it takes to accomplish it.
3.- I believe that Asana will be the Google of Search engines and the Gmail of mails. Remember the year 2000 where you had tens of search engines and google pushing from the side?
4.- If you’re building a feature that could be easily turned a core-feature, you must be aware of the risk.
5.- I’m pretty sure that Asana will have a marketplace (a la Salesforce). Being an early member of the marketplace is an incredible opportunity (business speaking).
I have received many messages trying to build a scandal from this situation, and I’m rejecting them all. I don’t have bad feelings about this. This has happened many times in other companies, like when Github released the “Projects” feature and Zenhub was the leading provider of “Project Management on top of Github”. They are alive, growing, with an amazing product where many Github users still prefer.
We will keep developing for Asana. We’re launching Dependencies integration this weekend and a UX update next week. And we will launch the Standalone version soon too.
I’ll invite developers to explore Asana, to get in touch with their team, and to build products wisely. To understand the risks of building a just a feature, and understand the difference of building a “use case”.
I’ll be happy to answer any questions
PS: @Matt_Bramlage, I’m done writing