When Facebook was just starting out, Mark Zuckerberg may have been the idea man, but Dustin Moskovitz was the guy who kept things running. Moskovitz talked little, liked yoga and wanted to keep the flow. He built apps to help Facebook employees work as efficiently as possible.
Today, Moskovitz is unveiling something much bigger than an app, the much-anticipated “Asana,” his big stab at productivity software, which he thinks can help workers, for the first time, organize basic tasks and to-do lists at work in one place. Asana means “yoga pose.”
Reviews so far have been mixed. TechCrunch readers declared it clean and fast, but said the features were too similar to other productivity products already out there. New York Times called it a “souped-up to-do list.” Bloomberg Businessweek said it was Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein’s, a programming prodigy who is Asana’s co-founder, “quest for flow.”
Rosenstein describes what they are trying to achieve with Asana to Bloomberg Businessweek this way: “It’s that state you get into when you’re working, when you’re doing something creative, where you lose track of time, you forget who you are... You’re just in the zone working on that one thing.”
Bloomberg Businessweek says this is what psychologists call “flow.” People can accomplish great things when they achieve flow, but in order to get to that almost-magical place, a person’s task needs to be clear, their mind de-stressed.
Asana, with its abilities to handle a person’s many to-do lists, e-mails and projects — breaking them into tasks, which can be assigned and tracked and added to — thinks it can do just that.
Below, watch a video from Asana to understand the basics: