Remote tools podcast
Speaker 1: All suitable. I am so excited for you all to listen to this episode of Forward Considering Founders. Before we get started, I just wanted to let you understand that we're officially beginning an email list, as we have some huge plans for the podcast and we'll be telling people on the e mail list initially and in all probability only the people around the e mail list. So really feel free to sign up and get on the e mail list at f20r.com. That's F as in Frank, two, zero, R as in red, .com, and I'll see you more than there. Get a lot more details about task tools podcast
Speaker 1: All right. How is it going, absolutely everyone? Welcome to a further episode of Forward Considering Founders, where we're talking to founders about their companies, their visions for the future and the way to collide. Today, I am quite excited to be talking to John Xie, who's the CEO and co-founder of Taskade. John, welcome for the show.
John Xie: Yeah, thank you. Good to be here.
Speaker 1: Yeah, terrific to have you on. Let's just get correct into it. For people that do not know, are you able to explain what Taskade is?
John Xie: Yeah, positive. So, we built this genuinely crazy tool and it's a combination of several issues in one, but in the end, the vision has been to create a unified workspace for remote and distributed teams. And with Taskade, we produced it quite uncomplicated for teams to chat and video conference with one another, handle tasks and projects, but additionally write product specs and documents, all with one easy and elegant tool.
John Xie: And I assume one aspect that is genuinely beautiful about Taskade is the fact that it's not merely developed for real-time collaboration, it really is also asynchronous. So it may work across with various teams on different time zones. And the app at this time today is available on virtually every platform imaginable, from web, to desktop, to iOS and Android, to even possessing a Firefox and Chrome extension.
Speaker 1: Holy smokes. We'll have to go into that inside a second, just after we dive into several of the attributes and whatnot. But, oh wow, just about every platform. That's amazing.
Speaker 1: All proper, so let's stay around the product for now. So, can you go into many of the kind of some... I know you have got tons of capabilities for the reason that I've used Taskade, but can you go into a few of your favorite capabilities and also the strategies that teams can get benefit out of them on Taskade?
John Xie: Yeah, sure. So I believe the key components of Taskade will be the reality that you have the job management portion after which you also have the communication aspect of it. The projects on Taskade are extremely exceptional because it's almost like a piece of origami. You can generate a job list and after that you may transform it into a thoughts map with all the exact same information structure. After which one of the teammates could collaborate with you on the identical project but inside a column view, after which she or he has to switch it back into a process list view.
John Xie: When we began this thought, the concept was to assist visual thinkers and people which might be like me, which might be just crazy and cannot focus and concentrate, and have like a Schuyler brain, to be capable to program, organize and seriously concentrate on the huge picture, but also seriously be able to drill down and believe modest and write issues down and break it into tiny actionable steps.
John Xie: So Taskade truly is like an outlining tool at its core, that may be extremely flexible, actually real time, having a chat and communication element attached to it. That's essentially a chat space subsequent to your project.
Speaker 1: All ideal, so we're going to part play slightly, mainly because I'm not by far the most ... or I am a person that certainly needs a tool within this category of organization and communication. And I am kind of one of these people that scatterbrained a bit bit. I've some papers over there, I've some stuff on Google docs, whatever.
Speaker 1: So, I am curious, for people like what you just talked about which have a scatterbrain, let's say they're founders, become a founder. What could be your guidance or suggestions on what to perform on Taskade initial? What to add in initially? The way to get one of the most out of it inside the beginning, then the best way to ramp up? I'm curious in case you were just giving me advice as a potential user.
John Xie: Yeah, sure. So I feel one thing that we truly encourage new customers and new teams to perform is the fact that you start off off with one of our existing templates, proper? And then from there on, really attempt to get to learn a few of the simple keyboard shortcuts, like tab and shift-tab to outdent and indent, and be able to collapse and un-collapse distinctive sections within your document, inside your process list. And certainly, playing about using the diverse views and components.
John Xie: It may well sound extremely complicated, but in reality, we genuinely attempt our finest to help keep this product as easy and as elegant as you possibly can, simply because we understand, obtaining built and designed products for buyers in the previous, that actually the second you make items even two or 3 clicks away, no one will ever find out it.
John Xie: But considering the fact that day one, I think for us, Taskade has been created for remote and distributed teams which might be hunting to genuinely just get factors accomplished and get operate completed, from ideation all of the strategy to completion. So being able to brainstorm, outline then commence to tracking the task, assigning the process and syncing that along with your calendar. And then going back for the exact same precise app, to ping your teammates to acquire an update, and to ticking that box off and checking it off and finishing it.
John Xie: And I feel now you see teams undertaking this across multiple tools. And we ourselves have constantly been hacking with each other a lot of diverse tools in order to get this performed. And that's where the original notion came about, combining collaboration with communication around tasks and notes and finding function performed.
Speaker 1: So, you probably don't like when people make comparisons like this. So just for understanding, I'm going to create it.
Speaker 1: Would you say you are sort of like a Slack plus Asana combined with the identical backend and flow that communicate with every other and seamlessly? Can you describe it like that?
John Xie: Yeah, certain. I think in quite a few strategies, we have a whole lot of teams coming to Taskade from products like Asana, products like Trello, and then they were using Taskade for communication within the pretty starting, but not to the sense that it is hashtag channel-based, right? Like Slack where it gets a lot more focused around, I assume, group chat or team discussions.
John Xie: With Taskade, conversation and discussion is generally inside context and significantly additional focused about a project you're working on. And that was aspect of our philosophy where, okay, if you'd like to chat and you desire to socialize and also you desire to possess a sense of a community and belonging, you are able to do that with numerous distinctive group chat tools. But for us you'll be able to essentially video conference on the project itself. You can also reference the job that you're working on on a project as you're chatting. But it's not about chit-chat, and yeah, in many strategies, our users come across it much better than obtaining a group chat tool due to the way that we've made communication on Taskade, and we'll continue to really enhance that as we go forward.
John Xie: With regards to the Asana comparison, I consider it is a stunning product. I believe that the reality will be the company has been around for 10 years. They've a lot of technical debt within their product, nevertheless it is incredibly powerful, and I think for teams like ourselves and nimbler teams which might be technical at the same time as product-driven you definitely don't need to have 90% in the options that's there. And to Taskade is often like... The original mindset was possibly it can be better to just start out a new, and start out with a fresh plate, and come with a brand new product thought built on a modern Slack, with writing in mind first and foremost, not just adding one job assignment at a time. And truly giving users that natural feeling of pen and paper for tasks and communication and collaboration. That is the thesis.
John Xie: But, yeah, so you're employing, I assume, Asana and Slack are the bigger or the largest, many of the largest players in this space at this time.
Speaker 1: Well, I believe what's exciting is the fact that they may be major players. There's tons of big players. It is like big space, giant industry, a great deal of players. But you happen to be tackling more than one location of it, which I feel is exciting. And as a way to do that, it sounds like you've taken this technique of getting everywhere. What I imply by that is certainly, I am on your website at this time and it says, "Download our apps on iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Chrome, and Firefox."
Speaker 1: I'm curious how... I do not even know what to ask. How long did it take to make out all of those? And much more importantly, the greater question is, why did you begin with all of them? Or did you not, and that's just recently? I'm curious to hear ethos about it, developing there on each of the platforms.
John Xie: Yeah, confident. I believe considering that day one, it was extremely essential for us to create a tool that is scalable and accessible across each platform, for the reason that we're designing for teams which are distributed for teams that might be collaborating with clients. And you could be on iOS, they may be on Android. You may be a person that stayed inside the office all day. I could be a person that is definitely traveling a whole lot. And with Taskade, since day one, it was component of our foundation when we were designing product specs and technical specs. And fortunately, there is certainly technologies currently that allows us to actually scale across platforms.
John Xie: And 1st and foremost we are web primarily based, appropriate? But then we're in a position to create a web-based product natively for every platform due to technologies like React, to React Native and so on and so forth. But, yeah, it truly is anything that is definitely incredibly challenging, and most people when talking to us earlier onset, "No way you guys are going to frigging do this." And we were in a position to definitely pull this with each other inside a matter of a year plus a half or so using a quite little team. But even within the pretty starting, we bootstrapped the company for, I would say, virtually six, seven, eight months ahead of we even had a single check or interest from angel investors.
Speaker 1: I wish to get into an region that we do not talk about a lot around the podcast that is operating the group and managing that group and whatnot, even though the team is like you and also a couple other people. So, let's talk about this.
Speaker 1: Within the final year in addition to a half as you constructed out all of those, how major was your team? And just for context, how huge is your team now? Has it changed or you still staying super lean?
John Xie: Yeah, positive. So we began off with 3 co-founders, Stan, Deon and myself. Then as we began creating this product out, we scaled to 5 people total. And currently we're nine total. The group has been totally distributed considering the fact that day one. Stan is primarily based in Singapore. Sheila, our first engineering employ, she is primarily based in Philippines. Ellis is primarily based in Malaysia. And after that, most recently, we added even more members for the team that happen to be spread across.
John Xie: So for us, we are dogfooding our own product. And seriously, in terms of operations, when it comes to truly understanding the aspect of remote perform and distributed teams, we don't even feel about it in a sense of our clients, because many people tell me remote collaboration to them could be the fact that they are operating across the constructing, across the street, or on a different floor, simply because they don't have time to book an office, suitable? Or meeting room. But for us, seriously, it really is across various instances zones and figuring out tips on how to best optimize for the time that you just do have face-to-face with every other for real time.
John Xie: After which I believe one philosophy that I definitely do think in is the reality that real-time occasionally, but asynchronous collaboration the majority of the time. And that has worked seriously properly for us. And also, I assume one point that really aids is the truth that Stan, Deon and I, we are all gamers. Deon and I really met online playing Star Traveler in middle school. Dan discovered out we were neighbors in Queens, and that's how I began functioning collectively. And Stan is really a substantial Dota fan, Dota 2 fan and I think for us we're like, "Okay, games have currently figured this notion out with regards to multiplayer, when it comes to how to generate this sense of neighborhood and to scale." And we wanted to bring a whole lot of those components in to the workplace, into job management, into acquiring things performed. Yeah.
Speaker 1: I desire to deviate a bit bit and go down that rabbit hole slightly. I've been thinking the rabbit hole of games. I am interested to hear, what do you see going on in... Nicely, actually sorry, ahead of I ask any of that, are you paying attention at all to the gaming market and Esports or any of that or are you currently quite heads down on Taskade?
John Xie: I will say no. We had been surely usually maintaining our eyes open, something tech connected, yeah.
Speaker 1: Got it, okay. So I'd just love your thoughts on what's happening in EA sports and what's... I do not know and where do you consider it's going? I am fascinated with that entire world and I think once VR catches as much as it, we're going to become live inside the future for confident. So, I am just curious, what are your thoughts on Esports and where do you believe it's going and are you currently involved with Esports at all?
John Xie: Yeah, no, positive. It's really funny you simply brought up VR because just after YC we were like, let's take a compact break. We truly purchased the Oculus Quest and then Deon began designing Taskade UX and mockups instead of Oculus Quest. I consider it was the brush paint or one on the paint ups in 3D. I believed that was hilarious and we've got screen captured it, but we actually do consider that the way that gaming has evolved, it is usually been like driving multiplayer and this concept of decrease latency forward, to bring people collectively irrespective of exactly where you will be.
John Xie: But with Esports and with all the launch of league of legends one example is, it definitely developed this complete ecosystem of like people taking games seriously. And I believe that will continue on. It is just a matter of time exactly where this becomes even more and much more mainstream. I'd say within VR itself although, I have not observed something that definitely took off with regards to multiplayer within the VR ecosystem but I do assume that could change. One thing that which is watchable, as entertainment but also inside the VR round. That'll be actually frigging exciting. And I am searching forward to it.
Speaker 1: Yeah. I personally am waiting for... well, not necessarily waiting, but working for the day where I amass some amount of wealth after which I'll 100% open up a sandbox VR franchise in Phoenix, Arizona. And just sort of make... If I nonetheless live in Phoenix and just make that the spot for VR Esports, if it is feasible. I see sandbox VR performing their factor and I just assume it is so fascinating of recognizing the power of VR. I am really interested to find out what is going to occur in that. Not inside the subsequent 5 years but far more so within the next 15. I believe in 15 years we're going to possess some truly intriguing stuff.
Speaker 1: And anyways, so you are maybe the seventh or eighth particular person non coincidentally that is come onto the podcast which has this interest in remote operate, the remote movement. And I am sort of just curious, I never assume I've ever asked this before, why is remote happening now and how far do you feel it's going to go?
John Xie: Positive. I believe for us when we began developing Taskade, there is this complete movement, basically it didn't start off truly taking place back in early 2017 and in 2016. But for me personally, even for the duration of higher school when I was developing my very first company, my team was just like fully remote because I had to go to school and I was operating a business with people in Canada, in the US, in India and using what ever technologies achievable so as to function with them. And at that time I remembered there was the PalmPilot. Then there was the Blackberry. There was also like a Windows mobile phone. And just technology was not there however to produce operate achievable and to produce remote operate and distributed actually probable.