Trello : A solution in search of a problem


Yesterday, I read Joel’s post on the recent launch of Trello & on how Trello is different.  Curious, I headed over to Trello to find FogBuzz’s take on the the “Boards concept”.  FogBuzz has a unique take on Boards.  It screams project/task management!

I arrived, ready to drink the Kool-aid.  I registered, then was met with a sample board.  I had a “now what?” feeling.  I started watching the intro videos and proceeded to play around with a board, creating notes, and trying other nifty features.  All very cool and nifty.  Then I had the overwhelming feeling, “Am I just geeking out here?”.

See, its greatest advantage (and weakness) appears to be that it appears to be a platform which can be tweaked for any simple project management/task management with good deal of collaboration & social features sprinkled around for good measure.

So I am sitting here thinking, task/project management means planning.  And planning means thinking & collaboration.  It may not be critical thinking but still more than non-thinking activities like browsing & instant messaging.  And the average Joe is not going to dream up scenarios whence he can use Trello.

If a user is already using Trello to manage his tasks, then he would feel enough comfort/mastery to try to tweak it for other purposes.  By making the platform horizontal, it is akin to telling a programmer, “we are giving you the shiniest tools on the most versatile platform running running on the fastest machines!”  And what can you build with it you ask, “how about an eponymous blogging platform which nobody will use!” Greeaaaatttt!  Unlike PInterest which has a twitter like feel where you just “pin” stuff which you find interesting, or Quora which has evolved Boards to take advantage of their core strength (Q&A and Topics), Trello leaves me feeling in limbo.

In the post, Joel’s goal appears to be reaching 100 million users.  Bully for him!  I presume that number would have to include a substantial portion of non-geeks as its user base

  • How exactly does FogBuzz plan to achieve a 100 million user baset?
  • How does he convince me as an user to think?  Unlike PInterest which can be about mindless sharing, now I have to..THINK!  Yikes, Scary stuff!
  • How is this going to escape the fate of Google Wave,which was a great collaboration tool, but failed cause it was viewed as used exclusively by geeks?
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