Secrets To Creating Software That Customers Love

This week Asana–which operates a platform for project management–pulled off its direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange. On the first day of trading, the shares shot up about 37%. 

The roots of Asana go back to 2008. The co-founders were Dustin Moskovitz (the the co-founder of Facebook) and Justin Rosenstein (a former employee at Facebook and Google).  They got the idea for their startup from their experiences at Facebook. When the company was growing at a breakneck speed, it was extremely challenging for teams to get things done. Often there was too much time spent on meetings and long emails.

But Moskovitz and Rosenstein thought that a cloud-based system could help solve the problem. This would allow for ease-of-use and wide access. The subscription model would also be affordable for customers.

No doubt, the vision has been spot on. As of now, Asana has 1.3 million paid users and recorded revenues of $142.6 million for fiscal 2020, up 86%. The market value is about $4 billion.

OK, how did Moskovitz and Rosenstein pull this off? What are some of the lessons? Well, Moskovitz and Rosenstein included a shareholder letter in the IPO prospectus and it provides an insightful playbook.

Here are some of the highlights:

Build Software That Customers Love: In the enterprise world,