The whole point of disruptive innovation is to build something which most customers do not want, with the bet that due to technology/market trends, market demand will grow exponentially in the future. Unlike the above, this is a real dilemma because if you're an established successful company, it's hard to justify pouring energy and resources into something for which the demand doesn't exist. If you're building something to meet a market demand that already exists, that's not disruptive innovation, that's just innovation, period. It's something people have been doing for millennia, and there's no dilemma here.
Sorry for sounding like an angry old man. It just annoys me when I see specific terms with specific meanings get bastardized into meaningless buzz words.
Had somebody else beaten them to the punch, they'd have suffered from the same disruption, AND lost business.
Because they were early, and had the muscle to withstand the temporary discomfort of being ahead of their time, they could land ahead of schedule and wait for everyone to catch up. At which point they were able to guide a massive avalanche in their favor.
It's not a requirement that the cannibalized market should be held by the disruptor. The market that gets destroyed doesn't have to be your own, but 'tis better to be the disruptor than the disrupted.
Buying a cheap USB charger can risk not only whatever your charging but also a house fire. This stuff is dangerous and quickly ruining Amazon's brand.
Re:integration, I also think he shortchanges Atlassian. I like Atlassian, so I'm biased, sure, but I think that they could successfully integrate without "killing" Trello. Time will tell on that, I suppose. Also, to say that "Android isn't incorporated into Google" just doesn't seem right. It's also completely different. Google acquired Android, which is a mobile platform, where they're a web company. Atlassian and Trello both offer web based services, and in this case even the same type of product.
So if Trello grows to the point where it seriously threatens Jira's downmarket base, Atlassian has two problems: first, that Trello is sapping their downmarket revenue, but second, that Trello then has a beachhead from which to start attacking their high-end prospects as well.
"Killing Atlassian" is surely easier said than done, and probably hyperbolic. But buying Trello to prevent the emergence of a credible competitor to them across all their important markets? That sounds like a pretty plausible explanation for the valuation.
I'm a little skeptical, though, if only because I think Trello has a lot more potential than Jira (and of Jira's value proposition in the abstract). I think Atlassian just bought the next Microsoft Excel.
Yes. Trello is great for non-technical and/or non-JIRA users. It's great UX means you can throw almost any user at it.
It's so simple that people can abuse it to fulfill a variety of needs.
JIRA's upside is its downside: greater specificity - joined at the hip with complexity.
>Make something the mainstream market doesn’t want now, but will want later.
seems rather different from the thinking of the Trello team when they actually made Trello, as described by Joel Splosky:
>After ten years in management I still never knew what anyone was supposed to be working on. Once in a while I would walk around asking everyone what they were doing, and half the time, my reaction was “why the hell are you working on THAT?” So one of the teams started working on finding better ways to keep track of who was working on what. It had to be super simple and friction-free so that everyone would use it, but it had to be powerful, too.
>...led us to the idea that became Trello. Pretty soon we had four programmers and two summer interns working on it. We started dogfooding the product when it was only 700 lines of code, and even in that super-simple form, we found it incredibly useful.
So basically they built it to scratch their own itch, not as some disruptive masterplan.
I firmly believe you need to dogfood your own product in order to fully understand its potential. How can you solve a problem you don't understand and what better way to understand a problem than to experience it first hand?
A product can be shiny and "awesome" all it wants; if it doesn't solve an actual problem, or isn't convenient enough to solve the problem, it just wont last.
Dunno how well - 470 views in 3 months on the demo vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKEL06gDIBw
I see this acquisition as both a) a smaller alternative to JIRA that is much easier to use (but fundamentally different) and b) a way to prevent Trello from growing into something bigger, more complex, and become a big competitor to Atlassian.
I use Trello with my fiancé to organize our wedding planning, house chores, and projects, but I cannot even imagine how awful it would be for my work's use case.
Trello, on the other hand I introduced to some colleagues, and the simplicity and ease of use is very satisfying.
Feels like surfing on the perfect wave.
Said every software developer ever about every bug tracking/ticketing system ever.
> Trello, on the other hand I introduced to some colleagues, and the simplicity and ease of use is very satisfying.
Said about every new bug tracking/ticketing system ever. Until you need to do X, and we need to track Y, and Z needs to sign off before ...
The real problem is that most developers write shitty bug reports. The reason for all those annoying fields in the bug reporting system is that most developers won't include them without it.
There is a fine line between having a bug reporting system which is just sufficiently annoying enough to the end users to give just enough information to the people fixing the bugs.
Trello is not a pain for me to use. It would be for others, with different needs, but it's perfect for me.
> Until you need to do X, and we need to track Y, and Z needs to sign off before ...
For many people these don't necessarily get in the way. I've been using trello for a few years on some projects from start to launch, and a winding down of development. It doesn't get in my way, and the lack of features hasn't caused problems.
Sure, we could have gone with Jira just in case things got massively more complicated, but we were easily able to deal with the odd edge case by talking to each other, assigning cards or putting notes on them.
I actually prefer Trello over Jira but, I have to use Jira at work. Still I couldn't take this article seriously after seeing that picture comparison.
The reason that happens is that the incumbent --- along with their most vocal customers! --- is blinded to what 80% of the market wants by the demands of the high-end 20% of the market. Yes, Trello hasn't duplicated the entire Jira product. But it might not need to to capture 80% of the revenue of the market.
My point was that, if you can't figure out where a Kanban board is in Jira you should probably stick to Waterfall development. The author either didn't spend a few minutes looking at Jira or has no clue what the real difference between the two products are.
I highly doubt Trello would have replaced Jira at the pace the article suggests. Either Trello would become overly complex or Jira would adapt and become simpler and add even more needed features. I don't believe Atlassian bought Trello out of fear that Trello would innovate them out of market. That dilema just doesn't apply here IMO.
Based on that, it's kind of a neat move by Atlassian. Now they have an instant base of potential new Jira users. As these Trello customers grow and find out that their needs can no longer be met, now there is a clear upgrade path.
Presumably they will build some migration tools to make the upgrade seamless/convert the database of tickets. Or they could even build in cross-product integration so you can embed links to Jira tickets in Trello cards, or vice versa.
like when you can make powerpoints without ever needing to draw, in fact, not having drawing tools means you keep your things simpler and don't over complicate the essential thing you are doing.
it certainly won't suit everyone though, and for me, I went Jira -> Trello -> Youtrack and got a nice blend of things.
I keep wondering whatever happened to all the other tools out there because everyone in corporate life has consolidated on this big complex tool. Maybe all other project and task management tools were too open/open source? Didn't feel enterprise-y enough for managers?
To be honest it felt like it was written for people who aren't really comfortable with reading anything longer than a few sentences at a time.
I think it is a recipe for success, but that doesn't mean it's easy. You can't just find a successful product that's overly complex and remove a bunch of features and succeed. You need to spend time understanding the market and the customers, figure out the sweet spot to aim for and then what features are actually necessary for that sweet spot and then ruthlessly say no to everything else. Many products have multiple sweet spots in the market and an up-market product can obscure the fact that there's another, more down-market product opportunity. Identifying that opportunity and then executing well is a pretty sure recipe for success, but it's really hard to do.
The people who should take heed of this advice are those who are less creative and visionary but are disciplined and skilled enough to build a quality product. There will always be product opportunities for people who can see 5-10 years out and either predict the future or lead people to their vision of the future. But that's not most people and there's no shame in admitting that. For those of us not in that visionary group, the strategy presented here is a pretty good alternative.
What made Trello successful is that it is an incredibly simple SPA that never wavered in its vision. The minute Trello designers try to go down the road of meeting the needs of a ticketing system then the magic and broad utility of Trello will be poisoned.
There's probably some truth to the claim that Trello was eating some of the low-end of JIRA's market, but it would never credibly kill Atlassian, at least not without branching out into a lot of other products first.
The acquisition makes a lot more sense to me in the portfolio building aspect, Trello can satisfy a very wide array of business needs that go well beyond traditional dev tools. I put it more in the category of Dropbox Paper—simple, modern, real-time-collaboration-based, mobile-friendly tools with a very strong essential vision leading to extremely broad utility.
Another thing Trello had going for it was a decent brand. It didn't (and doesn't) feel project management-y.
Ooh, nice colors. Aww, taco the mascot. And look, not 100 bells and whistles. This initial conditioning is super-valuable. I had the exact same feeling moving from Google docs to Quip (mentioned in the article).
Choosing to add more feeling instead of more features has benefits.
Bonus: "If you want to get ideas for your $400 million startup, subscribe to my newsletter."
I don't agree. Lots of people "invent" things well before they are mainstream products. Invent in the sense that they see the problem they want to solve and know what would solve it, usually the issue is they don't have the expertise to build a product.
In that way, predicting the future is easy. If you sat 100 people down and asked them to invent (read: conceptualize) 30 products, I'm sure you'd end up with a decent number of ideas that will be worth billions in a decade or two when somebody builds them.
Building the future is hard the hard part.
- no way to improve a software product without increasing cost and complexity
- no way to protect your franchise with e.g., a lower cost entry-level product, market segmentation, a simplified freemium, etc.
- so the incumbent always has to buy up upstarts that threaten it
(which anyway you can't do once the market prices in that the upstart is going to kill you)
overall the blog post seems a bit cargo cult-y ... if there are lazy incumbents with overpriced, bloated products, yeah, you're doing God's work by disrupting them. But it's sometimes harder than it looks. Don't spend your $425m just yet.
First off, I'm not sure that JIRA is in need of saving. IMHO it has grown to become a very bloated product which very few people really know how to use. If I were to pick a tool for project management, I wouldn't consider JIRA for one second. On the other hand, they have a fine game going in the enterprise segment. Enterprises value a bloated feature set because they pay up big money and because Bob in purchasing needs something semi-substantial to justify the high cost. Besides, Bob won't be using the product anyway.
Trello, on the other hand, would be favored by different types of customers. Small projects, small companies. It offers low pricing, has a small sales department and a large customer base.
According to Joel Spolsky, in his "Camels and Rubber Duckies" blog post (https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2004/12/15/camels-and-rubber-...), there is usually no middle road. There is rarely a segment for a mid-range product with half the feature set of the enterprise product and a far higher price than the simple product.
Which begs the question: What does Atlassian hope to achieve?
1) create some unified product which will cater to both the garage startup and to Bob in purchasing? Good luck with that
2) turn off Trello? That's what Darth Vader would have done but there is a certain amount of negative publicity to using the death star ray
3) Make Trello rot, either by
3a) stopping funding of Trello and let it become slowly obsolete
3b) sprinkling with bloated features, such as JIRA integration or what have we
Anyway, move Trello too much off its current trajectory and boom, some new startup will pop up, offer an "Import Data from Trello" feature and do things right. Trello is pretty simple by design, and the APIs are open. There is really no customer lock-in. I think Atlassian is smart enough to know this.
It's treated more as a set of religious rituals justified by received wisdom (which, to be fair, gives even less flexibility for change than if it were viewed as a science, in which case practices would be based on systematically gathered evidence and change in response to new evidence, rather than changing mostly when people indoctrinated in a different tradition come to power in an organization.)
everyone inside thats not a manager thinks jira is shit too
Please write complete sentences. Some people in the tech community seem to think that sentence fragments can replace clear, simple sentences.
I suppose you can encode anything onto index cards. This doesn't mean it's usable.
So are 90% of Jira's users. That's the point.
This is a beautifully expressed indictment of bad software. The tool defines what is correct, and users with a lower tolerance for effort, a lower investment in learning, different or more simple needs are incorrectly using it, or worse they are lazy.
I've seen this so often. A delivered piece of software is underused or used in a way the developers didn't intend, and it is their fault. Don't they know, if they used to software correctly it'd be awesome?
Or, put another way, our tool is the perfect solution for people who's needs are exactly what we thought they should be.
I feel this is the wrong way to describe Trello's success. i can build an app with a blank white space and charge $0 for it - that has less features and is very simple but it aint gonna sell for a million dollars.