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What is the best project management application for start-ups?
22 points by p47 on Jan 7, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 39 comments

With my friends we are starting a company and we had found that we need application to manage tasks whitim our projects. Its it project. We use Subversion to keep our code updated.but our needs are wider,

Do HN tested open source freeware software for this task?

best wishes!

I'd recommend Trac (trac.edgewall.org). It's pretty configurable with basic milestone tracking and a wiki (and people have written addons, etc.). It also integrates with Subversion.

If you're looking at Trac, also take a look at redmine. My last project used Trac, and it was a little clunky.


While you're at it, consider a continuous integration tool. Hudson worked great for us:


I'll cast my vote for Redmine as well. It is a great improvement on Trac, keeping all the nice features - code repository integration with git, svn etc.; wiki, milestones, tickets; plus multiple projects (public/private) with flexible access rights.

I also recommend TRAC. And I recommend my ISP too - WebFaction - which gives you integrated SVN/TRAC out of the box, along with any database or programming language you need. A small slice costs $9.50/month.

We use DevGuard for SVN/Trac hosting. They start at $6.95/month. I'm surprised Trac is the YC top-rated tool for project management tho; they don't have anything I would call a "project management". It's a basic bug tracking system.

FYI, Trac floated to the top when i asked this same question a few months ago:


Trac looks very solid. Curious. I'm starting a project soon and want the following functionality in the software that we use:

I want it to (a) track bug issues, (b) track milestones and a roadmap, (c) allow us to upload code to keep track of each of our changes to the code, and (d) give us a (login-restricted) wiki and/or forum so we can document the discussions/ideas we have.

I'll take a look at Trac in more detail later tonight, but if anybody knows off the top of your head if Trac (or some other software) does the things I mentioned above, let me know!

Yes; I should have mentioned, it has bug tracking (tickets) too.

The wiki not only works for arbitrary documents, but it's pretty well integrated elsewhere. For example, a ticket submitted to Trac can use wiki syntax. The tickets can also refer to Subversion revision numbers.

As an Apache server it can be authenticated in the usual ways.

I would like to second the recommendation of Trac. My only complaint (and a minor one at that) is that it's not intended for more than one project at a time. But it still beats the snot out of the competition for the exact requirements you just listed.

>it's not intended for more than one project at a time

Check http://www.redmine.org . It's the same as Trac, only with multiple projects and multiple teams/roles per project.

FogBugz. It's free for startups. But I'm the president of Fog Creek so maybe I'm biased ;)


Thank you so much for the startup edition. It's indispensable at our startup.

It is free only for 2 persons.

I am fan of Acunote http://acunote.com Not surprising since that is my startup :-)

It's tailor-made for a software startup, includes SVN integration and is free for <= 5 users.

Yikes, be very careful with the audio on screencasts. It sounds highly unprofessional to have smacking sounds on audio - and additionally, it should not auto-start.

Thanks for the feedback. WIP.

I'm a fan of Basecamp by 37 signals (basecamphq.com) - It's good for small and big businesses, file sharing, messages to clients, whiteboards and task lists, etc.

Trac is also good because of its integration with subversion and it being open source.

Big fan of Basecamp. Been using it for 3 years across multiple projects.

I'm not a fan of Basecamp. It lacks the analytical aspects of project management.

Lighthouse (http://lighthouseapp.com/) is great.

The text on the lighthouse site is irritatingly Web 2.0ish.

It's built in Rails, what do you expect?

Pivotal tracker has been mentioned here on HN before. Just throwing that out there as a possibility.

We use Pivotal Tracker to manage our agile development at an airline. We love the open nature of the tool, in that it only presents the bare bones of what you'll need and then you can make it work in any way you want. We also like the dynamic nature of the real-time updates. I can watch my browser window update to reflect the work in process.

The tool has been extremely robust. They notify us well in advance of outages, both on their site and via twitter.

The most important item for gaining acceptance of the tool is that we can export our work from the tool into .csv so we can continue to work if Pivotal goes offline.

Highly recommended.

We use Pivotal Tracker at Kongregate and love it. You can do everything from one screen. It's got a great lightweight approach to iterations and velocity tracking - once you've done a few iterations you get surprisingly accurate estimates of when you'll deliver that next release. It's both more pleasant to use and more suited to our needs than a straight ticketing system.

We use Basecamp to discuss features & comps, then Tracker to get them done. Trying to use Basecamp for both doesn't really work if you care about iterations, story points, etc. Some might say you don't need those, but they've given us a lot better predictability than we did at first.

We use Pivotal Tracker at AboutUs.org. It's endorsed by our CTO Ward Cunningham (c2.com/wiki en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ward_Cunningham).

XP-Dev.com - (disclaimer: I develop and manage xp-dev.com). I'm using it at the moment for a couple of side projects (they're not startups, but more webapps) with others.

Bunch of features: http://xp-dev.com/features/

Having said that, if you really want something standalone - Trac http://trac.edgewall.org/ and Redmine http://www.redmine.org/ come to mind. There is always Bugzilla (http://www.bugzilla.org/) if you want to go old school.

Of course, you could always just use a spreadsheet to track it all (please don't laugh at this - I've seen it used oh-so-many-times in the past).

Daptiv is a SaaS provider with great project management and built in collaboration features. Firefox or IE, nothing to install. Customers in many industries including software dev and gaming. www.daptiv.com

We use unfuddle, http://www.unfuddle.com . Kind of like Basecamp, but a bit more dev focused. Integrates well with Subversion.

also, unfuddle gives unlimited free git repos (or svn), which is nice. i don't use it for project management, but if i want to create a private remote repository and share it with folks, it's free, unlike many other choices.

I highly recommend StreamFocus.com for work management, but as a founder I'm definitely biased :) We will be launching a free version shortly in addition to more powerful features at lower monthly fees, but you can use it free of charge in the beta program now. I have doubled my profit margin in my Architecture firm using StreamFocus over the last year, so the value it provides is very good.

I have a found using Beanstalk and Basecamp together to be absolutely awesome. It gives us the ability to use todos/milestones as well as establish polices (coding standards, design docs, etc) on Whiteboards.

The best part - and what gets the most use - is Messaging/comments. The ability to post comments directly related to a commit has become insanely powerful for our 2-man crew.

Best of all, you can do it all for free.

you could try our startup http://wizehive.com - use beta code 'yc2009' to sign up. Email me with any questions or comments.

Rally at http://rallydev.com. There's a free version.

We used to use Rally at Kongregate. They're nice guys, but we really hated it - overly complicated and hard to use. Also hell of expensive once you get past the free version.

Intervals. Nuff said.


hi there! We've been using Producteev.com for the past 2 weeks, and it is simply amazing for Team Task Management... A pure jewel. If you request a code on producteev.com, you get a token within the hour You might want to try them out, I discovered them through this post on TC : http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/12/09/producteev-launches-gro...

Wow people don't joke on HackerNews, didn't know it was that serious, sorry guys. I don't usually do that, do a GG alert/search on Producteev, you'll see that I'm never posting anonymous comments on my product, but in this special case, I reacted too quickly maybe, I apologize. Also, I don't pretend to be using my software, we really do, and it changed drastically our internal organization, it's way better, sorry to be enthusiastic about my product. I won't do that again anyway (even though I was already convinced that it was not fine). Mea culpa

ilanos: Are you Ilan Abehassera, Founder and CEO of Producteev Inc.? I see that your HN account is brand new and your post sounds a little too perfect...

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