Well-known software developer Joel Spolsky has built popular Q&A network Stack Exchange, and launched FogBugz, a project management system for software teams. Next up on the docket is Trello, a team workflow platform and list manager that is launching at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Spolsky says that the hardest things about running and managing a company is tracking what people are working on. He created Trello to mitigate this challenge. Trello is the team work system that anyone, in any industry, can use.

The web-based application is designed to be the centralized place where all collaborative team work can be assigned an tracked. The startup says that other project management systems are developer focused, too complex and don’t appeal to a broader community. Trello has been built for any type of workflow, from being a business-focused tool to even acting as personal list-management application.

Trello centralizes around one “board”, where users in a group can create to-do lists, create and assign tasks to co-workers who can then update when a task is complete. For each project you can create a card, which includes communications, activity, attachments, updates and more. You can drag and drop members into these cards, and then drag cards into lists.

Like other workflow applications, the platform is visual. And the app works in realtime, updating on any browser without a refresh, making communication efficient. Trello also has features for businesses built right in such as permissions and organizations. And for now, Trello will be completely free for users. Trello comes in an iOS app, and a web app.

Judges: John Ham (Ustream), Hilary Mason (, Kevin Rose (Milk), George Zachary (Charles River Ventures)

KR: I love this as a project management software. It looks great. You could charge a few bucks per seat.

A: It is free, but when we have huge numbers of people using this a freemium model may make sense.

GZ: This an awesome product demo. I am an investor in Yammer, I like what you are taping into. Where do you go for revenue?

A: We have all ideas, similar to what kevin is suggesting. Our first goal is to get it as ubiquitous with as little friction.

HM: It looks like this is taking better parts of agile programmer technology.

A: This is the big picture for what people are working on.

HM: IS there an API? What is this built on?

A: There will be an API soon. It’s built on Mongo, backbone.

JH: There’s an opportunity to nail it. Where are you going to drive adoption? Silicon Valley? VCs?

A: I’m not sure. Our goal is to make it a horizontal app. We have a chance to shout about the fact that this is a horizontal category.



Fog Creek Software
Launch Date:
January 9, 2000

Fog Creek Software, a small privately held New York software company, was founded in 2000 by Joel Spolsky and Michael Pryor. The company sells a project management system, FogBugz, and remote assistance software, Fog Creek Copilot. The company also hosts a programmer job board and a software business conference.

Spolsky is well known for his software development website Joel On Software.

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