Asana Looks to Fill Google Wave’s Void (And Lets Employees “Pimp Out” Their Cubicles)

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Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz left a pretty good gig at Facebook two years ago to start his own company, Asana. After two years under wraps, TechCrunch finally got the big reveal yesterday. The response? Moskovitz didn’t leave Facebook for naught–Asana could actually be a huge hit.

The startup’s premise is that people need a fast and efficient way to work together in groups that isn’t more trouble than it’s worth. Asana co-founder and fellow Facebook alum Justin Rosenstein said in his presentation that no matter where people work, they always have a problem coordinating and organizing tasks efficiently. Even while working at Google, Rosenstein said he was frustrated with group organization:

“I felt like I was spending 90 percent of my time on the overhead of coordination. Even individual contributors spent huge amounts of time not doing work but doing work about work. I felt like there really had to be a better way,” Rosenstein said.

Asana appears ready to fill the void left by the failure of Google Wave and other programs aimed at increasing group organization and productivity. The startup allows users to create and assign tasks and post them to a message board as a list. Those who are assigned tasks also get notified via e-mail and can respond in real time. Users can also re-assign the task or add “followers” who will monitor its completion. All in all, it seems to be a pretty useful tool (a full explanation of Asana’s features can be seen in the video above).

So far, the company has raised $10 million, and it isn’t saving it all in a piggy bank: TechCrunch reported that Asana’s engineers are being given $10,000 to “pimp out their desks.” What this means, we’re not quite sure, but it is an indicator that Asana is aiming high and isn’t afraid to show it.

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