June 22, 2020 in Ideas
We published this letter as an open letter about why we were building Cardinal before our preview launch. We're sharing it here primarily for historical purposes.
As you know, communication and collaboration at work have become harder than they should be.
First, "software is eating the world," and it feels like it's devouring all of us in the process. There are apps for everything we can imagine, but we're forced to dive in and out of each of them every day.
The engineers on your team want to use JIRA, GitHub Issues, or Clubhouse for project management and issue tracking, but your marketing team prefers Asana. Your sales team wants to use Salesforce as the CRM, but marketing likes HubSpot. Your product team would prefer to keep documentation in Drive, but the developers want to use a GitHub repository. It goes on forever.
Deciding on tools is a political battle, even on the most well-intentioned teams. We're having these battles over and over.
Secondly, we've got too much information to keep track of. We're creating more and more information, but the constant firehose contributes a lot of unnecessary noise and makes it impossible to focus. It is no wonder we are seeing more anxiety and stress at work.
Slack is great in many ways, but as teams grow the cost of being a good Slack citizen becomes unbearable. It's practically impossible to do your job and keep track of all the conversations and channel updates. How do you know what's important and what can be ignored? If it can be ignored, why are you even being notified about it? It's overwhelming!
Lastly, there is the black hole. We are being bombarded with information and tools, but often can't find what we need when we want it. That post mortem from two years ago? I can't find it in Drive. Those design mockups we made a few months ago? I'm pretty sure they've just disappeared. Remember when we talked about the hiring plan in Teams? Well Teams doesn't seem to remember. I can't find it anywhere. It's easy to put information in, but so hard to get it back out or keep it organized.
We've had these problems on our minds for years now, and we know there has to be a better way, so we're building Cardinal.
We want technology to empower teams, not hinder them. We want people to enjoy interacting with our software, not dread opening it. We're excited to help teams move more deliberately, communicate better, and ultimately work happier.