This headline in my newsfeed grabbed my attention: “Start-Up Asana Announces $9 Million in New Funding.” I had to do a double take (and click through, of course). What could that combination of words possibly mean?
What it means is that the yoga vocabulary has moved beyond healthy eating habits and casual clothes into the tech world. Asana is a new “workplace productivity software start-up founded by former Facebookers Dustin Moskovitz and Justin Rosenstein.” The young company has been around for just over a year and apparently their work is directed at “the very dull and unexciting but very large and problematic workplace collaboration and communications software market.”
An article on All Things Digital tried to explain the yoga connection:
In Sanskrit, “asana” means “sitting down” and refers to strong but relaxed postures in yoga–so presumably, Moskovitz and Rosenstein are trying to help frustrated workers achieve a digital form of nirvana.
Good effort! But there could have been a little more research on the definition of asana. Anyway, even though I’m not really a fan of working, I’m all for making work more efficient, transparent and open. And from what I can gather from Asana’s website, they are doing their best to incorporate yoga-esque values into their small company, including: action in the face of fear, honesty & transparency, chill-ness, company as collective of peers (vs. command-and-control hierarchy), investing in people, and trust in wisdom over rules and incentives.
I’m willing to work for any company that values “chill-ness.” While Asana wants to keep their staff small and intimate, they’re also hiring. Check out their perks:
- Small company with respectful, rational, chill peers. We are as dedicated to building a great culture as we are to building a great product.
- Medical, dental, vision and life insurance coverage.
- In-house yoga. Every week we do yoga as a group, including +1s, with a private instructor. (Optional, but pretty awesome.)
- Organic homecooked meals twice a day.
- Three 30″ monitors. Actually, we let you spend up to $10K on your setup, however you think best.
Those perks are pretty similar to the perks of working at a yoga magazine. Except for the organic homecooked meals twice a day (though we did have Thursday Soup Days). And the 30″ monitors and $10K setup budget. Yikes! Anyway, I hope that the yogi incognitos behind Asana can put this $9 million to good techy use and live up to their values and ideals.