Happy Birthday Tasktop

Five years ago, on Friday January 15th, I defended my PhD thesis on Focusing Knowledge Work with Task Context. The following Monday, January 17th, we incorporated Tasktop Technologies. Driven by the years of research that it took to prove that tasks are more important than files, integration is more important than features, and that focus begets flow, we embarked on a journey to bring to market a transformation in how we work and collaborate around software.

Our journey and passion have been fueled by our customers and our open source community, as to date we have not taken any external funding, and instead embarked on what’s more recently been defined as the Lean Startup approach to building a company in an Agile and customer-centric fashion. Bootstrapping, we have doubled in revenue and nearly doubled in head count each year since our inception, and now support over a thousand customers and over a million open source users. Working closely with our ISV partners, the Eclipse community and open source ALM projects, we are proud to be one of the key contributors defining the future of ALM.

In addition to the opportunity to be a part of a transformative endeavor, what’s guided our vision is a manic focus on the needs of individual software workers. Mylyn and its commercial counterpart, Tasktop Dev, materialized because the growth in complexity of software and the fragmentation of ALM tools were bringing our and our fellow developers’ productivity to a halt. Tasktop Sync was born out of the same need to give other stakeholders such as testers, project managers and business analysts, a connected and collaborative view on the software delivery process.

With our focus on integration, our goal is to empower developers and other stakeholders in order to advance ALM to support the rise of the software-powered economy. We want to take this birthday moment to thank all of the customers and partners who have made it possible for us to do what we love, which is to invent the future of ALM and to strive for our goal of doubling the productivity of software developers and managers. We hope you like the next round of innovations that we are hard at work for launching in 2012, which will be a definitive year for software, for ALM and for Tasktop Technologies.

Dr. Mik Kersten is the Founder & CEO of Tasktop. As a research scientist at Xerox PARC, Mik created the first aspect-oriented development tools. He then created Eclipse Mylyn during his PhD, now downloaded 2 million times per month. At Tasktop, Mik drives the strategic direction of the company and the culture of customer-focused innovation. Mik’s ideas on a connected software lifecycle that focuses on the needs of the individual practitioner make him a popular keynote speaker, and he has been recognized with awards such as the JavaOne Rock Star. Mik’s entrepreneurial contributions have been acknowledged by awards such as the 2012 Business in Vancouver 40 under 40.