One lazy afternoon in a quiet and cozy coffee shop, I was contently sipping a cup of French vanilla and having a nice chat with a great and quirky man passionately talking about his brainchild, a project management tool that he created in the hope of making his team work efficiently.
That man was none other than David Robins, CEO and Founder of Binfire, a project management tool that focuses on collaborative work. Robins started out with a company for consulting services for data storage and project management in 2008. Two years later, they developed a tool that would make monitoring of work easier and more productive. Since then the tool experienced various improvement from its interface to its features.
Our conversation was light. But his every word and gesture showed a high regard for his work and his team. We talked about the past, present, and future of Binfire.
1. How did you come up with the idea for Binfire? Was there any inspiration for coming up with the idea?
I worked as director of engineering and senior project manager for many large and complicated projects while working for Polaroid and other companies. For these projects, I was looking for a tool to help us manage complex projects especially for distributed teams. None of the solutions on the market satisfied our needs. We used MS project, telephone and video calls, but the work was not collaborative.
2. There are already a lot of online productivity tools available. But what makes Binfire different from them? Do you see any flaws with their tools? What is Binfire's edge over them?
We put everything a team needs to manage a project into one package. The idea is to have one place to manage your tasks, communications, files and everything else. We believe what makes or breaks a project is collaboration and our software makes it easier to collaborate on tasks, on files and brainstorm even when the team members are working remotely.
3. What are the features of Binfire?
The task management using WBS (Work Breakdown Structure) which let user create tasks and subtasks up six levels. Also, tasks could be tagged, commented, file attached to them and use advance search which lets users sort task by user, by status and by tags.
4. What are the specific needs of startups that Binfire addresses?
An easy to use and yet complete package to manage projects by experienced and new project managers alike. To make sure that everybody in the project knows what to do every day and there is transparency and accountability in the project.
5. What are Binfire's plans to make improvements on your site's interface that would make more people sign up for you?
We plan to let the user sign-up using their Google and Facebook account.
6. Will Binfire launch updates or make changes to cater to a larger market?
Yes, for the short term we are working on project management app, but plan to have enhanced document collaboration and better whiteboard app for brainstorming. They could be spin off as standalone applications
7. As of now, what should would-be and current users expect from Binfire?
Secure & reliable project management application which helps them to manage their tasks and collaborate better. An app that keeps everybody in sync
8. Software and online tools evolve to suit their target market. Will your users need to pay more when there are updates or changes in Binfire's features?
Right now we charge a minimal fee. Eventually we will charge per user and have different plans with different functionality. We will not change the plan for current users as part of appreciation for being early users.
9. Does Binfire allow syncing with other accounts such as Google or other mail and cloud storage providers? Do you have plans to expand your reach to other sites?
10. What would you like Binfire to be remembered as?
The project management application that inspires and motivates every team to be more productive.
At the end of our interview, I realized that he was a man of few words but when he talks about his project management tool, he talks with pride and passion. He is a person that listens to what the people need and take the necessary action to address these issues. But what I would take away from this interview is how he values transparency and accountability in the office. Everyone in the team should know the latest updates on any given project or task.