Kevin William David from Siftery interviewed Vasil Enchev, CEO of Ora. We decided it might be interesting to share some insight into Ora and it's development with all of you – our beloved users. So without further ado...
Hi Vasil, So tell us about Ora?
Ora is an all-in-one solution for task management and team collaboration. It is flexible so you can turn on and off different features to suit your team’s needs. It is also super easy to use and has great design.
Tell me more about why you are building this?
Two years ago when we were building our vector design app, ProtoSketch we changed a lot of tools, and we weren’t satisfied with none of them. Either there were missing features or the app was so complicated and unpleasant to use that it made us feel sick. We wanted to have tasks and track time on them. So we build a small app, and we decided there is enormous potential in it and we could make it into a web service for everyone. What we are trying to accomplish is to have a simple easy to use app with lots of features. And I know this sounds impossible, but I think we have good results so far.
How is Ora different from what already exists in the market?
We are often compared to Trello and Jira a lot from our customers. Some of our users even joke that we have found the golden mean between the two. There are a few things that make Ora different and a good choice for any project:
First, there is the time tracking feature which is so deeply integrated with our tasks that it is hard to be matched by any integration. Also, we are working on an Active-Sync with third-party services so that you can get the tasks from 3 or 4 systems in one place. This will work great with our “My Tasks” view — where users see tasks assigned to them from different projects.
Can you tell us a bit about the different customer segments using Ora?
Everyone, I don’t know a single company that does not do some form of task management. So every business is a potential client for us. We just want to make Ora easy for everyone that needs to get work done. As I said, you choose the complexity of your projects when you create them. It could be a simple to-do list, or it could be a 1000+ tasks kanban board with all features turned on. We do however have some features that target mostly software development teams because this is our biggest customer segment.
We are also a good choice for personal use. It’s free, and high achievers will find a place where they could organize everything.
How are your customers using Ora? Could you share a few different use cases?
Most often it’s either an agency with lots of clients each of each a separate project or it’s a software company that has a just a few projects but with lots of tasks. Some companies use Ora for everything. They make product boards, marketing boards, even a basic CRM. Some people build lists of links with it. We also use our own product for everything company related.
What were some of the biggest challenges while building the product early on and how did you solve them?
We still have a lot of challenges each day. The biggest challenge was to ship it. It took us 2 years to do so. A lot of pressure, from everyone who wanted us to ship and friends who quoted Reid Hoffman “If You’re Not Embarrassed By The First Version Of Your Product, You’ve Launched Too Late”.
What have been some of the most interesting integrations you’ve added?
We love integrations and we have plans to add at least 30 new this year. Ora + slack is the best and only integration we have right now. However, I think Github, Bitbucket, Trello, Asana and Zendesk would be really interesting once we finish them. (hopefully soon).
Finally, What are the top 5–10 products that you depend on to run the company & how do you use them?
Ora — we use as task management, issue tracking, marketing and time tracking platform.
Slack — we use to communicate and receive updates from Ora
HelpScout — for support system
ChargeDesk — helps us merge the gap between Braintree and HelpScout and makes PDF invoices for our customers. (I love it)
Dropbox Paper — for writing all kind of documents
Visual Studio Code — devs use it a lot for making Ora with it
ProtoSketch for iPad — for some concepts drawn with the Apple Pencil
Adobe Illustrator — our design choice for Desktop
Originally posted on Shiftery Blog — Siftery helps companies discover software they should buy, with recommendations based on their current stack and what similar companies are using.