In early 2020, as our fellow New Yorkers were trying to avoid touching their faces and learning to bump elbows rather than shake hands, we were conducting research interviews and prototyping what was to become Constructor – the lightweight collaboration platform for software teams that we had always wanted but could never find.
Constructor was born of several long-held frustrations we faced as software developers and managers.
Frustration with having to choose between dev management tools that are either simple, but so limited that they push complexity elsewhere, or powerful, but so complicated that they add friction to every interaction and are difficult to adapt as conditions change.
Frustration with dev management tools that constrain teams to dubious “best practices” that aren’t in fact best for everyone, and that sometimes seem more concerned with trying to “measure” the team’s output than actually helping the team get the work done.
Frustration with having workflow context, work products, and conversations siloed in multiple disjoint systems, with nothing tying it all together. And as a result, having to constantly hop between these systems and hold too much in our heads.
And frustration with the now-common style of working that author and computer science professor Cal Newport calls the “hyperactive hivemind”: where an incessant barrage of concentration-destroying chat messages and email notifications makes it difficult to get actual work done.
So what are we going to do about it?
We founded Constructor with a vision for a teamwork tool that prioritizes helping software teams do their work. A place where managers and ICs can clearly see what’s going on and what their priorities are. A place where they can keep all the bits and pieces of the work organized and findable. And a place where they can discuss the work in context – in discrete conversations, rather than as a mass of unstructured comments, or siloed away in a chat app where they’re too easily missed or forgotten about. Simply put, our vision is to build the best possible place for the work and the team to come together.
In pursuing our vision, we believe the cure for most of the ills that befall tools in this space is simplicity. Simplicity not as a check on our customers’ ambitions, but as an enabler of them: a simple tool, properly designed, permits endless possibilities to emerge in a way that’s impossible with complicated tools.
We’re deeply motivated to create an elegant tool that makes good tradeoffs, is innovative where it counts, and goes the extra mile to delight its users. We’re inspired by the job of helping people be less frustrated and less distracted in their jobs. And we just really enjoy talking to software teams all over the world, learning from them, and building out our vision for Constructor together.
We have a ton of ideas to share with you, and we’re excited to be getting going.