Doist encourages more asynchronous work with the new version of Twist

The revamped Twist hopes to help workplaces get better at asynchronous work.

Screenshot of Twist Inbox Zero

Twist has launched a new design with more features to improve asynchronous work.

Screenshot: Twist

Twist, the messaging app from Doist, has a laser-sharp focus on asynchronous work. With its brand new redesign, Twist is pressing its advantage with an async-first, remote approach, and hoping to help other companies do async better.

"[Others have] adopted the wrong version where it's meetings all day long, chat all day long," CEO Amir Salihefendić said. "People are not really taking advantage of what remote has to offer."

The new Twist launched Tuesday morning, and has a number of new elements aimed to make the work communication experience calmer and more productive. Salihefendić said throughout the development process, the product team weighed every possible iteration against their core values. Async-first — a communication style where no one expects an immediate response — was No. 1.

"Whenever you [decide between] two things, like including presence indicators or not, you would pick not including them because you can't go against the async-first nature of the product," Salihefendić said.

The other core values: focus, transparency and speed. "We stripped it down to four we really cared about and that people could remember and integrated that into the company and the culture," Salihefendić said.

Doist's asynchronous-first journey started back in 2014, when the company adopted Slack. Members loved it — until they realized the constant communication was exhausting and impractical with employees spread across the globe. So they started building Twist, and launched it to the world in 2017.

But in 2017, getting people on board with asynchronous work was hard. Those were the pre-pandemic days, when remote work was a quirk some employees or one-off companies adopted.

"You have to create a tool, but you also have to change how people work and live, which is the harder part," Salihefendić said.

The team went back to the drawing board and began working on the new Twist to make their way of async work more accessible.

Some of Twist's new elements include an easier way to get to the coveted Inbox Zero, a greater focus on threaded conversations and comprehensive keyboard shortcuts. Threaded conversations are the main unit of messaging on Twist, as opposed to one-off chats. This is part of what differentiates it from Slack and Microsoft Teams. And with focused threads, there's not as much pressure to respond in real time.

Twist spent a lot of time improving threads, making it so you can connect related threads together.

"You're linking knowledge together," Salihefendić said. "This is also very powerful; as a team builds core stuff, everything gets interconnected."

For Doist and Twist, the async mission is everything. It's more like a "religion than a market case," Salihefendić said. He said it doesn't even need to be Twist that becomes the async tool to rule all, as long as people start to understand the benefits of this type of work. And with the pandemic, they are: People are talking about it all over the internet.

"We have been at this for a long time," Salihefendić said. "We could have easily said, 'We'll just focus on Doist.' It's brutally hard to do this, we're competing against companies with almost unlimited budgets and unlimited people."


This carbon capture startup wants to clean up the worst polluters

The founder and CEO of point-source carbon capture company Carbon Clean discusses what the startup has learned, the future of carbon capture technology, as well as the role of companies like his in battling the climate crisis.

Carbon Clean CEO Aniruddha Sharma told Protocol that fossil fuels are necessary, at least in the near term, to lift the living standards of those who don’t have access to cars and electricity.

Photo: Carbon Clean

Carbon capture and storage has taken on increasing importance as companies with stubborn emissions look for new ways to meet their net zero goals. For hard-to-abate industries like cement and steel production, it’s one of the few options that exist to help them get there.

Yet it’s proven incredibly challenging to scale the technology, which captures carbon pollution at the source. U.K.-based company Carbon Clean is leading the charge to bring down costs. This year, it raised a $150 million series C round, which the startup said is the largest-ever funding round for a point-source carbon capture company.

Keep Reading Show less
Michelle Ma

Michelle Ma (@himichellema) is a reporter at Protocol covering climate. Previously, she was a news editor of live journalism and special coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Wirecutter. She can be reached at

Sponsored Content

Great products are built on strong patents

Experts say robust intellectual property protection is essential to ensure the long-term R&D required to innovate and maintain America's technology leadership.

Every great tech product that you rely on each day, from the smartphone in your pocket to your music streaming service and navigational system in the car, shares one important thing: part of its innovative design is protected by intellectual property (IP) laws.

From 5G to artificial intelligence, IP protection offers a powerful incentive for researchers to create ground-breaking products, and governmental leaders say its protection is an essential part of maintaining US technology leadership. To quote Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo: "intellectual property protection is vital for American innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Keep Reading Show less
James Daly
James Daly has a deep knowledge of creating brand voice identity, including understanding various audiences and targeting messaging accordingly. He enjoys commissioning, editing, writing, and business development, particularly in launching new ventures and building passionate audiences. Daly has led teams large and small to multiple awards and quantifiable success through a strategy built on teamwork, passion, fact-checking, intelligence, analytics, and audience growth while meeting budget goals and production deadlines in fast-paced environments. Daly is the Editorial Director of 2030 Media and a contributor at Wired.

Why companies cut staff after raising millions

Are tech firms blowing millions in funding just weeks after getting it? Experts say it's more complicated than that.

Bolt, Trade Republic, HomeLight, and Stord all drew attention from funding announcements that happened just weeks or days before layoffs.

Photo: Pulp Photography/Getty Images

Fintech startup Bolt was one of the first tech companies to slash jobs, cutting 250 employees, or a third of its staff, in May. For some workers, the pain of layoffs was a shock not only because they were the first, but also because the cuts came just four months after Bolt had announced a $355 million series E funding round and achieved a peak valuation of $11 billion.

“Bolt employees were blind sided because the CEO was saying just weeks ago how everything is fine,” an anonymous user wrote on the message board Blind. “It has been an extremely rough day for 1/3 of Bolt employees,” another user posted. “Sadly, I was one of them who was let go after getting a pay-raise just a couple of weeks ago.”

Keep Reading Show less
Nat Rubio-Licht

Nat Rubio-Licht is a Los Angeles-based news writer at Protocol. They graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper and online journalism in May 2020. Prior to joining the team, they worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal as a technology and aerospace reporter.


The fight to define the carbon offset market's future

The world’s largest carbon offset issuer is fighting a voluntary effort to standardize the industry. And the fate of the climate could hang in the balance.

It has become increasingly clear that scaling the credit market will first require clear standards and transparency.

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

There’s a major fight brewing over what kind of standards will govern the carbon offset market.

A group of independent experts looking to clean up the market’s checkered record and the biggest carbon credit issuer on the voluntary market is trying to influence efforts to define what counts as a quality credit. The outcome could make or break an industry increasingly central to tech companies meeting their net zero goals.

Keep Reading Show less
Lisa Martine Jenkins

Lisa Martine Jenkins is a senior reporter at Protocol covering climate. Lisa previously wrote for Morning Consult, Chemical Watch and the Associated Press. Lisa is currently based in Brooklyn, and is originally from the Bay Area. Find her on Twitter ( @l_m_j_) or reach out via email (


White House AI Bill of Rights lacks specific guidance for AI rules

The document unveiled today by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is long on tech guidance, but short on restrictions for AI.

While the document provides extensive suggestions for how to incorporate AI rights in technical design, it does not include any recommendations for restrictions on the use of controversial forms of AI.

Photo: Ana Lanza/Unsplash

It was a year in the making, but people eagerly anticipating the White House Bill of Rights for AI will have to continue waiting for concrete recommendations for future AI policy or restrictions.

Instead, the document unveiled today by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is legally non-binding and intended to be used as a handbook and a “guide for society” that could someday inform government AI legislation or regulations.

Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights features a list of five guidelines for protecting people in relation to AI use:

Keep Reading Show less
Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

Latest Stories