Workplace

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."

Fintech

Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

Keep Reading Show less
Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

Keep Reading Show less
FTA
The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.
Enterprise

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

Keep Reading Show less
Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.

Enterprise

Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

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 RedTailMedia.org 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
Bulletins