Interview with David Robins (Binfire)
Binfire is an web based project management application.
I interviewed David Robins, Binfire founder to find out more. This is the hundred and sixty sixth in a series of DW startup interviews. Big thank you to David!
How would you describe Binfire in under 50 words?
Binfire is an online project management and collaboration application designed to enhance productivity in both traditional and distributed teams by improving planning, collaboration, communication, coordination and monitoring. All pages in Binfire are live and all data is available to each team member in realtime for effortless online collaboration.
How long did it take to put together Binfire?
It took us six months to put Binfire together. At first the company was providing consulting services for project management and data storage, but in the late 2010 we pivoted and started in earnest our software development for project management and collaboration application.
What made you decide to start working on Binfire?
We have extensive experience managing multi disciplinary projects involving software, hardware, mechanical and manufacturing engineers who were located in several sites around the world. These experiences made me realize that the current tools available for managing projects like MS project or Skype are not sufficient to make a team collaborate and innovate. Unique tools are needed to manage and enhance communication, collaboration, coordination and accountability in both traditional and distributed teams.
Due to globalization, more projects use distributed teams than ever before. The recent advances in internet technology (speed) and new hardware and software enhancements have made it possible to create virtual offices to improve productivity of project teams by enhancing the collaboration and communication inside the team and with outside actors like clients and suppliers.
What was technically the most challenging part of developing Binfire?
The real time aspect of our application which is the central part of Binfire was the most challenging part of our development. We needed to develop a unique communication engine that can keep all users updated in real time at all times wherever they are. All project members in Binfire, have access to the same data as it changes in real time. There is a huge benefit in this. Everybody has access to the latest data at anytime without any action required by anybody to make it happen.
To illustrate this point, the interactive Gantt in Binfire is updated in real time, so if somebody changes a task, all other users who are in the Gantt page see this change in real time. In addition the application sends notifications to those who need to know about the change. The person the task is assigned to, the task owner, project manager and anybody on the team who has chosen to follow that task is notified automatically.
Who do you see as your target audience?
Any small to medium size team working on projects which involve multiple tasks assigned to different people and need coordination and collaboration. Our software specially helps new project managers to start their projects with confidence. Due to flexible nature of the application, different project management methodologies like WBS, Agile or scrum could be deployed.
What technologies have you used to build Binfire?
How flexible are you to different companies needs with regards to the set plans you offer?
The application is built with the understating that not all teams have the same requirements and issues. The project manager can setup the project the way she/he wants by using the permissions in the project dashboard. We offer several plans to fit team size and its requirements.
Do you have any features in the pipeline?
Yes we are working on native mobile applications for both Android and IOS platforms. We are also adding custom reporting features plus calendar sync with Google and outlook. We are also working on offline application for all platforms. This lets users work even when they don’t have access to Internet like while flying or when the Internet is down.
With offices all over the world, do you use Binfire to manage the development of Binfire?
Yes, from the beginning we have used Binfire for our own projects. These include software development, quality testing and business development. The entire team in Binfire is using the application to manage all tasks and projects.
If you had the knowledge you have today, what would you have done differently since starting up in 2008?
I would have done the switch from consulting to software development for project management much sooner.
Has Binfire got the feedback and growth you expected since launch?
We have a growing paying customer base which keeps the company in black. We are in a crowded market space with competitors spending heavily in marketing. Even-though we don’t spend any money marketing yet, we are gaining market share.
How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
We provide the best customer care available anywhere. The advanced features include interactive Gantt chart, burndown chart, Subtasks six levels deep, group chat, Searchable data and a secure twitter like status reporting page for each project. No other application offers the wealth of the features which Binfire provides plus the ease of use it brings to both experienced and novice users.
What are you most excited about at the moment?
The mobile applications which we are working on right now will make collaboration a lot more universal and comprehensive. In addition, a lot of universities are using our software. This gives us a unique opportunity to interact and collaborate with really bright people and learn from their experience. We are working with several teams which use Binfire for large projects and we are measuring the productivity improvements that these teams are achieving. The improvements are astounding! It reaffirms that the approach we have taken in developing the application is helping teams to be more productive.
Where do you see Binfire in 3 years time?
We will be one of the 3 big players in the project management and collaboration space. We plan to provide everything a team needs to finish a project on time and on budget. This space is growing at a very fast paste. Our goal is to offer the application to large enterprises by 2015 in addition to SMS’s.
Can you convince the reader to start using Binfire in under 50 words?
We have captured years of experience working on hundreds of projects to create an application that helps both traditional and distributed teams to collaborate and be more productive. Try Binfire and see for yourself how Binfire can improve your team’s productivity. On average productivity is enhanced by better than 40%
Finished reading? Check out Binfire!