Atlassian Bought Trello For $425 million…
Originally the brainchild of Fog Creek Software and their owner, Joel Spolsky forged their own path and became an independent company.
Arguably the most popular of the ticket / post-it style web apps for managing tasks, Trello delivered an intuitive, lightweight solution for those tired of kludgy, unwieldy tools.
Atlassian, the company behind Jira and a slew of other products can be considered the market leader in ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) software both on local servers and the cloud.
So, If Atlassian already has Jira, a powerhouse application for managing projects why would they buy it?
Trello was the go-to option for small companies with a lean perspective and strong Agile methodologies.
Is Trello a “buy it to kill it” acquisition?
There Are No Magic Bullets In The Land of ALM
Trello is by no means a perfect standalone solution for managing your product lifecycle. It does task management well, has some really strong integrations like Slack but compare it to solutions like Github or Gitlab and it falls short.
Github and Gitlab have been in competition to deliver a lightweight, easy to implement, comprehensive ALM solution and they started from the other end of the lifecycle. Both Git (source code) repository management tools. Github has evolved with a wide range of integrations and both now include:
- Web application for user access and management
- Issue Tracking
- Agile Ticket Board
- Wiki / web pages for individual projects
In a nutshell both companies are fighting hard to be the one-stop ALM cloud solution. Trello meanwhile, created a strong product that integrates with others and offered strong competition to Atlassian’s toolset. Especially Jira but, both have a major shortcoming: companies grow out of them too fast. Gitlab needs to play catch up with their feature set.
If Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) with its Test Manager and full Visual Studio integration is a high-end boom-box stereo; then Jira and the associated Atlassian products are akin to a stackable, component stereo.
The Warptest POV
At the end of the day, the ALM solution you select must match your requirements, budget and technical ability. If you are a bootstrapped startup, used to doing things fast then your needs are very different from an established company with several products / projects.
To answer the original question, will Atlassian kill off Trello? Absolutely not.
Atlassian need a lightweight, lean alternative to compete with the Github / Gitlab ALM marketshare. Expect Trello to receive some tight integration with Bitbucket and Confluence. How will Atlassian address the problem that Trello doesn’t handle Issue Tracking well?
If Atlassian changes one thing in Trello it will to add Issues as subtasks of Tickets or create some form of permalink between the two. Trello tickets = stories and Issues or bugs will have an indexable, searchable relationship.
Atlassian will be able to box in both the heavyweight and lightweight arena. Or do you think it’s time to backup your Trello projects?