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Office work, filled with overflowing e-mail inboxes and pointless meetings, could be a lot more efficient and productive. One start-up, Asana, is trying to fix the problem. How? Well, that is still a secret. Kimberly White/Getty Images Dustin Moskovitz Asana was founded last December by Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, and Justin Rosenstein, an engineering manager at Facebook, after they left the company. Since then, they have built a bare-bones Web site and, they claim, a product that will change the way we work, though they are not yet ready to explain how. E-mail, wikis, whiteboards and daily meetings still result in poor communication and wasted time at work, Mr. Rosenstein said. “We’re not trying to be stealthy, but it’s such a total re-envisioning of how you can solve these problems” that they want to keep the details under wraps for now, he said. But the founders have shared their secret plans with two well-known venture capital firms — Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz — which have agreed to invest $9 million. “Despite the emergence of technologies like wikis and e-mail and a lot of other tools for managing work and knowledge, that process is still really painful for both small and large organizations,” said Matt Cohler, a general partner at Benchmark who also made an earlier personal investment in Asana. “It’s a profound market opportunity.” There are a lot of companies that are trying to take Web technologies that have mostly been used for socializing with friends and turn them into business software that makes the workplace more efficient and productive. Jive; Chatter, a new program from Salesforce and Google Wave are just a few examples. Though Asana’s founders said upon leaving Facebook that they wanted to do for people’s work lives what Facebook had done for their social lives, Mr. Rosenstein insists that they are not building Facebook for businesses. So what are they building? Here are a few hints Mr. Rosenstein would share. Asana will help individuals be more productive and will help their co-workers easily see what they are working on. The tools will work quickly, so people do not have to slow down to use them. “We finally have the technology, the Web, the browsers — all sorts of key pieces, including mobile, where it’s feasible to execute,” he said. Proof this mysterious product really exists: Asana is already using it internally, for things like communicating among colleagues and collaborating on engineering projects. “The software is running the company,” Mr. Rosenstein said

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