In my quest for the perfect project management tool, I tested out Mingle (if you want to see all those features, just browse their site).
It’s a really flexible tool and with the new version it’s really getting close to what we’d need. They got some fresh ideas, a flexible tool and lots of eye-candy. It was even easy to set up. I’d try it for real, if it weren’t for those few big gripes…
- All the eye-candy is really hard on the browser. On Safari it seemed quite snappy, but Firexfox paused regularly… and that is on a recent Core2Duo machine.
- It still seems to need work. I can reproduce an error just by creating a project from a default template and trying to add a new card.
- The system requirements are ridiculous. The kindly ask you to have a 2Ghz server with 2GB ram. Dedicated to running a single web app. There are 3D shooters that get away with less.
- Take a look at the pricing: Sure, you get the first 5 licenses for free and they give it away for free for open source projects.
But beyond that, it’s about $1000 bucks per user. So a small shop with 20 users would have to shell out $15,000 for licenses. Or rent the thing for over $4000 per year.
For a comparison, Atlassian Jira starts from $1,200 for a server license. Even Joel Spolsky’s (equally hype-driven) FogBugz only sets you off $199 per user… I’m not even going to talk about free tools here.
To sum it up: It seems to be a really good software and I’m sure they’ll iron out the technical problems.
But marketing-wise it seems to be aimed exclusively at venture-capital driven companies, who can’t otherwise figure out how to to burn their cash. At least I imagine that these are the people who can’t wait buy a new server and hand out huge amounts of cash for a tool that’s still suffering from teething problems.
Because, hey, it looks cool. And it’s WRITTEN IN RAILS (oooooooooh-yeah!) and it’s AGILE (oooooh-hooooo) and it has ThoughtWorks written on the outside, so all the cool kids must have it.