Once upon a time Taiga

Taiga’s birth began with a team at Kaleidos. Back then Kaleidos was a European-based company who built software for both large corporations and startups. Still based in Europe, we changed our business model in 2021 to fully focus on our own products.

Photo by Vyacheslav Makushin

Back in the day, when much of their time was spent working for clients, twice a year they would break off for their own Personal Innovation Weeks (ΠWEEK). These are week-long hackathons dedicated to personal improvement and prototyping internal ideas of all sorts.

The team at Kaleidos, filled with frustration, couldn’t find an intuitive and visually appealing tool to facilitate Agile methodologies for both developers and designers. So, we did what was right, we decided to come up with a better tool and that’s how Taiga’s journey began!

It didn’t take long to agree on a project for the first ΠWEEK batch —Project Management. For their regular work, the team at Kaleidos used a variety of tools, but filled with frustration, couldn’t find an intuitive and visually appealing tool to facilitate Agile methodologies for both developers and designers.

And so, Taiga (internally code-named project Greenmine) was born in 2013. The team wanted a challenge; they wanted the project management tool that sits open on their computers all day long, to serve as a continual reminder of why they love to collaborate, code and design. Month after month, the tool became increasingly more beautiful, flexible, powerful, elegant, simple to use and fun.

In early 2014. The tool was being widely used on all of Kaleidos’ projects. The team was loving it, and the clients were raving. It was time to graduate. Taiga Agile, LLC was formed in Feb 2014. When we turned our attention to raising money to feed this hungry beast, we didn’t have to look far. Kaleidos’ own developers and designers, its customers and its investors all dug deep into their pockets.

We named the tool Taiga after the boreal forest which lies across the subarctic region. Like its namesake, the tool is at the center of an ecosystem - your team, your projects. In our minds, the Taiga represented a faithful metaphor for software projects in general: They look great from the outside, but once you’re in, if you’re unprepared it can be pitiless and deadly inside. We built this tool to ensure that you don’t just “survive” the Taiga, but also enjoy its beauty. A great project management tool can help you see the forest from the trees. We couldn’t think of a more appropriate name for what we’ve built.

At Taiga you’ll encounter a friendly, beautiful interface, with a few geeky references and a rebel bias against tools used to engender needless accountability. While building it we’ve had incredible support from our families, friends and clients. They are as excited as we are to bring it you in its full Free, Open Source glory.

Take it. Play with it. Gives us feedback. Be part of the Taiga community. We are listening carefully to all your feedback. Keep it coming.

We are now busy working on the next iteration of Taiga, something we codenamed TaigaNext, and it will showcase the Kaleidos vision around lean and design processes, connecting our two products, both Taiga and Penpot together.

See you on Twitter, Github and hopefully every morning when you come in for work!