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Artefact, the Seattle-based tech consultancy founded six years ago by two former Microsoft product designers, has spun off a new tech company that is set to release its first product this week — a web-based personnel, scheduling and resource management program for companies (such as their own) that focus heavily on project-oriented work.

They call it 10,000ft, a nod to the high-level view that the software is meant to provide for managing people and projects in a collaborative environment.

Martijn van Tilburg

Features include drag-and-drop scheduling, real-time project status, budget tracking, social-network style activity feeds, analytics, and personalized pages for each team member, with adjustable levels of permissions and access.

“It’s a tool for the way we work. People are more autonomous,” explained Martijn van Tilburg, the creator of 10,000ft and the CEO of the spinoff Artefact Product Group, demonstrating the software at the Artefact offices in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood.

Artefact believes it has come up with a unique spin on the concept, by focusing on something that works for businesses such as its own. But the market for project management and resource planning tools is nonetheless competitive, including other Seattle-area players such as LiquidPlanner and Daptiv.

Van Tilburg, a former design leader for Microsoft SharePoint, is a founding partner in Artefact Product Group along with original Artefact co-founders  Rob Girling and Gavin Kelly.

The company will be offering the software as an online service, starting at $49/month for up to 10 users. Companies including Minimal, Weber Shandwick, and Astro Studios are among more than 30 firms that have been beta testing 10,000ft.

It was important to establish a separate business to create and market the new product, said Jeff Gelfuso, executive director of products for Artefact, himself a former Xbox creative director. That’s in part because the target market includes companies that might compete with Artefact otherwise.

“The core part of the business is still design and product technology consulting,” Gelfuso said during the demo with van Tilburg. “But what you’ll see in not only this tool but hopefully many more to come is that a lot of us have background in shipping products for other companies, the two of us at Microsoft for over a decade, as well. So we’re makers. It’s in our blood.”

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