Code editors are complex and demanding pieces of software, but from a business standpoint, they’re notoriously difficult to monetize. At the same time, they haven’t kept pace with recent trends like work-from-home collaboration.
At least, that’s how Nathan Sobo sees it. “Coding is inherently social, yet the tools available for talking about code limit the pace and scope of conversations, and this friction is hampering the productivity of our industry,” he told TechCrunch in an email interview. “I believe the only path forward is to integrate collaboration into the authoring environment as a first-class concern, much like the transition that has already occurred in design with Figma or in prose with Google Docs.”
Sobo might not be a household name. But he was a member of the Atom editor team at GitHub, which worked on the (now-deprecated) Atom code editor. Now, he’s launching Zed, a code editor focused on “multiplayer” experiences, performance and a streamlined, minimalist design.