Slack has taken the world by storm. Initially, an internal tool used at Tiny Speck, it now has millions of (very) active users. It is the fastest company ever to reach that mythical one billion dollar valuation.
The astonishing growth is due to excellent product development – I could, and often do, go on and on about all the things that the Slack team did right. Put simply, they understood the changing way that companies innovate and how email was hindering that process.
I thought I’d highlight three key aspects of Slack that we find particularly powerful here at Owler.
A startup is just a set of difficult problems. Building a successful business is about solving such problems, day in and day out. Here at Owler, we’ve learned that open communication is an essential part of the solution. Slack relies on public channels, which means all information is openly broadcasted to the entire company.
Did we learn a hard lesson after launching a certain feature? Did everything go as expected? Either way, that takeaway is shared with all relevant stakeholders in a transparent and honest manner.
Startups don’t always get it right the first time. As product manager for our growth team, I’ve often seen features or experiments underperform the first time around. Slack’s transparency allows us to broadcast these learnings to the wider organization and subsequently plot our follow up strategy with everyone’s input.
I feel the need, the need for speed
Here at Owler we’re all about building and learning fast. In fact, the growth team here finishes each morning standup quoting the (undeniably) best movie ever made.
Whether we need clarification between product and engineering teams or are resolving technical issues, Slack allows us to move quick. Owler operates on 1-week development cycles or sprints. This velocity would not be possible without Slack – long gone are the days of never-ending email chains with multiple stakeholders.
Slack is a lot of fun. As part of what can only be described as the “MSN messenger generation”, I find myself enjoying the goofiness and humor that comes with a “chatroom”. A lot of serious work gets done on our Slack channels, but we still keep that healthy dose of banter.