Slack Technologies CEO Stewart Butterfield was recently interviewed on “Bloomberg Studio 1.0” where he discussed the likelihood that Slack will continue to grow and dominate messaging and workplace efficiency:
Slack’s Enormous Growth and Future Goals
We’re unbounded in terms of opportunity and we’re unbounded in terms of resources. The market is just way bigger than we thought. There are, excluding China, 200 million people in the world who will inevitably be using Slack or something like Slack. We don’t necessarily win, but the advantages are just so big that everyone will eventually switch.
There are a hundred thousand plus people using Slack every day out of IBM. There are also farms, dentist offices, small tax preparers, and police departments using it. The Norwegian Department of Labor and Welfare uses it. Almost every academic research lab here in San Francisco, UCSF, Berkeley, Stanford uses it. Also, the Federal Government uses it. The range of utility was way greater than we thought when we first got started.
Slack Can Be a Positive or Negative
If your company or organization has really serious cultural problems using Slack can exacerbate it, it can actually make it worse. If your a company that has really healthy patterns of communication where there’s a high level of trust and respect using Slack can make it even better.
Slack Will Be Even More Useful in the Future
I think what really is interesting about the future of work when you look at people in their individual functional roles today versus a few decades ago, they’re just massively more powerful in their ability to get things done. Where we haven’t seen as dramatic of improvement and what ends up being the limiting factor on performance is communication and how difficult and hard it is to gain the kind of alignment that you need.
The difference between the best and the worst performing team is far greater than the worst performing individual. So we’ve concentrated most of our effort at individual worker productivity, time management skills, life hacks, to do lists and things like that.
We have focused far less on what is probably the more important thing to change like the degree of transparency, clarity around goals, trust, respect, alignment. The output there could be several orders of magnitude greater.