As we all know deep down email is one of the most annoying parts of our jobs and one that torments us on a daily basis. Staying on top of our inboxes feels like a challenge that we are all losing no matter what we work at. You can never win. I've 2 businesses to run, several blogs and personal mails as well as being signed up to a bunch of email alerts, getting press releases from brands and I often miss all sorts of important stuff. I have however been able to cut my email activity by 90% within one week and it's made me far more productive and allows me to get more work done. Here is how...
Slack - Another False Dawn Or The Real Deal?
We rolled out Slack across both businesses in the last week. As their tagline says they help you to...be less busy. You might have heard about them a couple of weeks ago when they became the fastest company ever to raise money at a $billion valuation. There have been many companies trying to fix email from the ill fated Google Wave through to Mailbox which has at least made it less painful but the posts about the death of email have just kept rolling in over the last decade without much change in our work routines. Slack is an internal communication tool that has been embraced by media companies and tech start ups as the early adopters.
It has changed the way we run our business overnight and the last time my work day changed this much was when I first discovered Gmail all those years ago.
Why Is It So Special?
The thing that blows you away the most when you start using it is there is very little of a learning curve. As Steve Job's used to say "It Just Works". Companies have been embracing it in waves and while many people like it for different reasons what makes it so special for me are the following...
- Transparency of communication across the business
- Integration with Google Docs taking away all the pain I have with that service while maintaining the best bits
- Internal email within our company has vanished overnight dropping by 90%
- The deeper understanding you suddenly get of all the work happening within other departments
- Integration with Intercom so as I can see what our users are saying to us
- Sharing of ideas, content, links etc is perfect for media companies
- Incredible Search
The lucky thing is that I run the business so I can get people to embrace this overnight and the results are staggering. Larger organizations will have a harder task making the switch.
Will Somebody Buy Slack?
I'd be absolutely stunned if they haven't had huge offers already from the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple. That $1 Billion valuation is going to look like peanuts in a few years time. Users pay between 5-100 bucks a month after they end their free trial so they are going to be doing some serious revenue already and that is only going to grow. When you create something that adds this much value to a business and remove that amount of pain for your users you know it is going to be huge. I don't want to declare it just yet because we've all been so wrong in the past but whisper it...email might not be dead but it has some serious competition at last!