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Slack to speak at BSSP and Contagious Now/Next/Why- June 9th- San Francisco

April 23, 2015

Slack is one of the fastest growing business applications in history with its technology fast transforming workplace culture across the US.

We are delighted that Anna Pickard, Slack’s Editorial Director, will be speaking at the BSSP and Contagious Now/Next/Why  Conference to be held on June 9th in San Francisco.

Given the topic is “Obsessing Experience” Slack is a perfect example of a company who has put the user experience at its center and this is what’s driven its dramatic growth (one of the fastest growing biz applications in history- 500k daily users), the company was recently valued at $2.1bn.

Slack’s platform is all about bringing more humanity to the workplace and its seamless communication tools are replacing various AIMs, chat systems and even emails that employees have relied on until now. The experience is all about taking the formality out of communication and brining fun and play to the foreground. It becomes the “place” where employees do all their “internal” work and renders email irrelevant for day-to-day intra office communication. The average Slack user sends 40 messages/day; the heavy user sends twice that number.

The secret to maintaining engagement is the notification system, which prompts users to open up the system and connect with co-workers, having an easily accessible mobile platform also helps.

The level of detail in the user experience is evident in how new employee users are first greeted on the platform. A “Slack Bot’ (which serves as a “mentor”) helps new users set up and create their identity, takes them through the public and private groups and the system of direct one-to-one messaging.

Slack succeeds because it thinks about the experiences users enjoy and tend to stick with like social media, a big motivation to join Slack is the FOMO on work chatter and gossip, but there’s also has a strong gaming element to the platform; users can play Jeopardy or host Pokémon battles, there’s also a connection with Giphy- where users can search for relevant GIFs. These aspects, plus the ability to integrate other programs, make Slack very sticky; it converts 30% of its free users to paid and has a 93% retention rate.

In short, Slack epitomizes the new language and culture of work that’s been driven by Millennials comfortable with multi-tasking, chatting and all the other things their Baby Boomer bosses might be challenged by.

Slack’s growth demonstrates Millennials now have enough decision-making ability in the corporate world to bring in a new tool with the power to surpass email.

Aside from this generational shift, Stewart Butterfield, the company’s founder is betting on a change in the way we work as the New York Times described in a recent article.

“Behind Slack’s rise is Mr. Butterfield’s grand vision for the future of the office. He is betting that solo work is on the wane and that as all of our jobs become more complex, more and more creative and technical feats will be accomplished by teams rather than lone practitioners. To be effective in such an environment, workers will have to become adept at navigating complex team dynamics, and doing so will depend on the sort of nuanced, intimate communication that you can’t get from email. Collaboration also demands another factor in modern workplaces, what Mr. Butterfield calls transparency.”

We are excited to hear Anna talk about the obsessive experience Slack creates for its users and how it brings that experience to life.

Tickets and more details on Now/Next/Why can be found here. 

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