Software as a Service companies exist for practically every small nuance that plagues the business world. There are an estimated 10,000 private SaaS companies. Upon first glance, that sounds incredibly helpful. However, you quickly realize that 10 different ‘helpful’ SaaS platforms will require you to interact with 10 different user interfaces.
Enter Slack. Instead of navigating another confusing user interface, you can interact with a simple bot to address your needs. Employees don’t need to learn how to use intricate new tools because Slack bots can exist as artificially intelligent users on any given channel. Instead of another website to check daily (or hourly), Slack allows companies to accomplish tasks through simple conversation.
So why do we love Slack? Our answer is simple – integration.
Josh Brown, the Twitter-famous CEO of Ritholtz Wealth Management, recently said “Why are Slack user engagement numbers so high? The integrations with other company’s products are really, really well done. And some say – better than Microsoft. If they can continue to do that, this becomes more and more woven into the fabric of American business and international businesses. And less easy for an employer to get rid of”.
Why do so many valuable companies trust Slack for internal messaging? It circles back to integration. Slack’s intentionally-created chat function acts as a “trojan horse”. Slack doesn’t need to build fancy tools outside the realm of communication. Instead, they act as a singular platform where all these different websites come together. That’s the value they bring.
Even in 2014, Slack was keeping track of everything employees did in Dropbox, Google Apps, GitHub, and Zendesk. Their $13 billion market capitalization can be justified through this integration.
We believe that great companies use their own products. For example, there certainly aren’t a lot of PCs in the Apple office. As such, we know that Slack has been using Slack to manage its own productivity since its inception. At Nextup, we follow the same approach. It’s how a company should ensure their incentives are correctly aligned.
Interestingly enough, Slack has been using its own messaging tool for longer than the company has existed. Stewart Butterfield, the founder of Slack, keeps making great products on accident. Butterfield was running a video game company named ‘Tiny Speck’ when he realized that the video games they created wouldn’t justify their $17 million venture capital investment.
As they shut down Glitch, Butterfield announced that the company’s future was now centered around the messaging tech they developed while trying to keep their company on the same page. Interesting, right? The story has even deeper roots.
Stewart Butterfield was a co-founder of Flickr, as well. Much like Slack, Stewart never intended to create Flickr. Instead, he was trying to make a different video game – Game Neverending. He simply took the photo-sharing features from the game and decided his company needed to pivot.
Two different companies originated because of video games. Two different industry-changing products.
As of January 2019, 65 of the Fortune 100 companies were using Slack. Today, over 1,500 apps exist in the Slack directory – including ours. Their partnerships have expanded to include companies such as Google, Workday, Salesforce, and (with our help) Atlassian. Now it’s easy for companies to access the benefits of various specialty softwares without the drawbacks (complicated UI, different passwords, confusing billing, educating new hires, etc).
After all, we sign up for productivity software precisely because it can save us time. However, if we are forced to spend lunch breaks learning to use the tools and our extra hours introducing new hires to these functionalities, are we really saving time?
Slack’s bot messaging succinctly addresses this problem. We believe Slack integration should be seamless, easy-to-use, and genuinely helpful. With Nextup bots, you simply answer a few questions and your tasks are completed. All our products are centered around automation, collaboration, and templatization.
We love Slack because they enable SaaS companies to do what we do best – save you time.