Slack Product Review: Almost Perfect

I ran across Slack a few months back, but with so many new products and vendors of Social Business Systems, I only gave it a brief glance. Last week I saw that they just raised $120M with a $1.12B valuation, that caught my attention and deserved further research. So far I have only looked through their on-site educational material, but I really like what I see. They are focused on creating a single stream of content, regardless of source, something I have been looking for for a long time. I like this! They are also (relatedly) working through integrations with other systems, and not trying to be all things in a monolithic package. Meaning you can store your documents in Dropbox or Google Docs while using Slack to handle messages related to changes in the documents. Basically there is a lot to like here, and I will let others go into more detail about all the features.Screenshot 2014-11-04 10.42.05

I want to address the one thing that I see as an “architectural issue”, Team-centricity, meaning that the “team” is the fundamental element of the system. As I understand it, if you want to use Slack for more than one team, then you need to operate in more than one instance of Slack. I would like to see the architecture operate around the individual instead, and team be a level of filtering and segmentation available to the individual. In today’s world, teams are fluid and individuals are mobile. I want to see a single dashboard that holds all of my teams so I can get a universal view of everything that impacts me, without having to jump from instance to instance. Their current architecture seems to undo everything they gained with the “single stream”.

There is so much to like here that if I can find a way around this issue, Slack may become the solution I have been looking for.


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