We Don’t Sell Saddles Here
by Stewart Butterfield
This piece was written by Slack’s CEO & Co-founder two weeks prior to Slack’s preview release on August 14th, 2013. A little under six months later, on February 12th, 2014, Slack officially launched. December 1st, 2020 Slack gets acquired by Salesforce for $27.7 billion.
Slack’s equivalent to “We Don’t Sell Saddles Here” is “We Don’t Sell a Group Chat System.” Slack sells organizational transformation. “We’re selling a reduction in information overload, relief from stress, and a new ability to extract the enormous value of hitherto useless corporate archives. We’re selling better organizations, better team,” Stewart says.
In the same vein, Stewart continues, “There are many brands whose marketing activities or positioning has them selling something other than (and usually larger than) their product.”
“Just as much as our job is to build something genuinely useful, something which really does make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive, our job is also to understand what people think they want and then translate the value of Slack into their terms.” — Stewart Butterfield
All products (if used) ask their users to do things a certain way, to think of themselves in a certain way. This usually means some kind of behavioral+mindset shift of the user.
“Ensuring that the pieces all come together is not someone else’s job. It is your job, no matter what your title is and no matter what role you play. The pursuit of that purpose should permeate everything we do.” — Stewart Butterfield
My two cents: I thought this piece was pretty timely with Salesforce acquiring Slack 8 days ago. Slack’s entire journey is incredible and I highly recommend listening to this interview with Stewart on the winding experience of how Slack came to be.
Share (if you're an OG) Twitter Facebook