This whole piece on Slack’s fast growth to a $1 billion valuation is great and it’s hard to pick out just one quote. Although, this part about constant feedback struck a chord with me:
Take Rdio, for example, one of Butterfield’s biggest beta-test companies. “In Slack, you create channels to discuss different topics. For a small group of people, those channels are relatively easy to manage and navigate. With a team that large, though, everyone was creating channels, and there was no way for people — particularly new hires — to figure out which ones they should join.”
Once they understood that, the Slack team quickly identified small changes that had a big impact: Within the list of channels, they added fields for a description and the number of people using that channel. “In the grand scheme of things, that’s a fairly trivial example, but those were things that would make Slack unworkable for certain teams. Beta-tester feedback is crucial to finding those little oversights in a product design.”
Now, a year after Slack’s public launch, that reverence for user feedback is part of the company’s DNA. “We will take user feedback any way we can get it. In the app, we include a command that people can use to send us feedback. We have a help button that people can use to submit support tickets,” says Butterfield. They’ve got eyes all over Twitter for comments good and bad. “If you put that all together, we probably get 8,000 Zendesk help tickets and 10,000 tweets per month, and we respond to all of them.”
You would think with as much success as Slack has had, it would relax its feedback mechanisms a bit and start to develop a bit of a corporate ego. Happy to see its leaders are sticking with the ideals that got them where they are today.