The unique play

[Updated 03/02/15: added Slack promo video]

One of the great aspects of the Internet is access to a multitude (realistically, too many!) articles/reports and stories giving guidance and ideas on almost every possible topic.

For me the interest is technology and its use in human society (or which this blog largely spends its time on), and coaching/teaching (brought about through my hobby, but also a genuine interest in how people learn and motivation).

One aspect of technology is watching new companies explode in prominence (and how they do it). The most recent one was Tesla and their electric car (but realistically, alternative sales method by only selling online and showrooms quite literally to only show you the car as they have no stock is one of their unique selling points) and a more recent online service is Slack. It's just another version like Microsoft's Yammer, or even similar in concept to Facebook with a feed, but it's exploded and people. can't. stop. raving. about. it. 

In short - and this is a relatively apt description for Yammer, Basecamp, etc - it's an attempt to move past the weaknesses in email. Anyone who spends time in an office will be well aware of inbox overload, that non-stop stream of emails many of which require no action, or do require action, or you've been added to a mail thread that means loads or absolutely nothing at all, and has multiple versions of the same attachment going around, etc.. Slack has built a service (and interestingly, it was not their original business as when that failed, they took what had been their own internal communication system and turned it into the service now known as Slack) that aims to reduce/target this system and improve on it. A news feed style system that integrates into every possible service imaginable. Personally, I've only had limited experience, a day while joining in with a group on a project. And the idea was lovely - and more useful than email for many certain tasks. I highly recommend giving it a spin.

This article about Slack stands out for highlighting just what made them successful. Something all companies, starting-up or a veteran, could learn. I've pulled a few quotes from it below:

....So how did the company not only launch with enviable momentum, but so quickly win users' hearts? If there’s one theme that emerges when founder Stewart Butterfield talks about Slack's success, it’s that the company made customer feedback the epicenter of its efforts....

....Social media has leveled the playing field, so whatever coverage you earn, run with it — give it new life by sharing it with your immediate and extended networks again and again. Engage with interested parties in your networks (prioritizing those with lots of followers and known influence) to broaden your reach. Don't worry about repetition. It will only help you stay top of mind for prospective users....

...“Every customer interaction is a marketing opportunity. If you go above and beyond on the customer service side, people are much more likely to recommend you.”....
Neal McQuaid