Access and Feeds

Enterprise Software: Is Slack the Best we can Do?

By Dick Weisinger

Slack.  It has become the most popular chat and productivity tool in the world.  It is used by 77 percent of Fortune 100 companies.  It is the fastest-growing SaaS software company.

It must be good. But there are haters. Why? Slack channels tend to be much more informal than emails and it almost encourage off-topic chatter among people.  It fails at providing a simple go-to resource that allows people to quickly get the current status and find information about an area of the project that they’re interested. For part-time project members, trying to follow project status can be painstakingly time-wasting.  Channels created with overlapping interests force users to flip back and forth between multiple locations.  Files are shared and uploaded, embedded in chat streams which can satisfy an immediate need.  But while Slack offers search, good luck trying to locate information more than two weeks later.

Christian Giacomi, developer in Denmark, wrote that “I personally find endless context switching very draining on my ability to concentrate and I find that Slack is the mother of all distractions.”

Amir Salihefendic, CEO of Doist, wrote of his company’s experience with Slack on FastCompany: “Because conversations in Slack happen on a one-way conveyor belt, our team began feeling like they had to stay constantly connected to keep up. This style of communication was especially problematic for a remote-first company like ours. How do you stay in the loop when earlier topics have already been discussed and are buried by the time you even wake up?”

You’ve got to wonder why this is called the best enterprise software ever.  Is this the best we can do?


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