Unlocking the future of work

Earlier this week, Salesforce acquired Slack for $27.7 billion.

It’s a seismic move in the workplace collaboration space, which has surged with the rise of remote work and virtual communication.

So, why did Salesforce acquire Slack — and more importantly, why did Slack decide to sell to Salesforce? It’s clear this was not about ‘bailing out’ a company; this was a strategic partnership to build the operating system for work.

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In this post, I’ll dig into the three areas of opportunity that a Salesforce + Slack acquisition unlocks:

  1. The system of record for work
  2. Distribution to the enterprise
  3. Streamlined external…


Your product is not just the UI.

I recently had the opportunity to help build and launch a consumer-facing product: Clio for Clients.

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It’s the first time in my (short) career that I’ve worked on a consumer product. To date, my work has been B2B-focused, building for the likes of lawyers, service professionals, and knowledge workers.

Clio is now a B2B2C company, which means we sell our software to law firms, who also provide our software to their clients.

So, with this product, we were building for legal consumers; ordinary people like you and me who were experiencing a legal matter. That could be anything from a divorce to bankruptcy to selling a home. …


A new product idea to discover places to go + things to do

Since its launch in 2010, Instagram has become a cornerstone of cultural impact across many industries — tourism, entertainment, food, and so on.

Take this example: in the year 2010, only 800 people visited Trolltunga, a beautiful scenic rock in Norway.

But by 2018, 87,000 people were visiting it a year. That’s an 1,100% increase in 8 years!

What changed? Instagram.

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All those scenic photos of Norway you see on your Instagram feed & on friends’ stories? They drive the discovery of places & experiences — for both tourists and locals.

Norway isn’t alone on this. Restaurants and coffee shops have started to put more emphasis on how their food looks (e.g. plating, colours) and transformed their layouts to appear visually pleasing (e.g. good lighting, bright colours). …


Getting more users to use more integrations, more frequently

Integrations are a pivotal component of Slack’s business. It’s a core element of what differentiates them from other chat-based apps; as evidenced by their shift in positioning from a messaging app for teams to where work happens. In order to increase retention with its customer base, one of Slack’s biggest competitive moats is its App Directory — with hundreds of integrations across over a dozen verticals.

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But an existential challenge for Slack remains; if integrations are what truly set it apart from its competitors (including alternatives like email), how can Slack increase adoption of integrations by its users?

Why is this important, you ask? The answer is Retention, AKA the metric that can make or break your business. …


The competing products we don’t talk about

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When building a product, or starting a company, we tend to focus only on direct competitors.

If you’re building for a specific vertical (i.e. legal), this could be a competing product in that market, or if you’re building a consumer product, this could be an app that offers mirrored functionality (i.e. Instagram / Snapchat).

However, I believe this is short-sighted. While direct competitors are no doubt a legitimate threat, the products that offer the most threat are the ones your users don’t even have to think about adopting.

At the end of the day, every user has a job to be done, and they will, generally, adopt the product that has the optimal balance of lowest friction, highest value.


Actionable ways you can step into your customers’ shoes.

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It’s a common refrain nowadays that companies need to be customer-centric. This often manifests itself in routine activities such as user research, customer interviews, and surveys.

However, I believe product teams can go much deeper than this.

Being customer-centric isn’t just about talking to your users; that’s table stakes. To truly be customer obsessed is to fully immerse yourself in your customers’ world.

And there may be no company that better operationalizes this than Amazon, who is highly renowned for its list of Leadership Principles; a set of tenets that guides its overall strategy and decision-making process.

The most important one, any employee will tell you, is Customer Obsession. They define this…


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People often debate what the best course for your career is — take a stable job at a large company, or take a risk and join a promising young startup. Stability and prestige versus a high risk, high reward pipe dream.

There’s certainly no right answer — it depends what you value more, and what type of learning you want to engage in. If you want to weigh the pros and cons of the risk and reward, you can read more on that here.

I’m here to make the argument that if you want to optimize for learning, joining a small, early-stage startup is the single best thing you can do for your career. …


Finding yourself in a world that’s trying to change everything

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Silicon Valley truly is a magical place. It’s a riveting, inspiring place filled with the brightest people I’ve ever met in the world.

It is as crazy as you’ve heard: you walk down Market Street and all you see is what I call ‘the logos’.

Uber. Square. Twitter. Dropbox. Airbnb. Facebook. Google.

Adorned over backpacks, jackets, hoodies, t-shirts, and whatever else cool swag they’re giving out these days.

In most other cities, to see a concentrated swarm of individuals covered in the logos of household name tech giants would be a rare sight; nearly unfathomable, in fact.

For visitors and those new to the area, it’s easy to geek out over such superficial observations. …


Why less isn’t always more

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Time is our most valuable resource — this we know. So it’s no surprise that most of us are constantly seeking out ways to make the most of it.

Optimize this, scale that, automate this, streamline that; it goes on and on.

In today’s app-driven, on-demand economy, we can leverage the power of automation to accomplish a variety of tasks in the background, simply with a few taps on our phones.

And things just show up at our doorstep. With zero effort from us, apart from those aforementioned few taps on our phones.

But I think something has gotten lost in here: the power of experience. …


Try working smart instead.

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Most people equate long hours with working “hard.” This is a huge problem with regards to how we perceive productivity — and to a greater extent, the importance and external validation of someone’s job.

Why?

Well, what does working “hard” even mean? Does it mean a lot of time? A lot of effort? Both? Neither?

We need to correct our dialogue surrounding how we work, because it’s becoming problematic. Most people assume that if you work, say, 12 hours a day, you must be completing a lot of work.

Not only is that fallacious, it can actually be inaccurate. …

About

Samir Javer

Product @GoClio. Ex: @Thumbtack, @DoMeetings.

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