This Team Built an App Valued at $1.2 Billion by Procrastinating


There is a chat app that’s going crazy in the world of work — no more email, just use Slack.

A few months ago it was setting records for early viral adoption.

How did they invent such an amazing thing?

By fooling around. Something we’ve talked about here at Knote when learning lessons from Isaac Asimov.

Here’s what happened. They made a game called Glitch at their startup (it didn’t work out or catch on) and along the way, got obsessed with how they were working:

Butterfield and the rest of Tiny Speck were old-school web folks–they used IRC to communicate during Glitch’s development. Eventually, that wasn’t enough. But instead of choosing a middling team messaging software to improve productivity, Tiny Speck built their own. Then they added hacks to include features. And then added more hacks. And more hacks. So when Tiny Spark pulled the plug on Glitch, they had a customized, turbocharged team communication platform: Slack. (FastCo)

Their hobby turned out to be sooooo good, it’s the heart of the company now. The game is over. Maybe they should’ve spent less time hacking on the side and more time focusing on the game…? Nah.

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