a16z Podcast: Nobody Discusses Work Software Outside of Work — and Then There’s Slack

For as long as there has been software we have had this collective hope — maybe more of a desire — that software will make all kinds of work easier, more productive, and more creative. Spreadsheets, computer-aided design tools, digital publishing platforms, though never perfect, are examples of software that have definitely changed how we work and what is possible. Still, you find very few people enthusing about Excel over cocktails.

So what is going on with Slack? The messaging app crops up in conversation at dinner parties. It’s become a kind of cultural signifier of a tech savvy workforce that is always looking for better ways to connect — inside and outside of work.

In this segment of the podcast we discuss Slack with its founder Stewart Butterfield. Why Slack has resonated so well across all types of people, from engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to dentists, and what that says about how we work today and about our ongoing quest for the perfect tools and services to get the job done.

The conversation happened as part of a16z’s Capital Summit.