a16z Podcast: Tools for How We Work Today


You’ve heard the story: Slack began as a game. But exactly 1 year ago today, the internal tool the team built for its own use became a team communication app that anyone can use — and is now one of the fastest growing ones at that.

It seems like collaboration is “something software should be helping us with” Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield observes, yet it typically isn’t. So what can an app like Slack tell us about how we work today, and how the nature of work will change (fewer meetings? less emails)?

Butterfield is joined in this edition of the a16z podcast by a16z board partner Steven Sinofsky and a16z’s Benedict Evans. The trio examines the origins of messaging and task management tools (many of which Sinofsky worked on at Microsoft) — and how the advent of cloud-based services and mobile in particular have changed the requirements for modern workplace tools and information management.