Slack's Stewart Butterfield on Making Workers More Productive—or Not
Stewart Butterfield, one of the cofounders of Slack, acknowledged at the WIRED25 conference in San Francisco on Friday that it’s difficult to tell whether the company’s workplace-messaging software actually makes companies more productive.
“Economic measures of the impact of productivity in IT investment, for like 35 years or so, have been kind of hard to do,” Butterfield told WIRED editor in chief Nicholas Thompson. He believes the best way to see Slack’s value is to look at specific use cases. For example, Butterfield said, Slack helped CBS publish footage from the 2018 World Cup on social media less than a minute after a goal was scored. “I’m not making an argument that the productivity boost is getting your tweet up faster, but it’s illustrative of the kind of things that these people do.”