After nearly seven years of working on Slack, it’s time for something new. Four years ago, I joined Slack through the acquisition of Missions, a messaging based workflow system. Mission was a pivot from a bot hosting platform we called Beep Boop. Beep Boop emerged as we were building Slack and HipChat bots. It’s been a spell, yet one hell of a ride.
The one steel thread that has consistently wound through everything has been a passion for empowering people to embrace their uniqueness and work together more effectively. I was tickled to find these two paragraphs from a blog post I wrote in 2017:
Team messaging apps aren’t successful because of integrations, they are transformational because of the effect they have on transparency, culture, the ability to self organize, and the way they enable geographically dispersed teams to work together.
We decided that if we were really going to make a dent at empowering diverse teams to work together more effectively, we needed to expand beyond developers and create a platform anyone could use. We needed to focus on how people worked with each other, not how systems connect to systems. We needed to embrace that every company, team, workgroup, and relationship is unique. We needed to focus on workflows.
At Slack, we set out to develop a simpler, more approachable version of Missions that would be a native to Slack. In October 2019, we launched Workflow Builder with no logic branching, a few simple ways to start a workflow and the ability to create a form and send a message. Customers would come to love Workflow Builder because it was easy to learn and empowering. It’s humbling to know that well over a million workflows will run today. That’s a lot of collective empowerment 😊.
And then we parlayed the momentum of Workflow Builder into the reimagination of the Slack Platform. But that book is still being written! I am excited for the team to keep writing this book and reveal each chapter this and next year. I was honored to be able to represent the team’s work one last time at Trailblazer DX where I demoed the new Slack developer experience.
I’ve never loved a product the way I love Slack ❤️. It is truly one of the most amazing, humble, creative, decent, humane companies in history. It’s been a major part of my life for nearly seven years and has impacted me dearly. Though I’ll be on the sidelines, I will remain a huge fan and fervent in my belief of the empowering potential of the platform.
So what’s next? I’m uneasy yet excited to admit that for the first time in my career, I don’t know 😅. First, I’m going to take a break to regroup, recharge, spend time with my partner Jeanie and 5 kids, reflect, write, and hopefully… hopefully… begin another adventurous chapter that if I’m lucky will be as good as the last. What I do know is that I believe in people, all people, and strive to help them find the magic within themselves, and I enjoy building products that empower them.
But one thing I am sure of is that I am going to hella miss the people.