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/open [#channel]
Slack, the future
workplace.
[When] April 2019
/remind [#fabernovel_studies] to [share, reuse, remix]
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—
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FABERNOVEL
Stéphane D.
Channels +
#Foreword
3
Stéphane Distinguin Founder & CEO of FABERNOVEL
Slack was born in 2013.
After several years of success and $1.2B raised, the company may go
public soon. Spotify, which was listed mid-2018, has paved the way
to unicorn IPOs: Slack, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest, Leboncoin… are
expected to be listed this year.
Thus, 2019 will be a once-in-a-decade year for tech analysts and
investors. Everyone has his own opinion – but what could Slack's
valuation be?
In this study, you’ll discover what is, to us – FABERNOVEL is among
Slack’s early adopters, using it since 2014 –, Slack’s secret sauce and
what makes it so special.
Slack is surely an incredible company with tremendous growth
perspectives. But what does it mean in terms of work ideology? How
can a single application transform culture, work relationships and,
ultimately, entire organizations?
There is a (work) life before Slack... and another one after it: let’s see
how Slack has impacted the corporate world.
/msg @all [your message]
Disclaimer
—
This study was independently realized by
FABERNOVEL, using only
public sources – especially for the
calculation of Slack’s valuation.
The following analysis is simply
the reflection of our opinions –
not disguised advertisement!
4
/invite @all [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Meet Slack
searchable
logof
all
conversationand
knowledge
5
/who [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack in figures
Stewart Butterfield & Cal Henderson
©Ariel Zambelich/WIRED
#slack-the-future-workplace
Sources: Slack, *FABERNOVEL’s estimates
6
Client base
10 millions
daily active
users (Jan. 2019).
3.7 millions*
are paying users.
500,000+
organizations.
Average team’s size*:
around 35 users
per workspace.
85,000 paid
teams use Slack
(as of 2018).
—
Creation date
August 2013.
—
Official launch date
February 2014.
—
Founders
Stewart
Butterfield
who had already
co-founded Flickr –
alongside with
Eric Costello,
Cal Henderson and
Serguei Mourachov.
—
Sales
380 millions
dollars in 2018*.
Goal for 2019:
640 millions dollars.
Available in more
than 150 countries.
50% of users are
outside the US.
—
Portfolio
65 of the
American
Fortune 100
companies use Slack
(as of mid 2018).
/what [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Source: Slack
Here is the companion of 10 million talents every day
Workplace
Every user belongs to
at least one workplace
similar to a virtual
open space or team.
Slackbot
Slackbot is Slack’s
assistant – a more
advanced version of
Microsoft’s Clipper.
Chat
On Slack, you can share information and files through in order to better collaborate:
● Direct messages: peer-to-peer messages and group messages
● Channels: public, private or shared newsfeeds
● Calls: both vocal and video calls
Integration
Native or third-party
functions, apps and
services are integrated
into Slack for a better
experience.
Archives
The shared files are
available through any
of the user’s devices.
Indexing is done on the
file format.
7
/archive [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Sources: First Round, Glitch website
—
Slack’s timeline in short
Slack: a video games company that pivoted
2011
End of 2012
May 2013
In 2011, Stewart Butterfield
tried to launch an online
video game called Glitch.
But it was a failure.
However, Stewart and his
team decided to recycle the
communication tool that had
been developed for the video
games and tailor it for B2B
use.
Beginning of the messaging
app development reusing
chat tool from Glitch.
Beta-test with partner / friend
companies Cozy & Rdio.
Strong traction:
8k users on the 1st day.
15k users in the first 2 weeks.
→ virality: social media share.
→ word of mouth.
August 2013
1ST RELEASE
THE COMPANY WAS REVENUE
POSITIVE AND FULL OF DEVS.
8
/how [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Sources: Crunchbase, InvestorPlace, BayStreet, Bloomberg
—
Slack has raised funds 11 times since its creation for a global amount of
$1.2B. But it is also the (former) youngest startup to reach unicorn status:
only 8 months!
A mix of serendipity and opportunism leading to a massive flow of cash
9
creation
launch
unicorn
Cumulated fund raised (in million dollars)
/topic [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Slack’s success is due to remarkable execution - based on 3 pillars:
Slack’s secret sauce
THE MODEL
API as the meeting point of the
ecosystem.
THE UX
The sexiest B2B tool.
THE VISION
Software is eating organizations.
1.
2.
3.
10
/join [#the-model]
1. API as the
meeting point of
the ecosystem.
/how [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
These basic functions make Slack a powerful chat software for any organization.
They also control Slack’s user experience which is decisive for the business.
Slack focuses on 3 core features tailored to orchestrate knowledge within companies
1. The file sharing 2. The search box 3. The synchronization
Collect and organize
information and data.
Connect the right information
and data to the right user.
Make knowledge accessible
anywhere at any time.
12
/which [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Platforms appear as the winning models of the new economy. There are 3 types of platforms:
Like any platform, Slack’s job is to maximize worklife interactions
Matchmakers Providers Enablers
Match producing with consuming
nodes in real-time, according to
their needs.
Attracting new consuming and
producing nodes to grow the
liquidity of the platform and
maximize potential transactions.
Provide infrastructure, tools and
services to facilitate value creation
on the platform and maximize
interaction.
13
>
Nick Coronges CTO of R/GA
Slack is not only great at connecting
people, it’s great at connecting the tools
and the systems we already have.
/apps [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Slack is the backbone that makes any work tools and
apps interoperable for companies at the digital age.
Slack empowers users by acting like an interface between the OS and business services
14
>
Slackbot 9:17
Slack is a layer of the business
technology stack that brings together
people, data, and applications.
Source: Slack’s Customer Storybook
/apps [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Step 1
Build
a collaboration
app for work.
Goal > Facilitate people’s interactions.
Slack’s first mission is to solve one big problem
in companies: group communication.
Slack’s provided a social network with some integrations.
Slack brings an infinite level of customisation thanks to API and openness strategies
—
Step 2
Enable product
personalization
by third parties
and users.
Goal > Increase perceived value of the tool.
Slack’s APIs are opened to everyone
to create apps and bots. No two Slacks are alike.
Summer 2013
Sources: api.slack.com, Slack’s Help Center
Winter 2015
15
5,000
Apps available on
Salesforce Store
(launched in 2005).
/apps [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Many app directories, not the same scale
Sources: VentureBeat, companies’ websites
717
Apps available on
Zendesk App Directory.
168
Apps available on
Microsoft Teams
App Directory.
154
Apps available on
Hootsuite App
Directory.
<10
Apps available on
Yammer App
Directory.
1,500Slack App Directory is established
in December 2015.
Slack offers widely-used
open source libraries
and plugins, and involves
more than 200,000 developers.
The graal: being part of
Essential Apps’ section,
such as 38 of all third-party services.
16
/apps [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Step 3
Cover any
company’s need
Goal > Enable any job to be done through Slack
As Slack controls the demand side, it is able to help workers
in every aspect of their job and has the flexibility with his apps to do so.
Slack wants to be your partner at work
Sources: Slack’s Help Center, Slack's blog
PRODUCTIVITY
Google
Drive
GitHub Asana
Zapier
Zendesk
Trello Google
Calendar
Doodle
17
>
Slackbot 9:46
This means you can share information,
automate tasks, or access services
without ever leaving your Slack
workspace.
FILESMANAGEMENT
Dropbox OneDrive
Box Adobe WATCH
Twitter
IFTTTRSS
Digg
HEALTH
Reminder
bot
Stop, Breathe
& Think
ClusterTruckSlava
TRAVEL
Forecast Foursquare
Kayak XE currency
/status [#slack-the-future-workplace]
+94%
of paid teams use apps and
integrations on a weekly basis.
—
For the moment, Slack does not charge its partners but
uses them as a heavyweight argument to convert free
users into paying ones – and make money.
When a user starts paying for Slack, searchable messages and third-party or
custom app integrations become unlimited.
Slack has one of the highest conversion rate (38%) among freemium
software products.
A chat room for free, an ecosystem of services and a knowledge system for $8 per month
Sources: Price Intelligently, TechCrunch
>
Fred de la Compta 9:51
The transition to the fee-based model
should not be seen as an obligation but
as a real personal and collective added
value.
18
/how [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack has as much esteem for paying customers as it does for its ecosystem
19
Slack has understood that value must flow
smoothly among all stakeholders.
—
Slack has segmented its ecosystem to build
a tailored relationship with each part.
Frontiers – Slack’s annual event – is a great example of that as it is divided
into three tracks:
● Pathfinder track for business leaders
To discuss about future of work.
● Opportunity track for IT experts
To know how to implement and leverage Slack in their companies.
● Curiosity track for third-party developers
To be part of Slack’s future releases.
Corporates pay for the
product.
Talented developers contribute to
expand value proposition.
Slack becomes more
attractive.
Slack can invest in the core
features and ecosystem.
/trello [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Slack’s official platform roadmap is a public Trello board that is
accessible to all.
>
Slackbot 10:43
As we grow, developers are able to succeed with us;
sharing our customers and joining us in changing the
way people do work. In turn, our customers are
delighted, new customers have even more reason to use
Slack, and the cycle continues.
Developers from all over the world are invited to build Slack’s future
Sources: article from Slack published on Medium, slackcommunity.com
20
—
The Slack Platform Community was launched in March 2019 to
encourage Slack developers, builders, and platform enthusiasts to join
in-person local meetups - the missing piece of Slack community puzzle.
These events will be organized by volunteers all over the world with the support of
Slack (resources and training, best practices, guidances...). Each volunteer will have to
define a "chapter", a kind of topic that will be discussed by his local community.
/why [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
At the same time as Slack App Directory (12/2015), Slack launched a fund
gathering 80 million dollars to invest in ‘Slack-first’ apps and enterprise tools.
It is the exact illustration of the so-called concept “pay-it forward”.
Slack only focuses on early-stage startups that are backed by at least one strongly engaged investor
– with therefore high potential of growth – and that want to make daily work simpler, more
productive and more pleasant.
As of today, Slack has made nearly 50 investments in startups from seed to series B:
Slack actively fuels its ecosystem to generate synergies
Sources: Crunchbase, Slack, Venture Beat
>
Martin Zwilling Founder and CEO of
Startup Professionals, Inc
It’s a smart way to get third-party
developers to more quickly generate
integrated apps and interfaces for
other apps to connect to Slack.
21
($7M)
($25M)
($16M)
($19M)
($13.5M)
The amounts in brackets represent total fundraising, not Slack's equity investments.
/for [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Slack supports a diverse and valuable ecosystem of third-party apps and
makes them easy to discover.
Slack Fund’s ROI is not the money, it’s the ecosystem
Sources: April Underwood, Slack
22
>
● Stewart Butterfield At Slack Fund launch (Dec. 2015)
We’ll measure the success of
the Slack Fund in the quality and
adoption of the apps built by
Slack Fund companies and by
the overall investment we see
in the Slack ecosystem.
/join [#the-ux]
2. The sexiest
B2B tool.
/time [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Simulation of time spent on Slack (in hour).
Slack shows incredible adoption
Sources: La Tribune, FABERNOVEL’s estimates based on Slack’s announcements
24
125MNumber of hours actively
spent on Slack every week.
12AM 1AM 2AM 3AM 4AM 5AM
12PM 1PM 2PM 3PM 4PM 5PM
6AM 7AM 8AM 9AM 10AM 11AM
6PM 7PM 8PM 9PM 10PM 11PM
/remind list [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Slack wants desk worker to communicate easier, faster,
better. Nothing revolutionary, but with a perfect execution.
A minimalist interface
Onboarding is pretty intuitive compared to the common B2B software services
that require hours of teaching.
Slack’s founders were aware that they ask people to make a tremendous effort
to switch for Slack. So they have designed a very efficient, powerful,
well-organized interface.
The email killer? At least a game changer.
Slack has preempted the free space between small talks and formal
conversations. As Slack gathers in a single place most of the company’s shared
information, email takes the second place: its decrease is 50% on average,
and can reach 75% in some cases.
The promise of Slack: simple, fluid and fast
25
/how [#slack-the-future-workplace]
It’s not about concrete features, but a new state of mind and a new working atmosphere
26
—
Slack is a real state of mind, rooted in refined design and a cool look (quite
rare in the professional world):
● Looks different
Modern and dynamic with cool icons.
● Feels different
Playful entertainment thanks to Slackbot.
● Sounds different
A cheerful and funny tone.
>
Andrew Wilkinson
Founder of design firm MetaLab
We gave it the color scheme of a video
game, not an enterprise collaboration
product.
—
Exemples:
Slack is basically a B2B tool with B2C codes. It’s fun, less rigid, less boring. The
app goes along with loads of animation, sounds, expressions and emojis.
When a workplace is set up, Slack automatically
creates a #random channel which will be used to
bring together all the peripheral discussions.
Source: MetaLab
/custom [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack embraces your company's culture by design
27
—
Rooted in a strong geek culture, Slack has taken back many codes of video games like hiding easter eggs.
The product is also designed for derivative uses and personal appropriation.
Each Workspace Owner can customize
a myriad of elements to make the
workspace more welcoming and relevant
to the firm’s users.
The personalisation of GIF and emojis is the
most potent example of how employees can
express themselves through the software
and establish their own codes.
If channels are a good way for teams
to manage projects and share information,
it is also a lever to engage talents in
the company’s life.
At FABERNOVEL, we have more than
1,200 personalised emojis – many of
which are people’s faces.
#faber-on-tour
The infinite journey of FABERpeople throughout Paris, its
suburbs, France and beyond.
/custom [#slack-the-future-workplace]
2 of our software-based hacks
28
—
Marvin
is a home-made tool developed by FABERNOVEL in
order to create links between the 450 employees
located in 8 different cities. Every week, the bot will
automatically connect 2 fabernovelians in a chat,
and invite them to make a speedmeeting.
—
The Scoop
is a robot developed by 2 interns at FABERNOVEL
that allows us to read the best of what has been
shared and discussed on Slack. It selects the articles
and conversations that have generated the most
reactions from employees. We can access the feed
from our phones and also from the TV in
FABERNOVEL’s common room.
/custom [#slack-the-future-workplace]
2 of our hacks combining software and hardware
29
—
The Desk
is our own reception tool. Each time a client or
prospect visits us, they press the button below the
right photo and one of us receives a notification on
Slack. It has been extended to incoming deliveries.
Your appointment is waiting for you at the reception desk.
—
Pinger
Pinger is the “Post to Facebook by Voice”, applied to
Slack. Just press a button and say your message,
and Pinger sends it to the recipient via Slack.
Pinger uses speech recognition and artificial
intelligence technologies. Pinger was designed by
FABERNOVEL.
/star [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Beyond the product, Slack has also a fair and transparent business model
30
—
Slack operates a unique “fair billing policy” that could become the norm is
the conservative B2B market.
On Slack, companies are not charged “per seat” but depending on the
real use: if someone in your team does not use Slack, you won’t pay for them.
This strategy is not just about marketing. It also encourages teams to
onboard as many active users as possible with limited barriers to entry.
That’s the reason why Slack’s main KPI is the number of daily active users,
compared to Microsoft which only discloses the number of companies using
Teams.
/star [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Having Slack is a way for today’s companies to look cool...
31
To slack (verb):
when a slacker
sends a slack.
Enter
There have been many chat services, but only one
became a verb and a cool baseline attitude: Slack.
Sources: Christoph Magnussen, Intelligencer
... and retain talents
>
Paul Donnelly Vice President, Collaborative and
Content Services, Oracle
People told us they would quit if we took away their Slack.
Slack is kind of a perk for companies to attract and retain talents.
“What are you doing ?
— Ho, just slacking a bit”.
/star [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack has a punchy and colorful marketing
32
—
Slack has a colourful logo, lively marketing communication and
cheery daily messages of encouragement.
Slack’s campaigns are definitely unconventional and fresh-looking,
especially coming from a B&B tool.
But …
Has Slack kept
his promises?
Sources: Slack, NYT
/dark-mode [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
Slack is a continuous flow of information that might get
users unfocused, raising the question of attention design.
1. Invasive notifications & Information overload.
Slack is absolutely not time-sensitive. It mixes urgent messages with the ones
that could wait. You do not know in advance which message deserves your
immediate attention and get constantly disturbed. To some extent, Slack is
pushing information to its users faster than they can consume it.
2. Impossibility to ignore.
Even if Slack has developed features like the Do Not Disturb mode to help you
control this constant stream of notifications, it’s still addictive. Slack is
definitely playing on your FOMO: you have to stay constantly connected to
keep up. It has become your main source of information within a company.
3. Disorganization of the content.
Inside a single Slack channel you can find simultaneous conversations running.
It’s almost impossible to keep track of what’s happening on one channel
without browsing it. In the end, the same questions and issues are often
brought up numerous time.
Performance at scale, really? The deep work challenge
33
>
Cal Newport 11:04
Deep work is the ability to focus
without distraction on a cognitively
demanding task.
/dark-mode [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
As Slack has taken the codes of best-in-class B2C social services like Messenger, Twitter or WeChat, the
line between professional conversations and office gossip is blurred than ever. This is particularly true for
remote workers who cannot have a casual, off the record chat with other colleagues. On Slack people do
not behave like as they are in the office. They behave like they are on the internet.
Slack is blurring the line between work and not-work
34
Do firms have direct access
to private messages on Slack ?
In April 2018, new rules have been set for exporting data from Slack, with the
launch of a “self-service export tool”. Users won’t be notified anymore if the
workplace owner want to export messages and files from private channels and
direct messages.
Companies do not automatically get access to this tool, they have to
apply and get approved. Slack does not communicate details about this
request process. Corporate exports is only available for paying members
of the Plus plan.
Slack notes that “Employment, privacy, and other
laws, as well as corporate policies, limit the use of
these exports.”
But in reality, there is little transparency
on how these data are used and who can
get access to it.
/join [#the-vision]
3. Software
is eating
organizations.
/archive [#slack-the-future-workplace]
A brief history of what happened to your desk
36
—
80’s-90’s
—
2000’s
—
Today
The desk age The laptop age The platform age
Source: Bestreviews.com
/remove [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
At first glance,Slack jumped
in a very crowded market dominated by emails and many B2B competitors.
Slack’s entered a market dominated by email and changed it
37
121The average number of emails,
each day, office worker receives
and sends out 40 (as of 2017).
Source: Lifewire
—
But,Slack was led by an experienced team that had already faced
failure because of a bad product-market fit (remember Glitch).
Therefore, Slack has defined its own market by getting back to
the worker and its needs:
>
Stewart Butterfield
We are setting out to define a new
market. And that means we can’t limit
ourselves to tweaking the product; we
need to tweak the market too.
/how [#slack-the-future-workplace]
—
For Slack’s founders, companies don’t need products. They want to reduce the cost of communication
(too many emails), a zero effort knowledge management (all archives instantly accessible and
searchables) and a way to gather all teams conversations (too many ways of sharing information).
The winning approach: sell the outcome, not the product
38
Source: Stewart Butterfield’s memo
Vision
Execution
Mission
Slack: where work happens.
Just as much as our job is to build something genuinely useful, something
which really does make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and
more productive, our job is also to understand what people think they want
and then translate the value of Slack into their terms.
We’re selling organizational transformation.
/shortcuts [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Eventually Slack’s competitor is McKinsey, not Microsoft
39
—
In real,Slack is a software-driven “change company”.
>
Stewart Butterfield
The software just happens to be the part we’re able to build & ship
(and the means for us to get our cut).
Market of communication apps. Market of transformation agencies.
or
/expand [#slack-the-future-workplace]
One solution for a full organizational transformation
40
Sources: Slack, VentureBeat, Slack's blog
—
Slack started by engaging small teams but one must not confuse Slack’s
target and the mode of adoption.
Slack’s goal is to be adopted “at scale” by large organizations.
On 2017, Slack launched Enterprise Grid that evolves
communication from teams to whole organizations.
150The number of corporates used
Slack worldwide, early 2018.
Slack promotes a global transformation for companies.
Not only for isolated teams.
>
Paul Donnelly Vice President, Collaborative and
Content Services, Oracle
We’ve bought companies that use Slack a lot, with very
sophisticated environments. The challenge became ‘Is this
service secure?’ or ‘Is Slack enterprise-ready?’ and
Enterprise Grid really gave us the platform we needed.
/expand [#slack-the-future-workplace]
From bottom to top: bring your own software
41
Source: La Tribune
—
Slack has implemented a deployment strategy mostly found in the B2C world:
1. Seducing early adopters who adopt the tool spontaneously;
2. Making them spread the word to convince their peers to join the movement;
3. Then negotiating with the procurement department.
Case
The travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has offices all over the world.
Managing significant time differences is part of the daily life of teams.
>
Sebastian Neylan Marketing Director at Lonely Planet
There has been no obligation to use Slack internally. For one or
two years, only a few teams used it before a global deployment.
/expand [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Is B-2-Employee-2-B the new go-to-market strategy?
42
Source: companies’ websites
—
Many startups target both employees and their bosses. They aim at building a community of ambassadors to better deal with
companies. In some ways, employees facilitate the work of business developers that “only” have to identify companies with traction.
*
* Translation: Employee of a company?
*
...
* Translation: I am an employee
To order in a group with my colleagues
/how [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Humans shape tools, tools shape humans
43
Source: FABERNOVEL
—
Slack transforms companies from the inside.
The 3 pillars of their organization are impacted:
>
Stewart Butterfield
The best — maybe the only? — real,
direct measure of “innovation” is
change in human behaviour.
—
Culture
Language, values, beliefs, mindset, behavioral
norms, whether explicit or implicit, shared
by the team.
—
Routines
The processes (formal perspective) and habits
(informal perspective) that regulate procedures,
information transmission, decision-making,
resource allocation, and coordination of
the various stakeholders.
—
Structures
The arrangement tasks and skills into roles, teams,
divisions, etc., their scopes and articulation,
particularly through hierarchical links.
Both formal and informal.
/zoom [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack is the flagship of tech-driven companies
44
Culture
Sources: L’organisation libérée, The Next Web
—
Slack is part of a broader movement: it brings a tech and geek culture to help
traditional companies take the digital wave and thus become software
companies themselves: 62% of its users have “non-technical” backgrounds.
Geek culture Agility at scale Openness
Slack carries the computing’s legacy:
to call a function (by Slack or a 3rd
party), users have to use a /.
Slack promotes agility through their
channels: if a topic emerges in the
company, create a channel and talk
openly with your fellows.
Slack allows companies to invite
external people to their
workplaces, thus embodying an
open innovation mindset.
/zoom [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slackbot gives an overview of the future of work: right combination between fun and
efficiency
45
Routines
—
Slackbot behaves like virtual colleague or an office manager. It gives a personality to the product and
aims at enhancing desk workers’ potential, although it is still work in progress.
Tomorrow, Slackbot could be fulfilled with more AI technologies and nurtured with behavioural data
of users to become a true office adviser – or even a virtual manager? –, adapting to their needs
and ways of working.
Who do you want the Slackbot to be?
The coach. The good friend. The assistant.
Slackbot 9:17
Hello John! 28% decrease
in productivity this week.
Do you want a few tips?
Beer time guys! I'm so thirsty. Where are we going?
/zoom [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack sells more transparency and less hierarchy
46
Structures
>
Johann Butting
Head of EMEA Sales @Slack
Employees can create their own conversations to solve a quick
problem, without managers being involved. This makes it
possible to use the strengths of your team to empower them and
thus make them more motivated.
—
Slack is more than a messaging app: it’s a catalyst of transformation
that does not leave traditional organizational patterns unchanged.
#we-love-biz is a public channel with more than
130 people within FABERNOVEL to talk about prospects
and clients. Anyone can join the channel, no matter their
role or position.
* It’s A Win – Announcement of the deals
won
* To Take – Communication on an
identified and to be seized opportunity
* I Need Help – Request for information
on a contact at a client / prospect, a
sector expertise...
Sources: FABERNOVEL workplace, La Tribune
/goal [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack in one word: transforming desk workers
47
Source: Though Economics
>
● Stewart Butterfield
The workplace of the future is hard
to predict specifically, but one thing we
can predict is that we will increasingly
rely on human intelligence and
creativity as opposed to human
capacity to perform repetitive tasks.
tasks
tasks
Free zone
for
creativity
and
empower-
ment
What
employees
do
What
slackwants
employees
do
/goal [#slack-the-future-workplace]
As many bits as atoms in the workplace
48
Source: Intelligencer
>
● Molly Fischer 11:26
Slack’s work chat is the
consummation of the
open-plan-office dream –
an unstructured space where you
can share, collaborate, and see
what everyone else is working on.
/join [#IPO]
On the way to IPO:
how much is Slack
really worth?
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack’s strategy at work: more users and more engagement
50
Sources: Slack, FABERNOVEL estimates
—
10 million users, more connected than ever
Not only is the number of Slack users increasing (50% Daily Active Users
yearly growth) but the ratio: paying users/total users is also growing
impressively fast (from 28% to 38% today). As a comparison, Spotify has
a ratio of paying users/total users of 46%.
What does it tell us?
This is a good example of value densification thanks to the arrival of new
functionalities as Slack is able to meet more of its users’ needs.
With Slack adding new services and apps, users cannot simply rely on the
free use of Slack and have to switch to a paying account.
Slack - ratio of paying users/total usersDaily active users
10,000,000 In January
2019, we
reached
10 million
DAUs.
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack managed to transform its strategy into value
Sources: Slack, TechCrunch, Business Insider, FABERNOVEL’s estimates
Slack estimated
Annual Recurring
Revenues ($m)
—
We evaluated Slack’s potential revenues using the historical
evolution of the user base and the revenue per user per
month. We then made forecasts for 2019.
Using the valuation during Slack fundraisings, we estimated
the implicit enterprise value per Sales (EV/Sales) multiples at
each time. While the multiples tend to stabilize, the impressive
growth rate of Slack highly increases its valuation.
51
$0.3bn
55x
$1.1bn
130x
$2.8bn
112x
$3.8bn
52x
$5.1bn
26x
$7.1bn
19x
52
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
What could happen in the coming months?
*IPO = Initial Public Offering
—
Scenario #1
There is no IPO*.
One company acquires Slack by paying a high price due
to synergies and Slack’s potential.
—
Scenario #2
Slack goes public.
Slack does a direct listing, meaning that current shareholders can
sell their shares to different bidders.
53
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
#1 Due to synergies, Slack’s valuation may skyrocket
FABERNOVEL estimates that Slack could be between $20bn and $30bn
thanks to the potential of the user base and existing ecosystem of services.
Microsoft’s offer in 2016
User base: 2.6M
Average value per user: $3,000
Amount of the offer: $8bn
Slack latest valuation: $2.8bn
What if Microsoft made
a new offer now?
User base: 10M
Estimated value per user*: $2,000 – $3,000
Amount of the offer*: $20bn – $30bn
Slack latest valuation: $7.1bn
Sources: Business Insider, Quartz,
*FABERNOVEL estimates
54
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
#2 In case of direct listing, we have to estimate 2 parameters
—
The fast pace of Slack’s earnings growth, driven by many positive trends, and the high multiples
highlighted by the company’s recent fundraisings are key drivers for Slack’s valuation.
Not only does the company grows fast but it has also great potential for the years to come.
Metrics
Growing revenues
Recurring revenues is a strong and
safe source of revenues.
Growing user base.
Growing average revenue per user.
Strong engagement generating good
revenue and a low churn rate.
Multiple
Potential of the company
New apps to offer more services.
New markets to enter (diversification
like Tencent for example).
Transformation rate (from free user to paying
user) as a result of the points cited above.
SaaS B2B model with potentially high margins
and already high valuations.
x=
Valuation
55
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack has the potential to beat its latest valuation
Latest tech IPOs
Slack’s non-listed
B2B SaaS peers
Highest multiple from
peers
Sources: Factset, Slack
Among the biggest Tech IPOs over the last 2
years and compared to their latest valuation
during fundraising:
● 50% have beaten the estimates.
● 35% were in line (+/- 10%).
● 15% were below the estimates.
Slack has a good possibility to beat the
$7.1bn valuation, with a future 9x multiple.
Other private B2B SaaS companies have an
average valuation of 10x their sales.
With a bigger market size, same growth
opportunities and wider usage, Slack could be
valued at least at the same multiple
Thus, Slack could be valued at least
10x its sales.
Atlassian is one of Slack’s closest peer in terms of:
● Business model.
● Revenues.
● Potential valuation.
Atlassian made its IPO 5 years ago and is
currently worth 14x its sales.
Slack could possibly be worth 14x its future
sales (giving Slack an approximate valuation
of $12bn for 2019).
56
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Is the targeted $10bn valuation at IPO achievable for Slack?
—
According to FABERNOVEL estimates, using a forward value method, we
estimate that Slack’s valuation could reach $10bn at the time of its IPO.
x =
Sources: Slack, FABERNOVEL estimates.
*WACC: Weighted average cost of capital = minimum growth expected.
Sales estimation in 3 years
$1.3bn
xMultiple: EV/ARR = 10x
(in line with B2B SaaS listed peers)
Forward valuation in 3 years
$13bn
Discounted valuation at IPO
$10bn
Our assumptions:
● 50% sales CAGR for
the next 3 years.
● 90% sales growth
in 2018.
● We anticipate
a slowing trend.
● Peers (Atlassian)
growth rate: +40%.
B2B SaaS peers (Oracle,
ServiceNow, Workday,
Salesforce …) have an average
EV/Sales multiple of 10x while
they are all mature.
Result of the equation. Value of Slack today : $10bn
using a WACC* of 10% for
B2B SaaS companies.
57
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
Slack’s valuation: make your bets
Source: FABERNOVEL estimates.
*CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate = average growth per year, every year.
8x 9x 10x 11x 12x
20% 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0
30% 5.1 5.7 6.3 7.0 7.6
40% 6.3 7.1 7.9 8.7 9.5
50% 7.8 8.8 9.7 10.7 11.7
60% 9.5 10.6 11.8 13.0 14.2
70% 11.4 12.8 14.2 15.6 17.0
80% 13.5 15.2 16.8 18.5 20.2
Multiple EV/Sales 2022
SalesCAGR*(2019–2022)
—
Sensitivity analysis of Slack’s valuation using sales growth and multiples (in $bn):
Most likely scenario Probable scenario Less likely scenario Unlikely scenario
58
/IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace]
One more thing: Is Slack the new Microsoft?
Source: FABERNOVEL estimates
—
Change occurred in end 2018.
2013-2018 2019
From to
A communication
tool with the #...
… a productivity tool
The new logo shows
similarities with the
place where we’ve
worked since the 90’s.
—
Business Solutions for Microsoft account for
approximately $350bn in Microsoft’s valuation*.
To reach this milestone, Slack would need to
grow over the next 9 years its revenues and its
user base by a 60% CAGR assuming a 10x
multiple.
For the record:
Microsoft had the same growth rate between
1986 (IPO) and 1996, while its market cap
increased from $1bn to $100bn.
/open [#debate]
Let’s talk!
What are you waiting for?
For a private presentation, please contact: client_office@fabernovel.com
For media inquiries, please contact: medias@fabernovel.com
Research
Nicolas Cabanes
Guillaume Gombert
Jérémy Taïeb
/credits
Advisors
Abderrahmane Chaoui
Jean-Christophe Liaubet
Tom Morisse
Stéphane Renault
Design
Rosemary Guy
Justine Jenner
Communication
Audrey Da Cruz
Marina Dislich
Joachim Martin
61
/archive [#fabernovel-studies]
See also...
WeChat, the shape of the
connected China (2019)
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Slack: The secret to its success and future workplace transformation

  • 1. /open [#channel] Slack, the future workplace. [When] April 2019
  • 2. /remind [#fabernovel_studies] to [share, reuse, remix] This work was made for you to share, reuse, remix, rework… Why do we release this kind of work for free? Our job is to help large organizations think and act like startups. We believe this can only be achieved by encouraging people to innovate and explore new business models. We aim to inspire you by giving you the keys to understanding new markets, new business drivers like APIs or successful companies like Apple, Amazon, Facebook or LinkedIn. — It is licensed under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license to allow for further contributions by experts and users in the coming months. You are free to share and remix / adapt the work. You must cite this document: Slack, the future workplace (April 2019). You may distribute a modified work under the same or similar license. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.
  • 3. FABERNOVEL Stéphane D. Channels + #Foreword 3 Stéphane Distinguin Founder & CEO of FABERNOVEL Slack was born in 2013. After several years of success and $1.2B raised, the company may go public soon. Spotify, which was listed mid-2018, has paved the way to unicorn IPOs: Slack, Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Pinterest, Leboncoin… are expected to be listed this year. Thus, 2019 will be a once-in-a-decade year for tech analysts and investors. Everyone has his own opinion – but what could Slack's valuation be? In this study, you’ll discover what is, to us – FABERNOVEL is among Slack’s early adopters, using it since 2014 –, Slack’s secret sauce and what makes it so special. Slack is surely an incredible company with tremendous growth perspectives. But what does it mean in terms of work ideology? How can a single application transform culture, work relationships and, ultimately, entire organizations? There is a (work) life before Slack... and another one after it: let’s see how Slack has impacted the corporate world.
  • 4. /msg @all [your message] Disclaimer — This study was independently realized by FABERNOVEL, using only public sources – especially for the calculation of Slack’s valuation. The following analysis is simply the reflection of our opinions – not disguised advertisement! 4
  • 5. /invite @all [#slack-the-future-workplace] Meet Slack searchable logof all conversationand knowledge 5
  • 6. /who [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack in figures Stewart Butterfield & Cal Henderson ©Ariel Zambelich/WIRED #slack-the-future-workplace Sources: Slack, *FABERNOVEL’s estimates 6 Client base 10 millions daily active users (Jan. 2019). 3.7 millions* are paying users. 500,000+ organizations. Average team’s size*: around 35 users per workspace. 85,000 paid teams use Slack (as of 2018). — Creation date August 2013. — Official launch date February 2014. — Founders Stewart Butterfield who had already co-founded Flickr – alongside with Eric Costello, Cal Henderson and Serguei Mourachov. — Sales 380 millions dollars in 2018*. Goal for 2019: 640 millions dollars. Available in more than 150 countries. 50% of users are outside the US. — Portfolio 65 of the American Fortune 100 companies use Slack (as of mid 2018).
  • 7. /what [#slack-the-future-workplace] Source: Slack Here is the companion of 10 million talents every day Workplace Every user belongs to at least one workplace similar to a virtual open space or team. Slackbot Slackbot is Slack’s assistant – a more advanced version of Microsoft’s Clipper. Chat On Slack, you can share information and files through in order to better collaborate: ● Direct messages: peer-to-peer messages and group messages ● Channels: public, private or shared newsfeeds ● Calls: both vocal and video calls Integration Native or third-party functions, apps and services are integrated into Slack for a better experience. Archives The shared files are available through any of the user’s devices. Indexing is done on the file format. 7
  • 8. /archive [#slack-the-future-workplace] Sources: First Round, Glitch website — Slack’s timeline in short Slack: a video games company that pivoted 2011 End of 2012 May 2013 In 2011, Stewart Butterfield tried to launch an online video game called Glitch. But it was a failure. However, Stewart and his team decided to recycle the communication tool that had been developed for the video games and tailor it for B2B use. Beginning of the messaging app development reusing chat tool from Glitch. Beta-test with partner / friend companies Cozy & Rdio. Strong traction: 8k users on the 1st day. 15k users in the first 2 weeks. → virality: social media share. → word of mouth. August 2013 1ST RELEASE THE COMPANY WAS REVENUE POSITIVE AND FULL OF DEVS. 8
  • 9. /how [#slack-the-future-workplace] Sources: Crunchbase, InvestorPlace, BayStreet, Bloomberg — Slack has raised funds 11 times since its creation for a global amount of $1.2B. But it is also the (former) youngest startup to reach unicorn status: only 8 months! A mix of serendipity and opportunism leading to a massive flow of cash 9 creation launch unicorn Cumulated fund raised (in million dollars)
  • 10. /topic [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Slack’s success is due to remarkable execution - based on 3 pillars: Slack’s secret sauce THE MODEL API as the meeting point of the ecosystem. THE UX The sexiest B2B tool. THE VISION Software is eating organizations. 1. 2. 3. 10
  • 11. /join [#the-model] 1. API as the meeting point of the ecosystem.
  • 12. /how [#slack-the-future-workplace] — These basic functions make Slack a powerful chat software for any organization. They also control Slack’s user experience which is decisive for the business. Slack focuses on 3 core features tailored to orchestrate knowledge within companies 1. The file sharing 2. The search box 3. The synchronization Collect and organize information and data. Connect the right information and data to the right user. Make knowledge accessible anywhere at any time. 12
  • 13. /which [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Platforms appear as the winning models of the new economy. There are 3 types of platforms: Like any platform, Slack’s job is to maximize worklife interactions Matchmakers Providers Enablers Match producing with consuming nodes in real-time, according to their needs. Attracting new consuming and producing nodes to grow the liquidity of the platform and maximize potential transactions. Provide infrastructure, tools and services to facilitate value creation on the platform and maximize interaction. 13
  • 14. > Nick Coronges CTO of R/GA Slack is not only great at connecting people, it’s great at connecting the tools and the systems we already have. /apps [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Slack is the backbone that makes any work tools and apps interoperable for companies at the digital age. Slack empowers users by acting like an interface between the OS and business services 14 > Slackbot 9:17 Slack is a layer of the business technology stack that brings together people, data, and applications. Source: Slack’s Customer Storybook
  • 15. /apps [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Step 1 Build a collaboration app for work. Goal > Facilitate people’s interactions. Slack’s first mission is to solve one big problem in companies: group communication. Slack’s provided a social network with some integrations. Slack brings an infinite level of customisation thanks to API and openness strategies — Step 2 Enable product personalization by third parties and users. Goal > Increase perceived value of the tool. Slack’s APIs are opened to everyone to create apps and bots. No two Slacks are alike. Summer 2013 Sources: api.slack.com, Slack’s Help Center Winter 2015 15
  • 16. 5,000 Apps available on Salesforce Store (launched in 2005). /apps [#slack-the-future-workplace] Many app directories, not the same scale Sources: VentureBeat, companies’ websites 717 Apps available on Zendesk App Directory. 168 Apps available on Microsoft Teams App Directory. 154 Apps available on Hootsuite App Directory. <10 Apps available on Yammer App Directory. 1,500Slack App Directory is established in December 2015. Slack offers widely-used open source libraries and plugins, and involves more than 200,000 developers. The graal: being part of Essential Apps’ section, such as 38 of all third-party services. 16
  • 17. /apps [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Step 3 Cover any company’s need Goal > Enable any job to be done through Slack As Slack controls the demand side, it is able to help workers in every aspect of their job and has the flexibility with his apps to do so. Slack wants to be your partner at work Sources: Slack’s Help Center, Slack's blog PRODUCTIVITY Google Drive GitHub Asana Zapier Zendesk Trello Google Calendar Doodle 17 > Slackbot 9:46 This means you can share information, automate tasks, or access services without ever leaving your Slack workspace. FILESMANAGEMENT Dropbox OneDrive Box Adobe WATCH Twitter IFTTTRSS Digg HEALTH Reminder bot Stop, Breathe & Think ClusterTruckSlava TRAVEL Forecast Foursquare Kayak XE currency
  • 18. /status [#slack-the-future-workplace] +94% of paid teams use apps and integrations on a weekly basis. — For the moment, Slack does not charge its partners but uses them as a heavyweight argument to convert free users into paying ones – and make money. When a user starts paying for Slack, searchable messages and third-party or custom app integrations become unlimited. Slack has one of the highest conversion rate (38%) among freemium software products. A chat room for free, an ecosystem of services and a knowledge system for $8 per month Sources: Price Intelligently, TechCrunch > Fred de la Compta 9:51 The transition to the fee-based model should not be seen as an obligation but as a real personal and collective added value. 18
  • 19. /how [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack has as much esteem for paying customers as it does for its ecosystem 19 Slack has understood that value must flow smoothly among all stakeholders. — Slack has segmented its ecosystem to build a tailored relationship with each part. Frontiers – Slack’s annual event – is a great example of that as it is divided into three tracks: ● Pathfinder track for business leaders To discuss about future of work. ● Opportunity track for IT experts To know how to implement and leverage Slack in their companies. ● Curiosity track for third-party developers To be part of Slack’s future releases. Corporates pay for the product. Talented developers contribute to expand value proposition. Slack becomes more attractive. Slack can invest in the core features and ecosystem.
  • 20. /trello [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Slack’s official platform roadmap is a public Trello board that is accessible to all. > Slackbot 10:43 As we grow, developers are able to succeed with us; sharing our customers and joining us in changing the way people do work. In turn, our customers are delighted, new customers have even more reason to use Slack, and the cycle continues. Developers from all over the world are invited to build Slack’s future Sources: article from Slack published on Medium, slackcommunity.com 20 — The Slack Platform Community was launched in March 2019 to encourage Slack developers, builders, and platform enthusiasts to join in-person local meetups - the missing piece of Slack community puzzle. These events will be organized by volunteers all over the world with the support of Slack (resources and training, best practices, guidances...). Each volunteer will have to define a "chapter", a kind of topic that will be discussed by his local community.
  • 21. /why [#slack-the-future-workplace] — At the same time as Slack App Directory (12/2015), Slack launched a fund gathering 80 million dollars to invest in ‘Slack-first’ apps and enterprise tools. It is the exact illustration of the so-called concept “pay-it forward”. Slack only focuses on early-stage startups that are backed by at least one strongly engaged investor – with therefore high potential of growth – and that want to make daily work simpler, more productive and more pleasant. As of today, Slack has made nearly 50 investments in startups from seed to series B: Slack actively fuels its ecosystem to generate synergies Sources: Crunchbase, Slack, Venture Beat > Martin Zwilling Founder and CEO of Startup Professionals, Inc It’s a smart way to get third-party developers to more quickly generate integrated apps and interfaces for other apps to connect to Slack. 21 ($7M) ($25M) ($16M) ($19M) ($13.5M) The amounts in brackets represent total fundraising, not Slack's equity investments.
  • 22. /for [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Slack supports a diverse and valuable ecosystem of third-party apps and makes them easy to discover. Slack Fund’s ROI is not the money, it’s the ecosystem Sources: April Underwood, Slack 22 > ● Stewart Butterfield At Slack Fund launch (Dec. 2015) We’ll measure the success of the Slack Fund in the quality and adoption of the apps built by Slack Fund companies and by the overall investment we see in the Slack ecosystem.
  • 23. /join [#the-ux] 2. The sexiest B2B tool.
  • 24. /time [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Simulation of time spent on Slack (in hour). Slack shows incredible adoption Sources: La Tribune, FABERNOVEL’s estimates based on Slack’s announcements 24 125MNumber of hours actively spent on Slack every week. 12AM 1AM 2AM 3AM 4AM 5AM 12PM 1PM 2PM 3PM 4PM 5PM 6AM 7AM 8AM 9AM 10AM 11AM 6PM 7PM 8PM 9PM 10PM 11PM
  • 25. /remind list [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Slack wants desk worker to communicate easier, faster, better. Nothing revolutionary, but with a perfect execution. A minimalist interface Onboarding is pretty intuitive compared to the common B2B software services that require hours of teaching. Slack’s founders were aware that they ask people to make a tremendous effort to switch for Slack. So they have designed a very efficient, powerful, well-organized interface. The email killer? At least a game changer. Slack has preempted the free space between small talks and formal conversations. As Slack gathers in a single place most of the company’s shared information, email takes the second place: its decrease is 50% on average, and can reach 75% in some cases. The promise of Slack: simple, fluid and fast 25
  • 26. /how [#slack-the-future-workplace] It’s not about concrete features, but a new state of mind and a new working atmosphere 26 — Slack is a real state of mind, rooted in refined design and a cool look (quite rare in the professional world): ● Looks different Modern and dynamic with cool icons. ● Feels different Playful entertainment thanks to Slackbot. ● Sounds different A cheerful and funny tone. > Andrew Wilkinson Founder of design firm MetaLab We gave it the color scheme of a video game, not an enterprise collaboration product. — Exemples: Slack is basically a B2B tool with B2C codes. It’s fun, less rigid, less boring. The app goes along with loads of animation, sounds, expressions and emojis. When a workplace is set up, Slack automatically creates a #random channel which will be used to bring together all the peripheral discussions. Source: MetaLab
  • 27. /custom [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack embraces your company's culture by design 27 — Rooted in a strong geek culture, Slack has taken back many codes of video games like hiding easter eggs. The product is also designed for derivative uses and personal appropriation. Each Workspace Owner can customize a myriad of elements to make the workspace more welcoming and relevant to the firm’s users. The personalisation of GIF and emojis is the most potent example of how employees can express themselves through the software and establish their own codes. If channels are a good way for teams to manage projects and share information, it is also a lever to engage talents in the company’s life. At FABERNOVEL, we have more than 1,200 personalised emojis – many of which are people’s faces. #faber-on-tour The infinite journey of FABERpeople throughout Paris, its suburbs, France and beyond.
  • 28. /custom [#slack-the-future-workplace] 2 of our software-based hacks 28 — Marvin is a home-made tool developed by FABERNOVEL in order to create links between the 450 employees located in 8 different cities. Every week, the bot will automatically connect 2 fabernovelians in a chat, and invite them to make a speedmeeting. — The Scoop is a robot developed by 2 interns at FABERNOVEL that allows us to read the best of what has been shared and discussed on Slack. It selects the articles and conversations that have generated the most reactions from employees. We can access the feed from our phones and also from the TV in FABERNOVEL’s common room.
  • 29. /custom [#slack-the-future-workplace] 2 of our hacks combining software and hardware 29 — The Desk is our own reception tool. Each time a client or prospect visits us, they press the button below the right photo and one of us receives a notification on Slack. It has been extended to incoming deliveries. Your appointment is waiting for you at the reception desk. — Pinger Pinger is the “Post to Facebook by Voice”, applied to Slack. Just press a button and say your message, and Pinger sends it to the recipient via Slack. Pinger uses speech recognition and artificial intelligence technologies. Pinger was designed by FABERNOVEL.
  • 30. /star [#slack-the-future-workplace] Beyond the product, Slack has also a fair and transparent business model 30 — Slack operates a unique “fair billing policy” that could become the norm is the conservative B2B market. On Slack, companies are not charged “per seat” but depending on the real use: if someone in your team does not use Slack, you won’t pay for them. This strategy is not just about marketing. It also encourages teams to onboard as many active users as possible with limited barriers to entry. That’s the reason why Slack’s main KPI is the number of daily active users, compared to Microsoft which only discloses the number of companies using Teams.
  • 31. /star [#slack-the-future-workplace] Having Slack is a way for today’s companies to look cool... 31 To slack (verb): when a slacker sends a slack. Enter There have been many chat services, but only one became a verb and a cool baseline attitude: Slack. Sources: Christoph Magnussen, Intelligencer ... and retain talents > Paul Donnelly Vice President, Collaborative and Content Services, Oracle People told us they would quit if we took away their Slack. Slack is kind of a perk for companies to attract and retain talents. “What are you doing ? — Ho, just slacking a bit”.
  • 32. /star [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack has a punchy and colorful marketing 32 — Slack has a colourful logo, lively marketing communication and cheery daily messages of encouragement. Slack’s campaigns are definitely unconventional and fresh-looking, especially coming from a B&B tool. But … Has Slack kept his promises? Sources: Slack, NYT
  • 33. /dark-mode [#slack-the-future-workplace] — Slack is a continuous flow of information that might get users unfocused, raising the question of attention design. 1. Invasive notifications & Information overload. Slack is absolutely not time-sensitive. It mixes urgent messages with the ones that could wait. You do not know in advance which message deserves your immediate attention and get constantly disturbed. To some extent, Slack is pushing information to its users faster than they can consume it. 2. Impossibility to ignore. Even if Slack has developed features like the Do Not Disturb mode to help you control this constant stream of notifications, it’s still addictive. Slack is definitely playing on your FOMO: you have to stay constantly connected to keep up. It has become your main source of information within a company. 3. Disorganization of the content. Inside a single Slack channel you can find simultaneous conversations running. It’s almost impossible to keep track of what’s happening on one channel without browsing it. In the end, the same questions and issues are often brought up numerous time. Performance at scale, really? The deep work challenge 33 > Cal Newport 11:04 Deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task.
  • 34. /dark-mode [#slack-the-future-workplace] — As Slack has taken the codes of best-in-class B2C social services like Messenger, Twitter or WeChat, the line between professional conversations and office gossip is blurred than ever. This is particularly true for remote workers who cannot have a casual, off the record chat with other colleagues. On Slack people do not behave like as they are in the office. They behave like they are on the internet. Slack is blurring the line between work and not-work 34 Do firms have direct access to private messages on Slack ? In April 2018, new rules have been set for exporting data from Slack, with the launch of a “self-service export tool”. Users won’t be notified anymore if the workplace owner want to export messages and files from private channels and direct messages. Companies do not automatically get access to this tool, they have to apply and get approved. Slack does not communicate details about this request process. Corporate exports is only available for paying members of the Plus plan. Slack notes that “Employment, privacy, and other laws, as well as corporate policies, limit the use of these exports.” But in reality, there is little transparency on how these data are used and who can get access to it.
  • 35. /join [#the-vision] 3. Software is eating organizations.
  • 36. /archive [#slack-the-future-workplace] A brief history of what happened to your desk 36 — 80’s-90’s — 2000’s — Today The desk age The laptop age The platform age Source: Bestreviews.com
  • 37. /remove [#slack-the-future-workplace] — At first glance,Slack jumped in a very crowded market dominated by emails and many B2B competitors. Slack’s entered a market dominated by email and changed it 37 121The average number of emails, each day, office worker receives and sends out 40 (as of 2017). Source: Lifewire — But,Slack was led by an experienced team that had already faced failure because of a bad product-market fit (remember Glitch). Therefore, Slack has defined its own market by getting back to the worker and its needs: > Stewart Butterfield We are setting out to define a new market. And that means we can’t limit ourselves to tweaking the product; we need to tweak the market too.
  • 38. /how [#slack-the-future-workplace] — For Slack’s founders, companies don’t need products. They want to reduce the cost of communication (too many emails), a zero effort knowledge management (all archives instantly accessible and searchables) and a way to gather all teams conversations (too many ways of sharing information). The winning approach: sell the outcome, not the product 38 Source: Stewart Butterfield’s memo Vision Execution Mission Slack: where work happens. Just as much as our job is to build something genuinely useful, something which really does make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive, our job is also to understand what people think they want and then translate the value of Slack into their terms. We’re selling organizational transformation.
  • 39. /shortcuts [#slack-the-future-workplace] Eventually Slack’s competitor is McKinsey, not Microsoft 39 — In real,Slack is a software-driven “change company”. > Stewart Butterfield The software just happens to be the part we’re able to build & ship (and the means for us to get our cut). Market of communication apps. Market of transformation agencies. or
  • 40. /expand [#slack-the-future-workplace] One solution for a full organizational transformation 40 Sources: Slack, VentureBeat, Slack's blog — Slack started by engaging small teams but one must not confuse Slack’s target and the mode of adoption. Slack’s goal is to be adopted “at scale” by large organizations. On 2017, Slack launched Enterprise Grid that evolves communication from teams to whole organizations. 150The number of corporates used Slack worldwide, early 2018. Slack promotes a global transformation for companies. Not only for isolated teams. > Paul Donnelly Vice President, Collaborative and Content Services, Oracle We’ve bought companies that use Slack a lot, with very sophisticated environments. The challenge became ‘Is this service secure?’ or ‘Is Slack enterprise-ready?’ and Enterprise Grid really gave us the platform we needed.
  • 41. /expand [#slack-the-future-workplace] From bottom to top: bring your own software 41 Source: La Tribune — Slack has implemented a deployment strategy mostly found in the B2C world: 1. Seducing early adopters who adopt the tool spontaneously; 2. Making them spread the word to convince their peers to join the movement; 3. Then negotiating with the procurement department. Case The travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has offices all over the world. Managing significant time differences is part of the daily life of teams. > Sebastian Neylan Marketing Director at Lonely Planet There has been no obligation to use Slack internally. For one or two years, only a few teams used it before a global deployment.
  • 42. /expand [#slack-the-future-workplace] Is B-2-Employee-2-B the new go-to-market strategy? 42 Source: companies’ websites — Many startups target both employees and their bosses. They aim at building a community of ambassadors to better deal with companies. In some ways, employees facilitate the work of business developers that “only” have to identify companies with traction. * * Translation: Employee of a company? * ... * Translation: I am an employee To order in a group with my colleagues
  • 43. /how [#slack-the-future-workplace] Humans shape tools, tools shape humans 43 Source: FABERNOVEL — Slack transforms companies from the inside. The 3 pillars of their organization are impacted: > Stewart Butterfield The best — maybe the only? — real, direct measure of “innovation” is change in human behaviour. — Culture Language, values, beliefs, mindset, behavioral norms, whether explicit or implicit, shared by the team. — Routines The processes (formal perspective) and habits (informal perspective) that regulate procedures, information transmission, decision-making, resource allocation, and coordination of the various stakeholders. — Structures The arrangement tasks and skills into roles, teams, divisions, etc., their scopes and articulation, particularly through hierarchical links. Both formal and informal.
  • 44. /zoom [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack is the flagship of tech-driven companies 44 Culture Sources: L’organisation libérée, The Next Web — Slack is part of a broader movement: it brings a tech and geek culture to help traditional companies take the digital wave and thus become software companies themselves: 62% of its users have “non-technical” backgrounds. Geek culture Agility at scale Openness Slack carries the computing’s legacy: to call a function (by Slack or a 3rd party), users have to use a /. Slack promotes agility through their channels: if a topic emerges in the company, create a channel and talk openly with your fellows. Slack allows companies to invite external people to their workplaces, thus embodying an open innovation mindset.
  • 45. /zoom [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slackbot gives an overview of the future of work: right combination between fun and efficiency 45 Routines — Slackbot behaves like virtual colleague or an office manager. It gives a personality to the product and aims at enhancing desk workers’ potential, although it is still work in progress. Tomorrow, Slackbot could be fulfilled with more AI technologies and nurtured with behavioural data of users to become a true office adviser – or even a virtual manager? –, adapting to their needs and ways of working. Who do you want the Slackbot to be? The coach. The good friend. The assistant. Slackbot 9:17 Hello John! 28% decrease in productivity this week. Do you want a few tips? Beer time guys! I'm so thirsty. Where are we going?
  • 46. /zoom [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack sells more transparency and less hierarchy 46 Structures > Johann Butting Head of EMEA Sales @Slack Employees can create their own conversations to solve a quick problem, without managers being involved. This makes it possible to use the strengths of your team to empower them and thus make them more motivated. — Slack is more than a messaging app: it’s a catalyst of transformation that does not leave traditional organizational patterns unchanged. #we-love-biz is a public channel with more than 130 people within FABERNOVEL to talk about prospects and clients. Anyone can join the channel, no matter their role or position. * It’s A Win – Announcement of the deals won * To Take – Communication on an identified and to be seized opportunity * I Need Help – Request for information on a contact at a client / prospect, a sector expertise... Sources: FABERNOVEL workplace, La Tribune
  • 47. /goal [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack in one word: transforming desk workers 47 Source: Though Economics > ● Stewart Butterfield The workplace of the future is hard to predict specifically, but one thing we can predict is that we will increasingly rely on human intelligence and creativity as opposed to human capacity to perform repetitive tasks. tasks tasks Free zone for creativity and empower- ment What employees do What slackwants employees do
  • 48. /goal [#slack-the-future-workplace] As many bits as atoms in the workplace 48 Source: Intelligencer > ● Molly Fischer 11:26 Slack’s work chat is the consummation of the open-plan-office dream – an unstructured space where you can share, collaborate, and see what everyone else is working on.
  • 49. /join [#IPO] On the way to IPO: how much is Slack really worth?
  • 50. /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack’s strategy at work: more users and more engagement 50 Sources: Slack, FABERNOVEL estimates — 10 million users, more connected than ever Not only is the number of Slack users increasing (50% Daily Active Users yearly growth) but the ratio: paying users/total users is also growing impressively fast (from 28% to 38% today). As a comparison, Spotify has a ratio of paying users/total users of 46%. What does it tell us? This is a good example of value densification thanks to the arrival of new functionalities as Slack is able to meet more of its users’ needs. With Slack adding new services and apps, users cannot simply rely on the free use of Slack and have to switch to a paying account. Slack - ratio of paying users/total usersDaily active users 10,000,000 In January 2019, we reached 10 million DAUs.
  • 51. /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack managed to transform its strategy into value Sources: Slack, TechCrunch, Business Insider, FABERNOVEL’s estimates Slack estimated Annual Recurring Revenues ($m) — We evaluated Slack’s potential revenues using the historical evolution of the user base and the revenue per user per month. We then made forecasts for 2019. Using the valuation during Slack fundraisings, we estimated the implicit enterprise value per Sales (EV/Sales) multiples at each time. While the multiples tend to stabilize, the impressive growth rate of Slack highly increases its valuation. 51 $0.3bn 55x $1.1bn 130x $2.8bn 112x $3.8bn 52x $5.1bn 26x $7.1bn 19x
  • 52. 52 /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] What could happen in the coming months? *IPO = Initial Public Offering — Scenario #1 There is no IPO*. One company acquires Slack by paying a high price due to synergies and Slack’s potential. — Scenario #2 Slack goes public. Slack does a direct listing, meaning that current shareholders can sell their shares to different bidders.
  • 53. 53 /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] #1 Due to synergies, Slack’s valuation may skyrocket FABERNOVEL estimates that Slack could be between $20bn and $30bn thanks to the potential of the user base and existing ecosystem of services. Microsoft’s offer in 2016 User base: 2.6M Average value per user: $3,000 Amount of the offer: $8bn Slack latest valuation: $2.8bn What if Microsoft made a new offer now? User base: 10M Estimated value per user*: $2,000 – $3,000 Amount of the offer*: $20bn – $30bn Slack latest valuation: $7.1bn Sources: Business Insider, Quartz, *FABERNOVEL estimates
  • 54. 54 /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] #2 In case of direct listing, we have to estimate 2 parameters — The fast pace of Slack’s earnings growth, driven by many positive trends, and the high multiples highlighted by the company’s recent fundraisings are key drivers for Slack’s valuation. Not only does the company grows fast but it has also great potential for the years to come. Metrics Growing revenues Recurring revenues is a strong and safe source of revenues. Growing user base. Growing average revenue per user. Strong engagement generating good revenue and a low churn rate. Multiple Potential of the company New apps to offer more services. New markets to enter (diversification like Tencent for example). Transformation rate (from free user to paying user) as a result of the points cited above. SaaS B2B model with potentially high margins and already high valuations. x= Valuation
  • 55. 55 /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack has the potential to beat its latest valuation Latest tech IPOs Slack’s non-listed B2B SaaS peers Highest multiple from peers Sources: Factset, Slack Among the biggest Tech IPOs over the last 2 years and compared to their latest valuation during fundraising: ● 50% have beaten the estimates. ● 35% were in line (+/- 10%). ● 15% were below the estimates. Slack has a good possibility to beat the $7.1bn valuation, with a future 9x multiple. Other private B2B SaaS companies have an average valuation of 10x their sales. With a bigger market size, same growth opportunities and wider usage, Slack could be valued at least at the same multiple Thus, Slack could be valued at least 10x its sales. Atlassian is one of Slack’s closest peer in terms of: ● Business model. ● Revenues. ● Potential valuation. Atlassian made its IPO 5 years ago and is currently worth 14x its sales. Slack could possibly be worth 14x its future sales (giving Slack an approximate valuation of $12bn for 2019).
  • 56. 56 /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] Is the targeted $10bn valuation at IPO achievable for Slack? — According to FABERNOVEL estimates, using a forward value method, we estimate that Slack’s valuation could reach $10bn at the time of its IPO. x = Sources: Slack, FABERNOVEL estimates. *WACC: Weighted average cost of capital = minimum growth expected. Sales estimation in 3 years $1.3bn xMultiple: EV/ARR = 10x (in line with B2B SaaS listed peers) Forward valuation in 3 years $13bn Discounted valuation at IPO $10bn Our assumptions: ● 50% sales CAGR for the next 3 years. ● 90% sales growth in 2018. ● We anticipate a slowing trend. ● Peers (Atlassian) growth rate: +40%. B2B SaaS peers (Oracle, ServiceNow, Workday, Salesforce …) have an average EV/Sales multiple of 10x while they are all mature. Result of the equation. Value of Slack today : $10bn using a WACC* of 10% for B2B SaaS companies.
  • 57. 57 /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] Slack’s valuation: make your bets Source: FABERNOVEL estimates. *CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate = average growth per year, every year. 8x 9x 10x 11x 12x 20% 4.0 4.5 5.0 5.5 6.0 30% 5.1 5.7 6.3 7.0 7.6 40% 6.3 7.1 7.9 8.7 9.5 50% 7.8 8.8 9.7 10.7 11.7 60% 9.5 10.6 11.8 13.0 14.2 70% 11.4 12.8 14.2 15.6 17.0 80% 13.5 15.2 16.8 18.5 20.2 Multiple EV/Sales 2022 SalesCAGR*(2019–2022) — Sensitivity analysis of Slack’s valuation using sales growth and multiples (in $bn): Most likely scenario Probable scenario Less likely scenario Unlikely scenario
  • 58. 58 /IPO [#slack-the-future-workplace] One more thing: Is Slack the new Microsoft? Source: FABERNOVEL estimates — Change occurred in end 2018. 2013-2018 2019 From to A communication tool with the #... … a productivity tool The new logo shows similarities with the place where we’ve worked since the 90’s. — Business Solutions for Microsoft account for approximately $350bn in Microsoft’s valuation*. To reach this milestone, Slack would need to grow over the next 9 years its revenues and its user base by a 60% CAGR assuming a 10x multiple. For the record: Microsoft had the same growth rate between 1986 (IPO) and 1996, while its market cap increased from $1bn to $100bn.
  • 59. /open [#debate] Let’s talk! What are you waiting for? For a private presentation, please contact: client_office@fabernovel.com For media inquiries, please contact: medias@fabernovel.com
  • 60. Research Nicolas Cabanes Guillaume Gombert Jérémy Taïeb /credits Advisors Abderrahmane Chaoui Jean-Christophe Liaubet Tom Morisse Stéphane Renault Design Rosemary Guy Justine Jenner Communication Audrey Da Cruz Marina Dislich Joachim Martin
  • 61. 61 /archive [#fabernovel-studies] See also... WeChat, the shape of the connected China (2019) 5k views on Slideshare