Slack grew from 80 to 385 employees in 14 months. Why that worries its CEO
More than 1.5 billion messages are sent monthly on the platform. 2.3 million people use it daily, and of those, 20% just started using it in the new year.Its CEO Stewart Butterfield isn't worried about the product - it's clearly been proven a hit.
At the beginning of 2015, Slack employed around 80 people. By year-end, that number ballooned to 320 employees. Already in 2016, the company has increased its headcount to 385. (That's adding at least one employee every day.)"The thing I worry about is people," Butterfield said. "That kind of growth is hard to do."
It's a crazy rate of growth, but it's justified to keep up with demand, Butterfield argues.The bigger issue is how to integrate all of the new employees into Slack's culture so they're there for more than just the valuable stock options. "You need to really have the volume up. Cultural problems need to be addressed as they arise," Butterfield says.
Turning the volume up means constantly, and loudly, reiterating the company's values and making sure they don't get muddled as the company grows.
The company has six core values, expressed in three sentences, Butterfield explains:
- Empathy as expressed through courtesy
- Craftsmanship tempered with playfulness (That's where those funny Slack messages come from)
- Thriving, both in ourselves and others (That means thriving not only as a team, but also making sure you're personally thriving and doing this thing you're meant to be doing with your whole heart, Butterfield explained)
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