Slack Connect, A Collaboration Wreck

March 25, 2021

It was a recipe for disaster; this week, Slack rolled out a new feature called Slack Connect, which for the first time allowed users to direct message others outside of their own organization or collaboration channel. Well, Twitter was quick to expose the fatal flaw with this design. 

For a short period of time (before Slack shut things down), you could send a message via the invitation email to virtually anybody with any content and that person had no way of blocking you, so harassment (or spam of any kind) could go unchecked. Whoops. 

Very few softwares are useful for EVERYTHING. Slack is the bain of this company’s existence at times, but we understand the utility of collaborating internally, having topical channels and generally reducing the amount of emails flying around in CC perpetuity. But Slack, which has publicly declared its desire to be the Facebook of business communications, hasn’t put enough thought into the use cases of external collaboration. 

We’re drawn to this news story because we’ve developed a tool that, in addition to other things, helps streamline communication internally and externally for businesses. The difference between Vsimple’s and Slack’s approach to external collaboration? Our communication is specific to all of the activity from quote to cash between two companies. If you aren’t involved in the company’s order flow (as the buying or selling party), you won’t be in the conversation, and that’s how it should be. Otherwise, we’re no different than a company-wide email with an endless string of reply-alls. 

We won’t hold it against Slack (much), as B2B tech platforms are always evolving, as are the use cases. But there’s a great lesson to be learned in all this: partner with your users to define and execute the best use cases. We’re proud our earliest customers helped define the features and user experience that solve a specific-but-meaningful problem. And as for Slack, well, we’re sure they’ll be fine. They did just get acquired for nearly $30 billion, so they’ll probably fix the new feature in no time.