We Don’t Sell Saddles Here

Published on Medium: this truly superb memo from Slack founder and CEO Stewart Butterfield to his team on the challenge that they faced several months before launch. There’s so much good stuff in there, so it’s hard to pick out the best quotes, but here are two of my favorites:

Therefore, ‘understanding what people think they want and then translating the value of Slack into their terms’ is something we all work on. It is the sum of the exercise of all our crafts. We do it with copy accompanying signup forms, with fast-loading pages, with good welcome emails, with comprehensive and accurate search, with purposeful loading screens, and with thoughtfully implemented and well-functioning features of all kinds.


The reason for saying we need to do ‘an exceptional, near-perfect job of execution’ is this: When you want something really bad, you will put up with a lot of flaws. But if you do not yet know you want something, your tolerance will be much lower. That’s why it is especially important for us to build a beautiful, elegant and considerate piece of software. Every bit of grace, refinement, and thoughtfulness on our part will pull people along. Every petty irritation will stop them and give the impression that it is not worth it.

Read the full post here.


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