CEO wants to increase integrations so users never have to leave the collaboration platform to get work done.
Slack is steering into the idea that there’s no going back to the old way of working and taking on the more challenging element of remote work. The collaboration platform is building new features to make it easier to onboard new employees and work with outside partners.
Stewart Butterfield, CEO and co-founder of Slack, opened the two-day Frontiers conference on Wednesday. He said that the company’s next phase will focus on closing the gaps between productivity software and building new workflows instead of reinventing old ones. He described the familiar task of taking a screenshot of a graph or image from one system and pasting it into presentation software and then emailing the document for review.
“Sometimes the task will be improving step 3 and sometimes the goal is skipping from step 1 to step 11,” he said.
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He also used the example of a recruiter hiring a new employee and then completing a workflow that spans several business systems and requires email updates as well.
“These productivity gaps are everywhere and whenever we find one we think there are opportunities for improvement,” he said.
Another focus is creating tools that allow synchronous processes to be asynchronous. He used the example of a daily check-in and showed a series of video updates. The idea is that team members could post a video update wherever it’s convenient and other people could consume that update when it is convenient for them
When Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space, it carried a sign saying “Don’t panic” on the dashboard – but the billionaire was in a more doom-laden form this week.
The SpaceX and Tesla pioneer warned, in an interview with The New York Times podcast Sway, that travel to other planets was necessary as Earth would be engulfed by the Sun.
Speaking to host Kara Swisher, Musk said: “I think this is fundamentally important for ensuring the long-term survival of life as we know it, to be a multi-planet species.
“Eventually the Sun is going to expand and engulf Earth. It will expand and incinerate Earth. It is for sure going to happen – but not any time soon.”
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This is something of an understatement, as the Sun’s expansion is not predicted to happen for at least seven billion years.
Musk said that becoming a multi-planet species would allow human civilisation to dodge extinction events that had affected other species.
He said: “The fossil record does show many extinction events over the millennia, from meteors, from super-volcanos, from natural climate variation.”
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The billionaire also touched on one of his favourite topics when he warned of the threat of artificial intelligence (AI).
He said: “AI does not need to hate us to destroy us. If it decides that it needs to go in a particular direction, no hard feelings it would roll over us, like we would do with an anthill if we were building a road.
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“We need to think of