Why Slack is winning

Why Slack is winning

Or the importance of cross platform apps.

I saw a twitter post the other day about how Microsoft bought Yammer for a billion dollars, and how Slack came in and kinda took over what Microsoft thought Yammer could be.

It made me reflect a bit.

I’d thought of using Slack on a few projects I have, but I had never thought of using Yammer.

Why is that?

Slack has a mac App.

Could something as simple as that be it?

Certainly Slack has done quite a few neat things, but really at the end of the day, aren’t slack, facebook, yammer, newsgator, you-name-it all pretty much re-imaginations of the “Bulletin board”?

Lets look at the importance of having ‘native’ apps. (I put native in quotes, because in this case, it’s not really important if the apps is “truely” native- it might have been developed once using a cross platform framework.) Note that everthing in the list below, is solved by having an “App for that”

Let me share some things I don’t like about your web app (This is ANY web app)

  1. I don’t like not being able to start your web app easily.
  2. I don’t like having to sign on to your web app.
  3. I don’t like that when your web app is running, I can’t easily tell which of my running apps is yours, and which is the google page I opened.
  4. I don’t like that I can’t easily bring your web app to the front of my screen. (because of #3)
  5. I don’t like that I accidentally close your app when I close my browser, and have to go through steps 1 and 2 all over.

In other words, if I’m going something every day, the 5 things above will annoy me as a user EVERY DAY and I will seek alternatives.

The original folks that created Yammer made a nice app using adobe air – this was a cross platform app that worked on mac and windows, and I used it when I first was introduced to Yammer.

Then Microsoft Killed it.

The day the Yammer Mac app stopped working on my mac, was the last day I used Yammer. I had actually forgotten that Yammer existed until I saw the tweet that sparked this blogpost.

I’m sure some will argue that there are other reasons Yammer failed to live up to its expectations, and some will argue there are other reasons Slack is so popular right now. I don’t mean to discount those reasons, just felt like sharing that Yammer lost me when the dropped mac support.

I use slack now.