Amazon is reportedly interested in acquiring Slack Technologies, which makes collaboration and chat tools for businesses. Here's why a deal could be construed as savvy or totally wacky with little in between.
Microsoft's new 'Slack competitor' has improved dramatically since the preview, and new features are arriving regularly. Where it shines is threaded chat, easy video meetings and superb integration with other Office 365 tools.Read now
According to Bloomberg, Amazon and other technology companies are sniffing around Slack, which would carry a value of about $9 billion in a takeover.
Slack has become an enterprise player as it has landed corporations that are using the chat software to manage teams. Slack is often used in a broader mix of tools from the likes of Atlassian, Microsoft, Google, and others.
The emergence of Slack is fascinating to me. On one level, Slack and the open floor plan are the two largest productivity myths of recent times. Both approaches increase the noise of getting work done and minimize the signal. Slack can be useful for real-time collaboration and its bots are handy at times. At other times, Slack is a glorified AOL chat room from back in the day.
However, the funny part about Slack is that no one wants to say out loud that there's too much noise in fear of looking like a tech Luddite. Yet, it's not hard to find folks to rant about Slack's downside.
So, why would Amazon blow $9 billion on Slack? Here are a few reasons why it makes sense--and doesn't.