July 05, 2018

Slack didn’t kill email - and it might have made it stronger


While the group chat app has plenty of ardent fans and continues to grow quickly, it also draws criticism for its distracting, always-on nature.

At many workplaces, if you’re at work, you’re also expected to be available on Slack. For some people, that means the thing that “replaced” email is something much more demanding.

Mathilde Collin says the workplaces of the future ought to take a different approach. She’s the co-founder and CEO of Front, which makes tools for sharing inboxes with your teammates. If you’ve ever emailed a business address starting with “contact@” or “info@,” there’s a chance the team is managing the emails with Front.

But Collin’s longer-term vision is to build what she calls an asynchronous version of Slack. Like Slack, Front will be integrated with all the other software tools you use — Asana, Trello, Github, Google Docs, and so on - and collect any important notifications in a place where you can read them on your time. It takes away the constant pinging of Slack in favor of something calmer and more conducive to doing focused work. Not only hasn’t email died - the tech industry’s current focus on Time Well Spent might have made it stronger.

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