A highlight from Slacking Benioff's Thirst

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Years from now when we look back at the small details that symbolize twenty twenty and the year quarantine. What will stick out for you. What object or sound will send you back into the in reverie for me. It's the sound along with zoom. This year slack became our office and yet despite the pandemic making a workplace tulich slack and essential part of our lives the company kind of stalled out. We just look at their stocks. Zooms almost quadrupled during the pandemic slack. He's been pretty flat. That was until last week reports. I came out that salesforce was going to buy it this week. The deal was announced and it was big twenty seven billion dollars. Big the wild. That's a nice outcome and you could argue one way or the other about whether salesforce overpaid feels. I don't know like a little bit of a disappointment. Slack could have been the next microsoft of played. Its cards right. Not just another notch and benny offs belt. This is tom dotan. And on this week of the information for one one corey. Weinberg talk to kevin mclaughlin our enterprise reporter about the deal. Kevin deserves kudos a year ago for predicting that in two thousand twenty slack could be acquired so kudos but he also breaks down corey why this deal represents a culmination of dream of doing away with email then in the second segment i talked to. Paris martineau about zuma's and amazon. Why those woke tiktok in rose emoji gen xeres love to hate on amazon and yet they remain some of their most loyal and liable customers as our official gen. z correspondent harris. Spoke to people like isabel tolan. Are this duality of man. There is more of a concerted effort to buy from small on small businesses. Black owned businesses stuff like that we at the end of the day. We still need these random like household supplies. that are just so much cheaper on their. You know so much quicker to get especially with the pandemic. it's there's no desire to go out to the store Kids they'll never be able to homes. Anyway that segment. I slack force salesforce. The enterprise software giant pulled off a massive acquisition. This week it bought slack the beloved and maligned workshop that had gone public just over a year ago. Joining me to discuss this. Megadeal is kevin mclaughlin. My colleague at the information who has been covering the pants off of this slack. Sales for story kevin. Thanks for joining us. Thanks corey i wanted to start a little bit chronologically. You've really interesting story last week. Documenting tales for ceo. co-ceo mark. benny offs kind of decade-long fascination with this idea of consumer enterprise which slack embodies and. I'm curious if you could read. Tell us the origin story of how many off became interested in this idea. Yes yes so former salesforce executives and people have worked at the company have told me that sort of genesis for what salesforce initially was calling. The social enterprise happened around. Two thousand eight win Benny off was the judge at a time crunch conference at which yarmur a very hot start up at the time presenting. Yeah everyone remembered hammer. That was one of the hot companies at the at the time. Well that kind of puts the seed in beni offs. Mind that maybe salesforce should do something similar. And so in two thousand nine. They launched a product called chatter which was basically the same thing where individuals and groups within companies could post messages to their colleagues Basically to replace the company wide email and the group email Not a real time. Collaboration but sort of a synchronous type of collaboration that you see on facebook that was the big theme at salesforce from about two thousand nine until about two thousand fourteen when the company stopped talking about it as much and sort of move onto the next thing. Nothing grand strategy hasn't fully come to fruition yet right. Th the social enterprise actually chatter did get an enormous amount of interest and adoption. Early on So much so that a former of salesforce executive told me The company was actually having trouble for keeping up with The customer interest in inquiries in the product but eventually the interest kind of tailed off sales forces company. That tends to I don't want to say chase. The latest hotness but certainly is interested in part of trends that are important to a large number of its customers and now and one of the trends that was absolutely becoming more important was embodied by flak essentially right like. Can you explain their rise a little bit. What made them. Unique within sort of the enterprise software fear salesforce and mark. benef- were very interested in sort of slacks approach to Workplace collaboration so where yarmur was an asynchronous type of collaboration and communication slack was all about connecting individuals and teams in real time and another unique and interesting thing about slack at the time was that its product was. There's a term in the enterprise. Software industry called land expand. And what that means is groups of employees within companies departments within companies will Download product and start trying it out and sometimes they like it so much that they'll start recommending it to their colleagues and other departments and so this ability slacks ability to become popular to spread via word of mouth definitely caught mark. Benny offs attention and sales forces attention. So it wasn't you know super surprising to see slack be acquired by salesforce in fact I heard after we filed a report. Last week i heard from another former salesforce executive that salesforce talked about acquiring slack before their ipo last june and then use it in the price for a company like salesforce. Which is it's been acquisitive over. Its tenure is was linked years ago to potential acquisition of twitter. Like you said mark. Benny off likes to chase the hot thing as soon as the deal was announced. Twenty seven point seven billion dollars of cash and stock the med with some skepticism and investors. Don't seem to like the deal necessarily. Could you explain sort of some of that that skepticism. I think that Obviously part of the reason is the price tag Twenty seven point. Seven billion is somewhere around. Fifty percent premium from where slack was trading before the reports of the acquisition. I broke And i think that Another reason is slack despite being very popular with the companies that use. It has had trouble capturing that buzz in turn into revenue growth. Their revenue growth hasn't been bad. I mean they've grown at least forty nine percent in each of the three quarters so not too shabby but certainly nowhere near the three hundred. Sixty seven percent. Growth zoomed us reporter for its recent quarter going back to the point about you. Know the investor reaction. I think it just comes down to Slack wasn't exactly hitting it out of the park financially before the deal happened. And you know it's going to take some convincing. I think over time for salesforce to to show the value from the steel. I mean five years probably would be the timeframe

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