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A Summary of

We Don’t Sell Saddles Here

by
Stewart Butterfield
Medium
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Slack has seen tremendous success by creating a genuinely useful product. How?

Building Something People Want

  • People had no idea they wanted Slack.
  • Slack had to understand what people thought they wanted and then translate the value of Slack into their terms.

Marketing from Both Ends

Product End: They did a better and better job of giving people what they wanted. Market End: They communicated the above more and more effectively, so people knew they wanted it.

Selling the Innovation, Not the Product

  • Companies sell products (i.e. saddles) to address a need people already know they have. It results in small changes.
  • Companies sell innovation (i.e. horseback riding) to address a solution people do not know they need, which results in large-scale changes.

Finding PMF by Defining their Market

  • E.g., Imagine if Acme Saddles Co. sold horseback riding 4,000 years ago. It would have dominated by transforming systems of transportation.
  • Slack created a new market (centralized internal communication) and owned it.

Seeing their Work from the Perspective of a New Customer

Does it make sense? Can you predict what's going to happen when you click that button? Is it fast enough?

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