From 0 to $1 Billion in Just Two Years! How?

Nina Gordon
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October 31, 2019

No massive marketing campaigns required for $1 billion in revenue and 30,000 happy customers in just two years. In 2013, Slack emerged as one of the fastest-growing communication platforms. It’s a cool and engaging chat for businesses. How did they do it?

Customer feedback. 

You'd be hard-pressed to find a company more revered than Slack. Their Twitter page is filled with love. 

This feedback, good and occasionally bad, is at the heart of Slack’s growth strategy. Since the beginning, they’ve viewed every customer interaction as a marketing opportunity—information to be processed, stored, studied, and acted upon.

The company takes feedback anyway they can get it via a built-in help button, Twitter, and more. And out of the tens of thousands of comments they get every month, they respond to all of them. It’s a huge customer service burden, but it’s a game-changer for Slack. 

User feedback was critical to getting their product ready for beta testing. With each comment, they went back to the drawing board to improve their product, and they did this over-and-over again until they had a polished software that they were willing to release as a beta. 

It was a hit.

Day one, 8,000 customers signed up. Two weeks later, 15,000 customers joined. Four months after that, they had 1.1 million active users. Now, Slack gets one million visitors in organic traffic each month, 90% of which is driven by word-of-mouth. And it all happened without a mind-blowing marketing campaign. 

Instead, Slack has relied on customer feedback to develop a beloved product that people actually wanted. They focus on:

Today, Slack has more than 12 million daily active users, up 37% year-over-year. And those customers conduct more than 5 billion actions a week, doing everything from writing messages to uploading files, performing searches, and interacting with apps. Add on the more than 600,000 developers and 1,800 apps in its App Directory, and Slack is truly an impressive story of growth in a short timeframe.

To be successful in today’s overly competitive market, you have to listen to what people want, consistently adapt and respond, and continually push forward. That’s what Slack has done. They’ve placed their customers at the core of their business strategy, which is something any company can learn from. 

At Jolt, we can teach the startup mindset including the secret to using customer feedback to go to the next level. It’s all about gaining access to the skills, methodologies, and tools you need to win in today’s business world. Learn more now.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
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I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.

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"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Could you get to the top 1% of your industry?

Empower your team to go and shine.