Do you know what is awesome about being the CEO of a successful technology company? I don’t. But I would imagine there are qualities that all CEO’s have. Not everyone can be a CEO. You need Leadership. You need vision. You need the ability to convincingly communicate that vision to others. You are competent about all things tech. You understand the tasks and the processes of everyone, from Techs to Engineers, Scientists and Analysts. Not only your employees, but the competencies and the creative talents of other tech companies employees as well.
Take the out-spoken genius of Michael Dell on Apple for example:
What would I do? I’d shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.
How about former Microsoft CEO, Steve ‘Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers’ Ballmer on the iPhone:
$500, fully subsidized, with a plan! That is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn’t appeal to business customers, because it doesn’t have a keyboard, which makes it not a very good email machine.
Or former RIM (Research in Motion) CEO Jim Balsillie on the iPad v PlayBook
I think the PlayBook redefines what a tablet should do…So, I think the PlayBook clearly sets the bar WAY higher on performance, and you’re going to see more.
Finally, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield on Siri while describing the non-existent technology of a Hollywood movie fantasy in the SlackBot icon, somehow installed “I know Kung-Fu” style…like Neo in The Matrix:
Apple spent billions of dollars on Siri and worked on it for a very long time with hundreds of engineers and a huge dataset of voices – and it’s f–ing idiotic. Siri is nearly useless
Look, I’m sure Mr. Butterfield is a smart ⌘-ing guy. Slack is valued at 2.8 billion ⌘-ing dollars, with almost one ⌘-ing million users. But there is a difference between Mr. Butterfield and the other above mentioned CEO’s. They all had something he doesn’t. Do you know what that is?
A comparable ⌘-ing product.
Slackbot is cool. If you use Slack (a group communication tool) you can integrate social media like Twitter, Web based data tools like Google drive, use it for searchable notes and more importantly: Program it for automatic responses.
When someone says
Who is the smartest person in the universe?
Stewart ⌘-ing Butterfield
What’s not cool about that? Integration. Collaboration. Automation. Butterfield says it will be more than that…someday and I appreciate his vision. I also appreciate his expression of that vision as the future of what he wants in his product. Even if the only way he can do that is to describe something he saw in a movie. But to proclaim someone else’s fielded product as ⌘-ing useless while slinging your non-existent-technology-from-a-movie-you-saw-once infused vapor-ware leaves me, as a technology consumer, feeling somewhat…unconvinced. It makes me wonder if Sam Ray thinks Siri is useless?
Is Slackbot a good tool? Yes. Could it be better? Absolutely. And it will only get better. Especially if Butterfield is serious and accurate about what he said in the WSJ piece. According to his statement about Apples expenditure on Siri, he could actually match that by selling his entire company at current valuation and invest it into slackbot upgrades. But even as it sits, Slackbot is a cool tool. Is it a Siri, OK Google or Cortana?