On Growth:“It sucks to be the CEO of a Startup that’s doing super well”

Slack Growth
Slack's CEO on the biggest struggle at leading a startup that is often called the fastest-growing business app ever: "Finding the right people"

“It sucks to be the CEO of a startup that’s doing super well” said Stewart Butterfield’s, Slack CEO, earlier this year at the Startup Grind Global Conference, on the growth his company is witnessing – “the stakes just get higher and higher”.

It might sound awkward at first but in fact it doesn’t seem an easy job to be leading a startup that is often called the fastest-growing business app ever.

It all started by developing a flash-based online game called Glitch before pivoting toward communications, launching Slack on February 2014. Two years after, they have 2.3 million daily active users and in the last two months they added the same number of users they achieved in their entire first year.

Now that’s growth on steroids.

At this speed, it’s hard to guess which are the next milestones to be met (can Slack one day reduce the role of email to an irrelevant one?) but with this kind of hyper growth the pressure deeply increases and every challenge can get harder if you don’t have all the right people working with you.

Erin Griffith, Fortune writer, sat down with Stewart at the 99U Conference to talk about the challenges they’re facing right now, being their biggest struggle “to find the right people” – the team started with 14 elements, they’re 130 nowadays and they predict to be 250-280 until the end of the year.

“Every practice that we develop for how to manage becomes obsolete in 60 days.”

Here is the entire 20-min talk on how they scaled and their next challenges.

And yes, you can also be amazed by this infographic, shared by Slack weeks ago, on their two-year anniversary:

Slack Growth Infographic

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