Slack has partnered with footwear brand Cole Haan to launch a unisex sneaker in the four colors of the Slack logo. This is the first time Slack—or really any major tech company, to our knowledge—has collaborated with a fashion brand.
Will people want to drop $120 on Slack-branded sneakers?
The partnership first came about in the lead-up to Slack’s IPO last summer. Cole Haan decided to create custom shoes for Stewart Butterfield and Cal Henderson, the company’s cofounders, as a surprise. That day at the Stock Exchange, Slack had little booths featuring products that companies had created entirely through the platform, including ice cream flavors and these sneakers. (Slack and Cole Haan created a Slack channel together to discuss all the details of the shoe and provide updates.) As Slack fans gathered to show their support, many wanted to know where they could buy the sneakers. In the months that followed, Cole Haan decided that a full-on collaboration made sense.
Over the past few years, Cole Haan has tried to stand out in the footwear market by investing in technology. Associating itself with Slack allows it to deepen its identity as a tech-forward brand.
Why it’s hot: This is an unexpected partnership that is mutually beneficial to both brand’s missions — a fun way to display the capabilities of Slack, and differentiating Cole Haan in the fashion landscape. Although it does seem like a miss that the shoes don’t have any unique capabilities beyond just slack-themed colorways.
The office adapts to the way we work now! Welcome to The Office Slack, a slack reinterpretation of every episode of the office.
“The account comes from a creative collective known as MSCHF, “a group of 10 offbeat creatives based in a small office in Brooklyn.” They post on the Office Slack during traditional office hours, naturally (weekdays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), in real-time, meaning some episodes take days or even weeks to fully play out.”
Why it’s hot?
This is such an out of the box way to absorb content, can be used within your work tools while you’re working. You can check in or out at any time. True Office fans can pick up at any time…
Slack is leaning into its status as the young, hip startup by calling out its older, more established competition: Microsoft.
Slack tweeted a video on Thursday comparing a Slack ad and a Microsoft ad, showing the similarities between them and implying the Microsoft copied Slack’s concept. The video was captioned “ok boomer,” a phrase that has turned into a meme for millennials and Gen Z to voice their gripes with the baby boomer generation.
Watch the video here
On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that Teams hit 20 million daily users, while Slack most recently announced just 12 million users. Slack’s stock took a dive after the announcement.
At the same time, NY Times announced that at least five trademark applications are pending for the retort, according to a database for the federal patent office, including one by Fox Media, which hopes to use it for a possible television series.
Source: Business Insider
First came the “OK Boomer” memes on social media. Then came the T-shirts, phone cases and other merchandise emblazoned with the viral retort. Now, get ready for an all-out war at the United States Patent and Trademark Office and a possible television series using the phrase.
On Nov. 11, Fox Media filed a trademark application for a TV show called “OK Boomer,” one among a handful of applicants hoping to secure rights to the phrase hurled by Generation Z and millennials to older people who don’t understand their positions on various issues and anyone issuing condescending remarks. (This month, Chloe Swarbrick, a 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker, even used it in Parliament to respond to a heckler during a debate on a zero carbon bill.)
Separate applications filed on Oct. 31 (by a man named Kevin Yen) and Nov. 14 (by the jewelry company Rust Belt Creations) described intentions to use the phrase on clothing items. Another application, filed on Nov. 12 (also by Rust Belt Creations), mentioned plans to sell decals and stickers. And an application filed on Nov. 13 (by William Grundfest, a TV producer known for “Mad About You”) referred to plans to use “OK Boomer” for live stage performances and lectures.
Why it’s Hot
Odd trend taking more odd turns.
Marriott has introduced a new Slack extension that lets teams browse and book hotel rooms directly in their chats. There is even an emoji feature.
The user provides a city and dates, and the extension will serve up a handful of options. Everyone in the chat can then vote using Slack’s emoji reactions on which option they want. When the votes are in, you can book the winning hotel right within the slack chat.
The extension is limited to hotels affiliated with Marriott’s Rewards program, but the company promises the Slack tie-in will aways turn up the lowest possible rate.
“Marriott also has the distinction of being the first hotel chain to have a dedicated Slack experience, though the hotel chain has previously dabbled in messaging, with a bot for Facebook Messenger and an iMessage app.
The extension was was built by a company called Snaps, which also makes emoji apps for businesses (and Kim Kardashian, as it turns out), so it’s not surprising they’d bring an emoji component to Slack as well.”
Why it’s hot: This takes some of the pain out of booking hotels (especially for business travel through concur) and allows multiple parties to weigh into booking decisions. Additionally, this further positions Marriott as a leading hotel chain leveraging technology to make their guests lives easier (recently launched an AI chat bot for in-hotel experience).
Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield recently spoke to MIT Technology Review about the ways the company plans to use AI to keep people from feeling overwhelmed with data. Some interesting tidbits from the interview…
When asked about goals for Slack’s AI research group, Butterfield pointed to search. “You could imagine an always-on virtual chief of staff who reads every single message in Slack and then synthesizes all that information based on your preferences, which it has learned about over time. And with implicit and explicit feedback from you, it would recommend a small number of things that seem most important at the time.”
When asked what else the AI group was researching, Butterfield answered Organizational Insights. “I would—and I think everyone would—like to have a private version of a report that looks at things like: Do you talk to men differently than you talk to women? Do you talk to superiors differently than you talk to subordinates? Do you use different types of language in public vs. private? In what conversations are you more aggressive, and in what conversations are you more kind? If it turns out you tend to be accommodating, kind, and energetic in the mornings, and short-tempered and impatient in the afternoon, then maybe you need to have a midafternoon snack.”
Read more at MIT Technology Review.
Why It’s Hot
The idea of analyzing organizational conversation to learn about and solve collaboration and productivity issues is incredibly intriguing – and as always with these things, something to keep an eye on to ensure the power is used for good.
The dating app Feeld, previously known as 3nder and commonly known as “Tinder for threesomes,” has just announced a Slack integration – “Feeld for Slack
According to the Feeld, the bot works like this — just open a direct message conversation with Feeld and @-mention someone you “have feelings for.” For them to find out that you did that, they’ll have to initiate a conversation with the bot and mention you. Otherwise, Feeld promises, your secret dies in Slack. It doesn’t mention how long the bot will wait for your crush to reciprocate.
Why it’s hot?
What could possibly go wrong?