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Published Wednesday, January 1, 2020

What Slack, Skype, and every other team collaboration tool got wrong

Team collaboration tools have one major thing in common: they got context wrong. Here's why standalone apps for workplace collaboration are not the answer.

Why ‘Context’ will be the tipping point in the battle of team collaboration tools.

 

Team collaboration tools standalone app

We made a mistake.

For years, we’ve been pulling people away from where they work and forcing them to collaborate on a standalone tool.

Slack, HipChat (RIP), Skype… while fantastic tools, have forgotten a key part of the collaborative process: Context.

Collaboration needs to happen where you work.

When you’re working through an issue or trying to come up with new angles to take your app, you shouldn’t have to deal with context switching.

Collaboration should feel like you’re talking to someone who’s right there with you, working through the issue side-by-side, even if they’re across the world.

That’s the goal. And we’ve failed to get there. Until now.

First, a familiar startup story

I sold my first startup — a popular CMS in Sweden — 5 years ago.

After the sale, I focused on a new problem: team collaboration. The solution I came up with was Incentive, Inc., a standalone all in one place team collaboration platform used by clients all across the world including Ping, Achieva, and a super-secret international government organization I can’t name (cool, right?).

We were proud of the fact that we were helping businesses work together better. But we couldn’t shake that familiar, nagging startup feeling.

Yes, we’re solving a problem, but are we solving the right problem?

We started thinking about the piece that’s missing from all current team collaboration tools, ours included.

We started thinking about context.

Why context is the most important missing piece of your team collaboration tool

If you’re an accountant working in Quickbooks, you should be able to collaborate within Quickbooks. You shouldn’t have to click over to Slack to send a message to your team. Or jump on Skype to make a call with a client.

Quickbooks is just one example, but the same goes for designers, developers, writers, and any other professional working in their tool of choice.

Why separate where you work from where you collaborate?

This was the problem we knew we needed to solve.

After months of brainstorming and development, we think we have a solution. We call it Weavy.

Weavy brings collaboration into the tools that we — the founders, developers, and other startup hustlers — use every single day.

Weavy was built with the belief that collaboration should be an inherent feature in every application we build. Not a standalone product.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You should focus on developing the tools of the future. Focus on revolutionizing the Human Resources industry, the Accounting space, or whatever vertical you are working in with the tools you’re building. Then add Weavy to make your tool fully collaborative.

Bootstrap. Node.js. PHP. They all save you time. Think of Weavy the same way.

With a simple code snippet you can bring collaboration into your app. That’s it.

These aren’t magic beans we’re selling you either. We’re proud to say that one of the first companies to see the benefits of Weavy was Microsoft.

We built Dynamics Connect™ for them using the Weavy framework. Now anyone on Microsoft Dynamics 365 can use our collaboration tools within the platform. No more clicking away to communicate with your team. All collaboration happens where the work happens — right in Dynamics.