How An App Pivoted To Success After Failure


Case Study: Slack - From Gaming App to Team Collaboration Powerhouse


Slack, a widely-used team collaboration platform, began as a gaming app called "Tiny Speck" in 200The original concept was an online multiplayer game called "Glitch." However, the game struggled to gain traction and failed to meet the company's expectations.

Pivot to Success:

In 2012, recognizing that the gaming industry was highly competitive and challenging, the company decided to pivot and leverage its existing technology and infrastructure for a new purpose. They shifted their focus to building a communication and collaboration tool for teams, which eventually became Slack.

Key Steps in the Pivot:

  • Identifying Core Strengths: The company assessed its core strengths, which included real-time communication and a robust messaging platform developed for the gaming app. They realized that these features could be repurposed for business use.
  • Research and Development: The team conducted extensive research to understand the communication and collaboration needs of businesses. They aimed to create a tool that simplified team communication, reduced email overload, and enhanced productivity.
  • Beta Testing: The company launched a beta version of Slack to gather user feedback. This iterative approach allowed them to refine the product based on real-world usage.
  • Targeting Specific User Groups: Slack initially targeted startups and tech companies, recognizing that they often had the most pressing need for efficient team communication tools.
  • Iterative Improvements: The company made continuous updates and improvements based on user feedback, adding features, integrations with other apps, and customization options to meet various business needs.
  • Community Building: Slack actively built a community of users, developers, and third-party app creators, fostering an ecosystem around the platform.


Slack's pivot was a remarkable success. By focusing on the communication and collaboration needs of businesses, they transformed from a struggling gaming company into a billion-dollar enterprise collaboration software provider.

Some of their key achievements include:

  • Rapid user adoption: Slack quickly gained popularity and became a staple in many workplaces.
  • Expansive integration ecosystem: Slack integrated with numerous third-party apps, enhancing its utility for various industries.
  • High valuation: The company went public and achieved a significant market capitalization.
  • Ongoing innovation: Slack continued to innovate, adding features and improvements to maintain a competitive edge in the collaboration software market.

The case of Slack demonstrates that a well-executed pivot, based on identifying core strengths and market needs, can lead to remarkable success. It also underscores the importance of adaptability and being open to changing your business model when necessary to achieve your goals.