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Work ecologist. Founder, Work Futures. The ecology of work and the anthropology of the future.

| Slack Steps In It | Staffbase Raises $145M | Airtable Valued at $5.7B | Box on the Block | CoScreen Launches |


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In , David Pierce breathlessly wrote about Slack’s allowing direct messaging across the ecosystem of users:

It’s [texting] the highest, most elusive rung of the business communication ladder, and it’s exactly what Slack wants to replace.


Connect DMs mean that, in theory, Slack can be the only place most employees talk about work. If that happens, it creates a powerful growth engine for the platform, because using Slack no longer requires any kind of organizational buy-in. A freelance designer might use Slack to talk to all their clients, or a salesperson at…

How is the beta test proceeding?

In November 2020, I wrote about the early beta for Dropbox Spaces in , where I did not have access to the beta but just descriptive materials that Dropbox provided. I was limited to an earlier take on Spaces, which was more or less what Dropbox folders have now become: a collection of files with an optional description area at the top.

the Old Spaces is the New Folder

As I wrote at the time

This version of Dropbox Spaces does not seem like an evolution of the earlier Dropbox Spaces. It’s a radical break.

The New Dropbox Spaces

Some minor changes confused me before…

| LinkedIn Marketplaces | Virtual Events Are Hot: Hopin and Hubilo | Asynch Video: Weet | Microsoft Viva |

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Quote of the Moment

It is a huge misunderstanding that the only alternative to planning is aimless messing around. The challenge is to structure one’s workflow in a way that insight and new ideas can become the driving forces that push us forward.

| Sönke Ahrens


Linkedin Marketplaces

| Amir Efrati looks into Microsoft’s plans for LinkedIn, which extend far beyond a business social network focused on finding jobs. How about a freelancer platform?

LinkedIn is developing a new service called Marketplaces to let its 740 million users find and book freelancers, pitting it against…

The pandemic is leading people away from endless video meetings

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I came upon a few months ago and thought I might fool with it before writing it up. However, my time is so limited these days I haven’t had a chance. But I want to draw attention to the founders’ motivation to building a content-centric, asynchronous work management tool:

The first reaction to transitioning to distributed teams is usually to start scheduling more video calls to stay aligned. This works for the first few weeks, but ends up being disruptive, blocking focus and real work. What if we could keep everyone updated on our own time, without interrupting anyone…

You might consider reframing these ideas around 'outcomes' rather than 'output', since most of the work you would be supporting with Typed is post-industrial knowledge work. You might also want to contrast your approach with content-centric solutions like Notion, Dropbox Paper, and Roam Research.

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A series profiling those who influence my thinking

Trello is becoming more like a spreadbase, like Notion, Airtable, or Coda

Trello has announced the availability of a variety of new views, so users are no longer limited to the now-familiar kanban board. Now, those who upgrade to Business Class (14 day free trial) can use timeline, table, calendar, dashboard, and map views.

The table view shows that Trello is heading in a spreadbase direction, offering filters, sorting, and other capabilities like those in Notion, Airtable, and other spreadbase tools.

Table View

At present, the table view does not support capabilities you’d expect in a full-up spreadbase, such as adding custom attributes, or a formula language to add values, or creating relationships across…

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Returning to the plan to write a book…

Employee experience platforms, not intranets

I have been working for the past few months on a research project into intranets — the internal communications solutions that many companies use to inform and connect employees and to serve as a portal to company resources and work technologies. Many of the most forward-leaning vendors in the space have tried to differentiate their offerings by focusing on the needs of employees rather than the internal communications staff that rely on the platforms to distribute company news, make HR announcements, take surveys, or highlight company achievements. …

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