The Origin of Slack Application’s Name – Why Is It Called Slack?

The Origin of Slack Application’s Name – Why Is It Called Slack?

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For those not yet familiar with Slack, it’s a popular business application for the purpose of improving internal communications in a company or office. From a startup just over two years ago it has now grown into a company worth $3.8 billion.


However, no many people know the actual meaning behind the name, “Slack.” Slack is inter-office software that allows teams or individuals to communicate more effectively. The app aims to better organize and structure conversations between teams, inside teams, between departments, or even between individuals.


It’s not a replacement of e-mail, but rather complements it. Its usefulness can be seen in how it can be utilized to organize using sub-categories.


For instance, you could name a certain team “Marketing” and then later add channels or sub-categories such as SEO team, SEM, Email Marketing, Events, Social Media, etc. All or selective members can be given access to different teams or channels. In using the app, all users can use private messages, search for topics, mentions, and hashtags. You could say the app is an amalgamation of Messenger, Facebook, and Twitter.


According to Stewart Butterfield in a report from Business Insider, Slack’s co-founder, the purpose of Slack is never to kill off e-mail. In fact, according to Stewart, no one can ever kill or replace e-mail because it still has numerous benefits. It is the basis of all official communications but people find it hard to manage it for internal communications. That’s where Slack comes in. So, what does Slack mean?

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Some people think that the company’s name, Slack, is derived from a term in project management when the company was founded more than two years ago. Actually, Stewart clarifies that Slack is an acronym for Searchable Log of All Conversation & Knowledge.


This actually and clearly defines what the app is and capable of. It’s also better than the original name for the company they came out with back in 2012: “Linefeed.” But going back to the project management reference, the name can also mean the amount of time a delay could take from a task without causing subsequent problems. This also sums up what the product app is in terms of positive flexibility.



The company was founded in August 2013 and became IPO in February 2014. Its creators include Stewart Butterfield (former co-founder of Flickr), Cal Henderson, Eric Costello, and Serguei Mourchove. Their main headquarters is located in San Francisco, California. At present the company has over 2 million daily active users and is valued at more than $3 billion.


Its app alone was able to raise over $330 million in funding. Slack also integrates a large number of third-party services to keep communications in one place. Though it may be tempting to call the company’s workers “slackers,” that is probably the farthest description of them. The name does recall another funny company acronym many people don’t even know. Yahoo actually stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.” It’s a joking reference to its original web directory.

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