Slack is Afraid of Microsoft (and Headed in the Wrong Direction)

sold my slack stock this week


I’ve been your #1 fan since day one. An investor since your IPO. A power user since we adopted it Aha! and used it to become one of the fastest growing remote companies in the world (before remote was cool).

Over the last year I had accumulated a decent position in Slack for a personal investor. Sure, you probably don’t know I exist, but a week ago you punched me in the gut.

When I heard that you had filed a formal complaint for anti-competitive behavior for Microsoft, it was the day your company started down a different path.

You may end up growing to a $100B market cap company. You may end up selling out to Salesforce, Google, or hect even Microsoft. But it doesn’t change the fact that you lost me as a fan this week.

Microsoft was afraid of Slack. Whether you know it or not. It’s part of what made your company so easy to support. You have a superior product.

But here’s what companies with superior products do. Win. They don’t complain that their opponent isn’t playing fair. And whether you intended to or not, that’s how you came across this week.

I understand your vision to unite apps. And that Microsoft’s compliance is critical to that eco-system. But now you are telling me that without the governments help you cannot complete that vision.

What do you think Microsoft wants to do? Crush you. If I had to guess, and I have absolutely no inside knowledge of this, I’m guessing Microsoft tried to invest in or acquire Slack at some point.

Or, they are just pissed from your ad in the New York Times. What do you think would happen? You spurned them and now they called their bluff. If you were really so dependent on them, you should not have poked the bear. That is Sun Tzu 101. You were outmatched and decided to attack head on.

Today when every single other tech stock I own was up, Slack was down. Because you signaled your defeat. You signaled desperation. You signaled you were afraid. You signaled that as the underdog you need the governments help to win.

I would argue that your desperation (and loss of investors like me) will likely do far more damage to moral, talent retention, and talent acquisition, than the complaint would ever win.

I sold my Slack for the same reason I don’t own a ton of Walmart stock. Walmart only becomes the dominate e-commerce player of Amazon gets hit with anti-trust. And I don’t like the idea of 2nd place winning due to a technicality.

It’s ok though. I didn’t lose nearly as much money these last few days as I would have last week. Because I sold the majority of my Slack stock the day I heard about the EU complaint.

I have worked hard my entire life to compete. That’s what competitors do. You just became a complainer. It punched me in the gut. And after I got my breath back, I sold most of my shares.

Thanks for reading,

Keith Brown