This is the upbringing you’ll never imagine can be associated amongst the Silicon Valley’s heavyweights. Since his father fled from the US avoiding Vietnam war, Mr. Stewart Butterfield and his family had lived in a log cabin forest in British Columbia, Canada, for three years in the absence of electricity and running water.
The family relocated to the capital of British Columbia, Victoria, where Butterfield, at 7 years, saw the first computer, teaching himself on how to program through the magazine at his tender age, early 1980.
At 12 years, he learned how to create computer games, being fascinated by the first wave of personal computers, as he tried to live frugally. He made changes to his first name to Stewart.
At high school, he was unable to continue with his passion for computers, ended up studying Philosophy at Victoria University, and also got his masters at Cambridge University in the UK.
Since the internet started taking off in 1997, and Mr. Stewart was to become a professor in philosophy, the Webster gigs were moving to Francisco, and most of them made good money, some twice, others thrice as what the professors were making. This was such an exciting challenge to Mr. Stewart.
Mr. Stewart was not left behind as he took this initiative again to rekindle his interest in the love for computers. In 2002, Mr. Stewart launched his first online game with future Flickr co-founder, his by then-wife, Caterina Fake
They came up with a plan B as the so-called never-ending game failed to take off and the pair ran out of cash. The idea of Flickr came up in just a ripe age on building photo-sharing platform in three months time. At this age, things were happening so fast, camera phones were coming out, households were getting internet connectivity and so forth.
By then Flickr was the only website that allowed people to upload, share, tag and comment on photos since its launch in 2004. Nevertheless, they moved up on to bigger things with Slack after the founders sold the firm to internet giant Yahoo for $25m. Mr. Stewart and his partners in 2009, set up another online game which failed, though it sparks a brainwave.
As he and the partners worked on this failed game to solve problematic issues, they developed a system for internal communication under the same platform. This idea was very much in the background as they didn’t know if they’ll come across it. They thought in a few years time, it will embrace peoples’ minds.
This was a head up for Slack, which boasts 8 million daily users, 3 million people who pay for more advanced features and more than 70,000 corporate clients. Slack favors employees to communicate in groups and collaborate with each other at work. It is growing fast. The big names that have just signed up include IBM, 21st Century Fox and Marks and Spencer, Samsung. Slack is now worth $5.1bn.
An analyst at consultancy at Bright Bee technology, Chris Green says this is very rare for an entrepreneur to successfully create something out of the ashes of a failed project. The analyst also added that Mr. Stewart career is more of luck, he has been in his background trying to find ways to optimize order from chaos. These are advantages of Flickr and Slack
With Slack’s competitors, the rival Microsoft is offering free service with 365 Office package, with its startup Zoom boasts which happens to be more expensive with the same price. In this case, Slack should keep up the pace of evolving to catch up with these big competitive companies.
In future plans, Mr. Butterfield says he has no intentions of leaving Slack, unlike Flickr. He says this was an evolved amazing luck as he is not so smart to make it happen again. ”The most definite time to take it to another level is now”, this is what he is saying. #Rewordit