If your team collaborates online, you’ve almost certainly heard of Slack. Launched in mid-2013, it’s quickly become one of the top names in team communications.
That success has just netted Slack co-founders Stewart Butterfield, Eric Costello, Cal Henderson, Serguei Mourachov the Crunchie for Founder Of The Year.
Slack calls itself “team communication for the 21st century,” and that fits it well. Not unlike competitors like Hipchat, it’s your basic chat room at its core — but with rock solid Mac/iOS/Android clients, a great API, and many layers of customizability, it’s quickly become the tool of choice for companies like Rdio, Heroku, Soundcloud and more.
As with many a startup before it, Slack sprouted to life from a less successful project. While building the now-defunct MMO Glitch, the development team found that none of the existing communication tools fit their needs. They built their own… and as Glitch closed its doors (citing “limited audience appeal”), Slack sprang forth. A little over a year later, Slack was raising $120 million at a $1.12 billion valuation.
Prior to building Slack, all four co-founders played major roles in building Flickr.
Fellow nominees in this category include Stripe co-founders John and Patrick Collison, Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, WhatsApp co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum, and Zendesk co-founders Mikkel Svane, Alexander Aghassipour and Morten Primdahl.