Supporting your competitor’s product

Matt Ray made an observation on Twitter:

My initial reaction was that the longer it stays, the more confident Slack is. Presumably, Slack originally included a Skype username field to make it easy to call team members. Since then, Slack bought Screenhero, and incorporated the voice calls as a native feature. More importantly, Microsoft launched Skype for Teams, a direct competitor to Slack.

Some would expect Slack to immediately yank that. I think it will remain indefinitely, despite my initial reaction. Users rarely appreciate the removal of features. Slack talking this away probably wouldn’t prevent people from using Skype for calls, but it certainly wouldn’t make people happy.

It’s weird when you end up supporting a competitor. But when you have a superior product, this can be to your benefit. If Slack is better than Skype for Teams, then they can only benefit from people experiencing that for themselves. Of course, the trick is to remain the better product.

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