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What if Facebook acquired Slack and made a Slackbook baby?

(BUSINESS NEWS) The newest threat to the current social media platform king could take their spot… but what if they were to team up instead?

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If you can’t beat ’em

Facebook has reigned supreme in social media for quite some time. So much so, that they have been able to acquire many of their competitors and/or platforms that they felt would enrich the Facebook environment. To date they have acquired: WhatsApp, Oculus VR, Face, Instagram, Drop.io, and many more. The latest “threat” to Facebook — at least in terms of chat ability — is Slack.

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Slack has created a platform that enables easy discussion and connection. It reminds me of the old AOL and Yahoo chatrooms. Sure, Facebook has Messenger, but Slack allows for easier conversations. Chats can happen quickly, and you can tell when someone is typing. You can talk one-on-one, have group conversations, or chat in channels that are created for various topics, just like the old school chat rooms or newsgroups.

Dreaming up an ideal social media platform

While this may sound like the beginning of Facebook’s next acquisition, instead we’d like to image a world where the competition doesn’t exist and instead, Facebook and Slack team up. If Facebook and Slack were to team up, they would surely dominate the social media world.

Slack is primarily used by business professionals, however, and can be a bit difficult to use. You have to create a group, add your contacts, and market yourself. It certainly has the potential to move beyond the workplace, and this is where a partnership with Facebook would be amazing.

This partnership would boost Slack’s reach and allow a whole new experience for Facebook Messenger enthusiasts.

Slack + Facebook = Slackbook

Image if you will, a hybrid of Slack and Facebook. Perhaps Facebook would adopt the chat features or conversation circles of Slack. There’s also the possibility that Slack would integrate some newsfeed or easy networking features. Either way, our imaginary merger has the potential to take over the social media world.

Now, if that doesn’t sound perfect enough, what if we added Snapchat to the equation? Facebook infamously offered Snapchat $3 billion in 2013. The offer was refused, but in our little scenario, let’s pretend it was accepted and now Snapchat can play along with Slack and Facebook.

Let’s add another player to the dream

Now, if we enrich the “Slackbook” platform we’ve created with Snapchat, can you image what would happen? Slack is already a fantastic way to message and chat, but Snapchat is instant, engaging communication, especially for the younger tech set. Between Snapchat’s filters and instant image sharing, it’s sure to make our “Slackbook” more enjoyable.

Imagine instantly sharing filtered images on the messenger platform, connecting to your network without waiting, and catching up on the news all in one place.

This is a social media platform I’d be interested in. No more competition. Everything you love all in one place. Not only is it a user’s delight, but it would be a marketers’ dream. No more timing when and where to post marketing materials, just head on over to “Slackbook” and reach three audiences at once. Sounds pretty great to us (minus the whole monopoly angle).

For now, it’s only a dream

While it’s only a dream right now, that doesn’t mean that some version of this merger won’t come to pass in the future. There seems to be a great deal of benefits to all parties involved. Only time will tell whether or not Facebook will acquire Slack or Snapchat, but isn’t it fun to think about what it might be like? What do you think, will Facebook set their sights on Slack or Snapchat again?

#Slackbook

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

Business News

This web platform for cannabis is blowing up online distribution

(BUSINESS NEWS) Dutchie, a website platform for cannabis companies, just octupled in value. Here’s what that means for the online growth of cannabis distribution.

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A small jar of cannabis on a desk with notebooks, sold online in a nicely made jar.

The cannabis industry has, for the most part, blossomed in the past few years, managing to hit only a few major snags along the way. One of those snags is the issue of payment processing, an issue compounded by predominantly cash-only transactions. Dutchie, a Bend, Oregon company, has helped mitigate that issue—and it just raised a ton of money.

Technically, Dutchie is a jack-of-all-trades service that creates and hosts websites for dispensaries, tracks product, processes orders, keeps stock of revenue, and so much more. While it was valued at around $200 million as recently as summer of 2020, a round of series C funding currently puts the company at around $1.7 billion—approximately 8 times its worth a mere 8 months ago.

There are a few reasons behind Dutchie’s newfound momentum. For starters, the pandemic made cannabis products a lot more accessible—and desirable—in states in which the sale of cannabis is legal. The ensuing surge of customers and demand certainly didn’t hurt the platform, especially given that Dutchie is largely responsible for keeping things on track during some of the more chaotic months for dispensaries.

Several states in which the sale of cannabis was illegal also voted to legalize recreational use, giving Dutchie even more stomping ground than they had prior to the lockdown.

Dutchie also recently took on 2 separate companies and their associated employees, effectively doubling their current staff. The companies are Greenbits—a resource planning group—and Leaflogix, which is a point-of-sale platform. With these two additions to their compendium, Dutchie can operate as even more of an all-in-one suite, which absolutely contributes to its value as a company.

Ross Lipson, who is Dutchie’s co-founder and current CEO, is fairly dismissive of investment opportunities for the public at the moment, saying he instead prefers to stay “focused with what’s on our plate” for the time being. However, he also appears open to the possibility of going public via an acquisition company.

“We look at how this decision brings value to the dispensary and the customer,” says Lipson. “If it brings value, we’d embark on that decision.”

For now, Dutchie remains the ipso facto king of cannabis distribution and sales—and they don’t show any plans to slow down any time soon.

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Business News

Ford adopts flexible working from home schedule for over 30k employees

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ford Motor Co. is allowing employees to continue working from home even after the pandemic winds down. Is this the beginning of a trend for auto companies?

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Woman in car working on engineering now allowed a flexible schedule for working from home.

The pandemic has greatly transformed our lives. For the most part, learning is being conducted online. At one point, interacting with others was pretty much non-existent. Working in the office shifted significantly to working remotely, and it seems like working from home might not go away anytime soon.

As things slowly get back to a new “normal”, will things change again? Well, one thing is sure. Working from home will be a permanent thing for some people as more companies opt to continue letting people work remotely.

And, the most recent company on the list to do this is Ford Motor Co. Even after the pandemic winds down, Ford will allow more than 30,000 employees already working from home to continue doing so.

Last week, the automaker giant announced its “flexible hybrid model” schedule to its staff. The new schedule is set to start in the summer, and employees can choose to work remotely and come into the office for tasks that require face-to-face collaborations, such as meetings and group projects.

How much time an employee spends in the office will depend on their responsibilities, and flexible remote hours will need to be approved by an employee’s manager.

“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent — you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” David Dubensky, chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, told the Washington Post. “Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful. … It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”

Ford’s decision to implement a remote-office work model has to do in part with an employee survey conducted in June 2020. Results from the survey showed that 95% of employees wanted a hybrid schedule. Some employees even reported feeling more productive when working from home.

Ford is the first auto company to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, but it might not be the only one. According to the Post, Toyota and General Motors are looking at flexible options of their own.

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Business News

Unify your remote team with these important conversations

(BUSINESS NEWS) More than a happy hour, consider having these poignant conversations to bring your remote team together like never before.

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Woman working in office with remote team

Cultivating a team dynamic is difficult enough without everyone’s Zoom feed freezing halfway through “happy” hour. You may not be able to bond over margaritas these days, but there are a few conversations you can have to make your team feel more supported—and more comfortable with communicating.

According to Forbes, the first conversation to have pertains to individual productivity. Ask your employees, quite simply, what their productivity indicators are. Since you can’t rely on popping into the office to see who is working on a project and who is beating their Snake score, knowing how your employees quantify productivity is the next-best thing. This may lead to a conversation about what you want to see in return, which is always helpful for your employees to know.

Another thing to discuss with your employees regards communication. Determining which avenues of communication are appropriate, which ones should be reserved for emergencies, and which ones are completely off the table is key. For example, you might find that most employees are comfortable texting each other while you prefer Slack or email updates. Setting that boundary ahead of time and making it “office” policy will help prevent strain down the road.

Finally, checking in with your employees about their expectations is also important. If you can discuss the sticky issue of who deals with what, whose job responsibilities overlap, and what each person is predominantly responsible for, you’ll negate a lot of stress later. Knowing exactly which of your employees specialize in specific areas is good for you, and it’s good for the team as a whole.

With these 3 discussions out of the way, you can turn your focus to more nebulous concepts, the first of which pertains to hiring. Loop your employees in and ask them how they would hire new talent during this time; what aspects would they look for, and how would they discern between candidates without being able to meet in-person? It may seem like a trivial conversation, but having it will serve to unify further your team—so it’s worth your time.

The last crucial conversation, per Forbes, is simple: Ask your employees what they would prioritize if they became CEOs tomorrow. There’s a lot of latitude for goofy responses here, but you’ll hear some really valuable—and potentially gut-wrenching—feedback you wouldn’t usually receive. It never hurts to know what your staff prioritize as idealists.

Unifying your staff can be difficult, but if you start with these conversations, you’ll be well on your way to a strong team during these trying times.

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