7 Key Lessons the Latest Slack Outage Taught Us

 ● 06th Aug 2019

3 min read

It was a beautiful day – July 22nd, 2019 – the hum of computers filled the air. Slack deployed a massive update to their desktop app that was supposed to increase load time and decrease memory consumption. What a stride! Instead, a week later, it caused an outage that was felt around the world…

Aside from the fact that we’re probably spending too much time finding the perfect GIF to convey our true feelings to our colleagues, here are 7 notable things that became more obvious during the latest Slack outage:

1. People don’t want to pay for a service they can’t rely on.

DUH. There’s not much else to say. If you want people to pay for your product, and to continue paying for it, you better make sure it’s reliable.


2. You aren’t the only one keeping an eye on your competitors.

Your customers (and your competitors’ customers) are paying attention too. And, unfortunately, out-innovating the competition only works when your product works…


3. Some people are always ready to make fun of you (and themselves) on social media.

This isn’t all bad, there are quite a few brands out there that are successful at captivating social media with their satirical comments. Still, it’s better to have people making fun of you/themselves over the fact that your product is working.


4. Some people aren’t ready to joke around about something that is detrimental to their businesses.

And who can argue with them? There’s a reason “move fast and break things” isn’t Facebook’s motto anymore. Move fast, sure – but you better not break things when people’s livelihood and well-being depend on the reliability of your code.


5. Being vital to your customers can be both a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, if people really need your product to get through the day that puts you in a strong position. On the other hand, when people can’t get through the day because of you, they will be quicker to switch to a competitor.

If you lose enough credibility, people will become more and more willing to give up on specific functionalities in exchange for a competitor whose product is more reliable.


6. People are noticing the patterns… And, they’re fed up.

A single, standalone outage will get the attention of your users, and it might end up on Twitter if you have enough clout, but it probably won’t result in too much lost business. If downtime or service degradation starts to become a regular occurrence, though, customers will start to say enough is enough.


7. And finally, when the world really does come to an end… we’re all in serious trouble.

This one is mostly a joke, but also… It’s probably true…


Tali is a content manager at OverOps covering topics related to software monitoring challenges. She has a degree in theoretical mathematics, and in her free time, she enjoys drawing, practicing yoga and spending time with animals.

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