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Rockstar Profile: Simon Vallee

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Sony Creative Software Inc.

At just 34 years old, Canadian born and San Francisco based Simon Vallee has already built up and sold three startups to larger tech companies. He first sold website creation tool Sitemasher to Salesforce back in 2008, then Opencal online calendar software to Groupon in 2011. Most recently, Slack acquired Spaces, Simon’s productivity app that easily facilitates sharing and collaboration on documents and files.

Unfortunately at the time of the acquisition, Groupon was not an organisation that focused on product, and Opencal was very product-centric which caused some friction. However,  it was this keen sense of product design and love of useful technology that made Simon the perfect candidate to join Slack as Senior Product Manager. Slack is an instant messaging and office communication startup which has been valued at a cool $2.8 billion. Here, he is helping to build out the functionality tools making it easier for workers to use, share and collaborate on documents.

Slack’s primary goal is to make workers more productive. It is keen to make sure any new features will make people happier in work, but won’t reduce productivity. For example, the 722 emojis available on Slack allow employees a new level of self expression as opposed to mundane business communication. These features make it feel like a consumer app, not another piece of emotionless business software which employees shun. Simon has entered Slack at a time where there is a solid base in place, and his experience in building simple, useful products will help to take the company to the next level.

 

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