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Slack: Why your company needs to find its hedgehog


Slack‘s VP of customer experience, Ali Rayl, took to the stage earlier today at TNW2019 to explore how technology is reshaping the way we work, and how we should deal with it.

Rayl takes a rather dystopian look at the business market: “companies will die,” she said. With technology, age-old industries like that of taxis are being disrupted. Uber now replaces black cabs, Airbnb disrupted travel.

For a business to have any chance of succeeding in a modern world where “technology disrupts,” it needs to find its hedgehog. Rayl didn’t mean the small bush dwelling creature, but rather, businesses need to find a way of doing one thing, and doing it really well.

Think of the fox, it’s wily, fast, and a hunter among many other things. But it would be hard to pin point just one thing that it’s good at. But it would be hard to pin point just one thing that it’s good at. Now think of the hedgehog. Its main trait? Protecting itself. Rayl speaks of this mantra as something all companies should focus on.

In finding their hedgehog, companies will be able to protect themselves from changes in the market and weather most storms.

But how does a company find and become its hedgehog? According to Rayl, it’s actually quite simple; companies should do three things.

One, find your passion. This is unlikely to change, and will help continually drive your understanding of why you’re doing something. Two, figure out what you’re best at, and get better at it. And three, figure out how to monetize one and two.

It’s obviously more complicated than that in reality, but the point at which all three of these dynamics converge is your company‘s hedgehog.

Monetizing your passion, and being the best at what you do will, at least in Rayl’s eyes, give your business a fighting chance at success.

There’s plenty more where that came from. Check out the official schedule to discover the keynotes you don’t want to miss, and watch them on our live streams.

Published May 9, 2019 — 13:42 UTC