Slack, which went public in an unusual direct listing valuing it around $20 billion, is actually an acronym.
- Slack debuted Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "WORK."
- Trading early Thursday saw the company's stock up over 50% from its reference price $26 per share. That values the company at just under $20 billion.
- In a Twitter thread from 2016, Slack cofounder and CEO Stewart Butterfield explained the app's name was originally an acronym that stands for "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge."
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Slack, which is trading under the stock ticker "WORK," opted for a direct listing, an uncommon approach allows the company to bypass the traditional public offering process and sell shares directly to the public. Shares were trading up some 50% from its reference price of $26 per share Thursday.
Slack's workplace chat app skyrocketed in popularity since it was created by CEO Stewart Butterfield in 2009. But not many people know the actual meaning behind the company's name, Slack.
Some people guessed it's supposed to stand for the term used in project management, which refers to the "amount of time a delay could take from a task without causing subsequent problems."
But according to Butterfield, Slack is actually an acronym. It stands for: "Searchable Log of All Conversation and Knowledge."
That's exactly what Slack is, although most people use it for chatting and sharing links and files, and don't worry about the searchability so much — though, as the New York Times reported this week, sometimes people search for their own name in a company's Slack when they take a new job, and don't like what they find.
Butterfield shared this through a Twitter conversation he had with someone who asked about the name's origin, way back in 2016. He also notes Slack's original codename used to be "linefeed."
—Stewart Butterfield (@stewart) September 27, 2016
Slack joins at least one other prominent tech company whose name is secretly an acronym: Yahoo, which originally stood for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," a joking reference to its original product, a web directory.
This is an update to a post by Eugene Kim first published in 2016.