Feature Friday: Document Sharing In Slack
We use a lot of document sharing applications at USV. We use Google Docs, Hackpad (which was bought by Dropbox), Quip, Dropbox’ new Notes service, and a number of other document sharing apps.
But as we have moved most of our internal and USV network communications to Slack, we wanted a document sharing app that people in a Slack channel could use.
So the hackers at USV, mostly Nick and Brittany, built one.
We call it Quackpad, although we’d prefer to call it Slackpad, and you can use it here.
Just sign in with your Slack credentials and you are good to go.
If you, like us, use a lot of Slack for internal and external communications, I think you will find Quackpad really useful.
Nick blogged a bit about the history of Quackpad and how they built it here.
Neat tool. Congrats to the USV team!Just tried it on my iPhone and created a quick quack note (quick quack -gotta love that ). I connected the doc to one of my slack groups but can’t see the document. It should be straightforward. I’ll keep looking.
I just added a clearer “share this pad” button — a bunch of people have asked that same question. Haven’t looked at it on mobile yet but will do that
Tried it again. Can’t see the share button on mobile . Here’s what I see.
another suggestion was a button to auto-post the doc URL into a slack channel, or DM it to someone at the user’s direction. I’ll think about that too. But for now, just making the simple link sharing is a start
Nick’s coinage of the term Human Router and the fact you are platforming this capability is a great story.And a very useful post for a problem all of us have at some level.Truth is that as smart as the platform becomes having a superstar human router is necessary blue to keep it together. Smart human glue that we are empowering with better tools.
totally. Brittany is amazing and this wouldn’t work without her. But we can use and build tools to give her (and the rest of us) superpowers.
That’s a good point Arnold, one of the things that I think Slack reveals (and why it’s successful) is that what really matters is momentum. It’s a tremendous tool for getting out of 1-2 hour meetings and into actually working and moving quickly.I’m a believer & practice the lean startup approach, but as someone who’s project managed & worked w/PMs on some very corporate things, that’s true there too and not just in startups.
I need to try it.I will.Thanks.
I’m liking the vibe of VCs empowering and encouraging associates(?) to get down and dirty and hack together tools to be used by the firm. Keeps it real.Small partnership. Finger on the pulse. First hand experience of tribulations creating and iterating products. 3 forms of public transport to get to a meeting. I dig that stuff.
we do too
yeah totally. These kinds of projects are 50% because we need the tool and 50% because it’s really good to be actually building stuff and be hands on w web techs
It is also really fun.
I’ll try it! Curious (and I should probably ask this over at Nick’s post): what features does Quackpad give you that you don’t get in a google doc?
primarily sharing permissions that match the slack channel. Particularly important if membership in the slack changes a lot, and if there’s no other way to auto-permission the same group (e.g., through a gApps team)In our case there are ~1000 members in our slack, no existing google group for them all, and people are constantly coming and going. So we needed permissions that peg to slack membership
How long did it take you to build it?
we built the basic functionality in a day, then cleaned it up and tuned it on and off for the next few weeks. Rough estimate of dev time, maybe 50 hours
Ah! Now you’ve explained it really well, and I’m getting it.
Maybe I’m missing something, but what’s wrong with using Google Docs and pasting the URL in Slack? That way, collaborators can use the standard Docs features. And sometimes, you want to share only within a Group and not the entire team.
Or even Slack’s own “post” feature… Although I guess that one is not real-time.William: re Google Docs, I guess it’s an issue about access rights => there is no easy way to make your doc follow the same access rights as the associated Slack channel.
yep that’s right
So, have you received an acquihiresition offer from Slack yet? 😉
still waitingwill let you know:-)
Seriously, Slack should make it a standard and take it over, no? This will be a support nightmare for you, I think, as it gets popular.
if you use quackpad, slack automatically manages the permissions. we tried to use google docs in the way you suggest and its a massive pain for large groups across multiple orgs/domains. slack makes it simple
I see. thanks.
Personally, I hate google docs and avoid it like the plague. My myriad of tangled google accounts and documents from numerous companies and projects is really just a giant pile of dirty laundry in the basement.So Quakpad is great, as is Quip.com
Hmm, the Quackpad? You’ve beaked my interest. Built on Slack? That’s solid footing… webbed footing.(Duck. Here come the pun haters)
I’m going to have to bill you for these terrible puns.
Can I pay in bread crumbs?
It is fowl, isn’t it?
Documents of a feather quackpad together..
uh oh. Jim has been quack-tivated.
This appears to be your flock, Jim. https://m.youtube.com/watch…
Thanks, I needed that!
It’s nice to know you’re not alone, isn’t it? I don’t do puns but I never got the groaning that everyone does. Maybe a high five is the best response.
People groan because they didn’t think of the pun themselves…or that’s the theory I’m going with.
Ahhh, that makes so much sense now.
There is a certain inner sense of dissonance that puns create mixed with a begrudging appreciation. But can’t quite put my finger on the source of dissonance. One of those things I will ponder. Or not. 🙂
You do mean it’s something you’ll punder, right?
Oh that hurts. 🙂
You’re certainly living up to your bio claim as “Stand-up commenter”.
I’ll be here every day. Don’t forget to tip your waiters.
the Like Button should have a L$ke option, where it combines a micro-tipping via Bitcoin with 1 action.I’ve been encouraging Disqus and ChangeTip to do it….unless Nick decides to hack it prior to that 🙂
William M: was the bit (Pun) intended?
Indeed, Bitcoin takes micro-transactions like duck to water 🙂
“But as we have moved most of our internal and USV network communications to Slack, we wanted a document sharing app that people in a Slack channel could use”Assuming communications to Slack – assuming you mean you are weaning off email?
we do a TON of email. We are light-to-moderate slack users at USV HQ. The real impetus for this was moving our USV portfolio network from Yammer to Slack — it’s a huge group with a big need for shared docs
By the way, what was the main reason that motivated you to switch from Yammer to Slack? Do you see Slack replacing ESNs more generally, or was it just of a particularly good fit for your existing use case?
Side note – I am doing some work for an early stage company that is using office 365 for doc sharing / collaboration etc….1. I plan to suggest we try Slack2. Looking for a good – shared task list app that can be used across users internally and externally… re: Trello – Any suggestions
Re: shared task lists, with or without dates / calendar? I find basecamp to be the best, when calendar function is included
We’ve got this at http://www.idea2.com. We to a #td in a slack channel with an @grace to assign the task and it punches it into our app and returns a link to it. Let me know if you want a trial.
Only shared task app that has worked well for me is Basecamp.
Not Slacking……any know this Eric Paley @ TechCrunch?Great article – http://techcrunch.com/2015/…
Saw a company in beta Tribe.co. It’s in Chicago Techstars. Founders are sharp and the product seems similar. When is Nick going for capital? : ) (kidding)
Looks like this company is now defunct as the domain name has expired?
No. They are in business and in Techstars Chicago. The autocorrect on my phone entered the incorrect address. Tribe.do
Just tried setting it up and after authorizing our slack we’re getting this error:Whoops!Sorry, we encountered a problem with your login. Please try logging out and trying again. This is alpha software and we are actively bugfixing — apologies for the trouble!Thoughts?
Yep working on that right now — if you try again it should at least get you in and avoid the error, though there will be some missing information about your teamPls email me nick at usv dot com w any other bug reports — thanks!
tried clicking on “log in with slack and got this error
Thanks — yes we’ve been working through a bug in the auth process. I believe it’s fixed now, so go ahead and try again. Sorry about that!
will do, thanks!
Bravo, Nick and Brittany, v. neat hack!This is especially interesting because Quackpad isn’t a USV investment?The Quack makes me think of Duck Duck Go and also doctors. So am wondering if this is something doctors could potentially use?Would be brilliant if USV actually ends up creating its own “unicorn” platform from this hack, haha!
Thanks twainThat would be something, wouldn’t it
It’s really admirable that USV “eats the dog food” by using the tech you guys invest in and also experiments by walking in founders’ shoes to experience the challenges of making and shipping products.I’m an investor turned founder so have some context on the skills switch-over; assessing something’s value with the abstract tools available (comparables, DCF etc.) is different from the value building it and different from the value enjoyed by end-users.My team of strangers (2 pre-college, 2 freshmen and founder me) did a hackathon last weekend, won 1st place and got selected as “Staff Pick” by DevPost.We built a wearable called HOT GUARD for the 285 million visually-impaired as well as for kids who can’t yet read “Caution! HOT!” signs. As soon as they’re too close to hot objects (stoves, cars, naked flames), the wearable sends an audio alert: * http://devpost.com/software…I previously did another hack with the same camera lens to create world’s first-ever gesture=tweet. That hack’s becoming a startup.
Difference between Quackpad and Trello?
So I read this post very early Friday morning and by mid morning had introduced a document to my small remote team on hackpad which I’ve only used in conjunction with AVC and forgot about.I have completely lost count of the number of things that I first heard about on AVC. Or the discussions that have influenced my adoption. Remember the Google docs vs. Dropbox post? Now Slack …and Quackpad! Love how and where the latter came about. My team will be on Slack next week.