Great Collaboration Tools

We’ve been at the mercy of our tools too long. We should never become a society of computer operators or admins. The collaborative meme will grow. Its time has come, and the technology is ready. What can we create with the insight we have on collaborative intelligence? How would a group, rather than an individual, use this technology? What other tools like these would they need?

Examples of Great Tools


SLACK is the next generation of email. I’ve brought it into startups I work with and it’s made a big difference in getting folks to communicate as a group. It’s more immediate than email, avoids the black hole of individual inboxes while also allowing direct messages. It avoids massive information overload by allowing for creation of channels on a topic or discipline like engineering or marketing, but even better draws people from those disciplines into a single conversation on a project/effort towards a specific goal. It’s great for syncing team members and onboarding folks since all conversations in all channels are persistent, so people can catch up. Images and files can be attached easily as part of the conversation. Combined with an issue tracker/task manager and online document repository and live conferencing, an organization doesn’t need much more collaborative infrastructure.

It can easily be integrated with software systems for both receiving notifications as well as controlling or triggering actions in other apps. It even has ‘bots’ for notification and activities. And it’s free.


provides “intelligence as a platform.”  Now that Viv has proven that its technology can work, the real task ahead is convincing a critical mass of developers to view Viv as a new channel for customers, and then “Viv-ify” their services through API integrations. For this very reason, Kittlaus and his team have focused Viv’s external messaging to convey how rather Viv provides intelligence as a platform, rather than Viv’s more press-friendly profile as “a smarter version of Siri.”


zoom-presenceZOOM is the tool earthDECKS uses for internal meetings, allowing members of our core group to join wherever they are. We’ve found it very user friendly and almost as good (and in some ways better) than meeting in person.

                                                                            Dennis Britton & Zann Gill for earthDECKS