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To Kill Office E-Mail, Slack Needs to Learn How Non-Geeks Work

New Work startups want to revolutionize office communication. Not so fast, guys

E-mail is dead—or at least that’s what Silicon Valley is banking on. At the end of April, the startup Slack announced it had raised $43 million in funding and said it was valued at about $220 million. Slack has built a type of anti-e-mail messaging system meant to let workers collaborate in a more fluid way. Venture capital firms who joined the gaudy funding round included Social+Capital Partnership, Accel Partners, and Andreessen Horowitz. (Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.) They clearly think the company is up to something big.

Illustration by 731; Photograph by Alamy