One of my favorite technology bloggers is Benedict Evans, and I particularly like his take on social networks, "newsfeeds", and their evolution.

 

Benedict's thesis is best summed up by this tweet:

 

 

This is the problem that Facebook is struggling with, and as Slack has grown in the enterprise users quickly encounter the equivalent frustration.  Social platforms get crowded, noisy, and consequently less useful.  And new social platforms emerge based, at least in part, on the fact that they are new and there is by definition an absence of crowds.  It is "slash and burn agriculture" in the social context.

 

Jive faces a version of this problem as well, though it manifests slightly differently and Jive's enterprise orientation (as opposed to Facebook's or Slack's group/team orientation) makes it arguably less pronounced until you get to material scale.  But make no mistake, the issue still exists and it can sap the value and utility from a Jive community in the same way channel overload makes Slack less useful.

 

This is in large part why the bulk of our innovation focus is on connection and discovery (integration hub, search, work graph) - finding the valuable, non-obvious connections between people and the content they create no matter where and how it is authored or housed.  We are trying to create, in effect, corporate memory and knowledge from the explosion of content, content types, and content locations that the wave of new collaboration tools have created.

 

Our competitors, to oversimplify a bit, are focused more on creating tools that create more content (and, by definition, more content silos).  This is in the long run why we believe Jive will have a durable role in the enterprise even with the exponential explosion of new social and collaboration tools.  Jive will be the place where the enterprise-wide connections amongst all of the content - and the people that create it - are discovered and forged.  Jive will be the VIP section of the rock concert - getting users access to the full content experience without the crowds, noise, and confusion that distracts from it.

 

We will be sharing more about our long-term vision for the product in the weeks to come and of course at Aurea Experience later this year.  Consider this the start of a "working out loud" conversation about how we're thinking about the long-term future of Jive.  We're anxious to hear your ideas.