Herb Scribner, Deseret News
Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith interviewed Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield to kick off the event. The two spoke about product development and failure.

The Silicon Slopes Tech Summit kicked off on Thursday morning with an interview with Slack’s chief executive officer.

Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith interviewed Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield about product development, addressing the needs of customers and how to build a business.

Butterfield, who also founded Flickr, spoke about product development and how to take care of the customer first.

Butterfield also revealed a little backstory about Slack’s creation. He said he was once told “good luck with that” when he explained the idea of hitting $100 million through Slack. The company is now valued at $5 billion, according to Business Insider.

Here are seven quotes from Butterfield from his interview with Smith.

On failure:

  • "Failures in the context of work really sting and you want to come up with some narrative around them about why they're not failures. But if you try to learn from them" you can turn losses into successes, he said.

On creative thinking:

  • "The idea of limitless infinite possibilities makes creative thinking even harder."

On understanding customer needs and desires:

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  • "It's less (about) features that are ahead of where the users are and trying to understand" the need of the customers, he said.
  • "People drift off of what's going to be valuable for customers into this kind of … ego-stroking approach to product development."

On Slack as a company:

  • "It is the central hub. There are giant flows of information."
  • "Five years from now, everyone will be using Slack or something like it.

On the internet:

  • "I can't imagine a world where humans survive and the internet goes away."