Collaboration 3.0

Alex Schiff
2 min readSep 29, 2014


8 trends today that will define our tools tomorrow

Over the last 10 years, several notable trends have redefined the tools people use to work together and get things done — both in and outside of the workplace. Some of the most often-cited ones include:

“The cloud” has freed content from our desks — data can be available any time, anywhere, on any device. It has also made the cost of running a company a fraction of the cost it was 10 years ago.

Nearly every worker is carrying an Internet-connected mini-computer in their pocket at all times. This enables people to work wherever, whenever they want.

New distribution channels have allowed products to grow so massively that they can enter the workplace “bottoms-up” rather than selling into CIOs. Once the gatekeeper, tools are now often adopted in spite of, not because of, the CIO.

As a result of the above, consumer-first tools are increasingly penetrating the workplace. Since consumer apps and services are often much more UX and design-conscious, today’s enterprise tools are becoming easier to use and unleashing productivity.

These are no longer hypotheses or predictions. They are well-accepted, well-documented phenomenon that have already changed the landscape of how we work. Opportunities to build new large, important companies around these trends are becoming few and far between (though, of course, not extinct).

So, what’s next? As long as there are workplaces, there will be entrepreneurs redefining the way work gets done.

To answer that question, I turned to 18 product leaders and executives from companies ranging from a couple co-founders with seed funding to public companies with thousands of employees. We identified 8 trends, and compiled the best quotes into a SlideShare, with the full commentary from all 18 participants below. Enjoy!

Collaboration 3.0: Trends Today That Will Define Our Tools Tomorrow [Full Commentary]



Alex Schiff

Product @Square. Prior: built Canvas @occipital, co-founder @Fetchnotes, VP @Benzinga, and chief opinionator @michigandaily.