A Hundred Years of Inquietude

For a start-up like Mr. Butterfield’s, reaching that valuation in such a short time is unheard of. Slack, which offers a chat-room-like product for businesses to use as an internal communication tool, was introduced publicly only eight months ago. It is focused on the enterprise, which means it sells its products primarily to businesses, rather than individual consumers.

But with a new $120 million round of financing, announced on Friday, venture capitalists believe that Mr. Butterfield is building an enterprise company that will lead the next 100 years of online collaboration.

Slack is nice. It might even be well worth a billion dollars. But no one believes this. No one believes that we will all be making projects in Slackland in a hundred years; no one believes that Slack will be around in a hundred years; no one even believes that the internet itself will continue to exist as we know it in a hundred years. That’s a level of delusion too rich even for Silicon Valley these days. The beautiful thing is that it doesn’t matter.