The essential part of this post and Jason Fried’s is the focus on attention, availability, and communication. Yes, I’ve tried Slack. And HipChat. And a bunch of others. My team does use group chat, especially when people are working from home, that just works better than email for checking in and questions.
However, the realization that it’s not the tool that’s doing the heavy lifting, but us is the key to finding the right tool for you. Who needs to communicate with whom and when. If I were in a more distributed team that needed to chat and discuss things a lot, I think tuning into (and out of) group chat would work. For a small team in the same room…maybe not. It depends on the team, the communications that need to be shared, and the tasks.
Getting to the bottom of your communications needs will do you a lot more good than just trying every new tool du jour.