Bots you can count on: meet the developers behind Statsbot

Slack API
Slack API
May 11, 2016 · 7 min read

What makes a Slack bot outstanding? Is it its technology, accuracy, or perhaps its wittiness? All are important — but above all else are the creative minds of their developers. This is precisely who we had in mind when we coined the Brilliant Bot category of our App Directory.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Today’s story features two of our friends in Moscow: Artyom and Mike, the talented developers behind one of our most popular apps, Statsbot, the analytical companion for Slack. Among your everyday team messaging, it’s now easier than ever for you and your teammates to make informed, data-driven decisions right in Slack. With Statsbot, answers to important queries are just a question away!

The inception of Statsbot

A bot in progress

The first version of Statsbot was built for Artyom’s former team — it was able to fetch data from other analytics tools, allowing any team member to ask a question in Slack, receive an answer, and make informed decisions. It also allowed them to schedule daily, weekly, or even monthly summaries of important company or team-specific stats — so everyone was continuously informed about key metrics. Teams could also specify target metrics they wanted to achieve, like reaching X number of sign-ups, or receive notifications in channel when goals were met, so everyone could celebrate together.

Image for post
Image for post

“It started to work well at my old company, so I thought, this could definitely be useful for other teams as well!”

Artyom called Mike and told him about this idea. The rest is history.

Statsbot enters beta

The beta program expanded to over 100 teams and became integral in learning more about why teams were relying on Statsbot, how they were using it, the problems it solved, and what could be done to make their jobs even easier. Plus, it became apparent that the team had built something valuable for others.

“Once we realized that we were building a useful and valuable tool we decided that we wanted to focus on this full-time to prepare for a big launch. And so we quit our jobs!”

Image for post
Image for post

Getting ready for the big day

Artyom distinctly recalls how helpful the team at Slack was during this process — they provided invaluable UX input on the optimal placement for the ‘Add to Slack’ button (which later brought them ~10% growth in conversion), and product advice on how to best implement multi-account support.

“Any cool product starts with a team. And I have to say that Slack Platform has a very strong one. Slack was not the first one to create a messaging App Directory, but they’re the first place where you can really feel the quality of the platform, the applications, and the people behind the scenes.”

@statsbot: How is Statsbot performing?

“The App Directory is by far our biggest channel right now and it was an incredible experience to be featured on the main page. It drove tremendous traffic to our site!”

In just two months, over 5,000 teams had installed Statsbot, with 40% of those finding it in the Directory listings. At 500 installs per week, the team has achieved a total of ~9,000 total sign ups since their launch in January, including teams at Y-Combinator, Product Hunt, Khan Academy, Vimeo, and even NASA ADS.

What’s next?

With this additional brainpower driving Statsbot forward, Artyom and Mike have also concentrated their efforts on content marketing. To gain additional traffic, they’ve recently published two posts on Medium — one about their experience building on the Slack platform, “How to Release a Slackbot” and one thought leadership piece on the topic of “Data-Driven Collaboration”.

In the coming months, Statsbot is hoping to connect to additional tools, like MixPanel (which launches today on Product Hunt), offer even deeper integrations with existing solutions,and continue to support SQL databases. The team has also started to offer customized experiences for select customers and will further explore this area as a future business opportunity.

Brilliant tips for building a brilliant bot

Here are just a few:

  • Try it out first: Before releasing your app to the Directory, figure out if your product offers true value to customers. Consider running a beta program to test if users are engaged and submitting positive feedback. Before Statsbot’s big launch, they piloted their bot with over 100 teams, to make sure they were solving real problems for Slack teams.
  • Ask for help from the Slack team: Our team is here to help make you and your app successful on our platform. Check out our many resources, including a new Ideaboard– a list of useful ideas that could be built into Slack apps, and reach out to our platform team with questions whenever they come up. During the app submission process, Artyom and Mike received valuable advice from the platform team about onboarding, UX, and product implementation. They continue to stay in close contact with the team as they further develop their app.
  • Learn from other developers: There are over 400 apps published in the App Directory — which means there are hundreds of developers working on Slack apps! Over the past few months, many developers in our community have published articles with helpful tips and how-to’s for developing on the Slack platform as well as in-depth technical pieces. The team at Statsbot learned a lot from the developers at Kifi, Meekan, and Kip while drawing on the support of the helpful Dev4Slack developer community.

This is the second post in our new series of interviews with the people and companies behind many Slack apps and services, which we’re calling our Developer Stories. We’ll continue to add more stories like this very soon.

Slack Platform Blog

Several bots are typing…

Slack API

Written by

Slack API

The Slack Developer Blog. Other Slack news, features and tips can be found at http://slackhq.com but this? This is all API, all the time

Slack Platform Blog

Several bots are typing…

Slack API

Written by

Slack API

The Slack Developer Blog. Other Slack news, features and tips can be found at http://slackhq.com but this? This is all API, all the time

Slack Platform Blog

Several bots are typing…

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store