When it comes to tech companies arming themselves against competition, Slack may be hard to beat. At least, that is, when it comes to spending on research and development, the route to new product development.
Slack spent the equivalent of 38% of its revenue on R&D in its first three quarters of last year, a percentage that was significantly higher than for other subscription software firms we surveyed. The closest were Dropbox and Workday, each of which spent 31%. (See above chart.) That’s likely no coincidence. Slack and Dropbox are essentially single-product companies fighting intense competition from bigger rivals such as Microsoft and Google. Workday, which provides business applications for human resources and financial management, also faces intense competition from giants like Oracle and SAP.