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Zulip has easily the best threading model among all the chat applications and I prefer it over Slack, Mattermost, RocketChat, Hipchat, Discord etc. Each and every conversation is a seperate thread and has a topic. This model makes it extremely easier to catch up and participate in conversations. Once you get used to the threading model of Zulip its hard to tolerate threading model like Slack which is really inefficient and time wasting.
I use Zulip instead of Slack, Mattermost, or RocketChat because of its first class threading. One week after switching to Gmail (in 2004) I realized I was never (willingly) going to use an unthreaded email product again. I had that same experience the first time I saw Zulip.
Zulip is also fully open-source, with a well-maintained (e.g. 90+% test coverage, fully static python), easily extensible code-base. In many companies, your communication platform (chat or email) is the center of the workplace -- no one asks for a chat integration into their calendar, they ask for a calendar integration into their chat. A fully open-source codebase means you can customize Zulip to your needs, and are never at the whim of a corporate maintainer who can't or won't fix simple bugs, or who will charge you tens of thousands of dollars for making minor customizations.
I use Zulip because I love how it lets me focus on my work, and doesn't need me to be constantly online to be able to participate in conversations that matter to me. Zulip's topics make it super easy to get an overview of all the conversations that happened while I was away, and pick and choose the conversations that I want to catch-up with. Slack 's threads seem like an after-thought and aren't effective for catching-up at all!
I also love the Zulip community, and the care and effort put in by the members to make it a friendly and welcoming community to new developers, and to make the contribution experience pleasant for all the contributors.
For many(if not all) small and medium size business time and cost matter a lot.
That's why languages, frameworks, tools, and services that are easy to use and provide 0 to productive in less time, it's best.
Maybe Node.js frameworks might provide better features compared to Rails but in terms of MVPs, for us Rails is the leading alternative.
Amazon EC2 might be cheaper and more customizable than Heroku but in the initial terms of a project, you need to complete configurationos and deploy early.
Advanced configurations can be done down the road, when the project is running and making money, not before.
Finally, comunication and keeping a good history of conversations, decisions, and discussions is important so we use a mix of Slack and Twist