#7 Solve real problems
During our time at ycombinator it was impressed upon us to solve real problems. This means the problem you think exists really does, and that your solution actually improves the situation.
The problems with email
Today we wanted to share the problems that we see with email. Let us know - which of these problems affect you the most? Is there anything you think that is missing from this list?
- No expectation about how quickly an email needs responding too, if at all.
- Email "ping pong", sending several small messages for a conversation that would have taken 5 minutes on the phone.
- Marking emails as unread is a poor approximation for a todo list.
- Conversations with multiple participants rely on hitting reply all, not reply.
- New people can only be added to a thread by sending a message and will fall off if someone replies to an old message.
- No way to leave an email thread.
- Every message is jumbled together not separated by importance.
- Messages designed to 'bump a conversation to the top of your inbox'.
- Bad formatting, individuals send no formatting, or random formatting if text is copy/pasted.
- Too much formatting, companies send unnecessarily huge pictures in the name of branding.
- Attachments have no link to the latest version of a document, easy to pass around outdated versions.
- Receiving too many messages.
- The cc problem, being added to a conversation to be "looped in" which just increases the number of messages.
- Checking email all the time, even when not expecting anything.
- Losing decisions made in long threads.
We are working hard to improve the writing experience within Plum Mail. These improvements will make it easier to add questions to your messages. It will also lay the ground work for being able to add other rich features to your messages. Watch this space, we hope to share our progress with you soon.
Cheers, Peter & Richard
p.s. If you have a friend who you think would be interested in our journey, please do forward this email to them! Thank you. :-)