Request for product: Better OS X Mail Client
Who should read this? People who are unsatisfied with their current Mail on OS X experience. Especially if you are capable and interested in building something better!
There aren’t really any good mail clients on OS X. I found myself frustrated with Mailbox this morning, and decided to write this.
This is a problem that I have and I know many others in the Valley who agree. Granted, it is a very first world problem. This isn’t a ‘breakthrough technology’ sized startup. Just think of it as a product.
If you’re hunting around looking for a problem to solve, or your customers aren’t very passionate about what you’re doing, and neither are you, maybe this is interesting.
What do I currently use? I currently use Mailbox for OS X (Mailbox is great on iOS)
What demonstrates the problem? Mailbox is immensely frustrating, yet still used.
Why would I switch? I use Mailbox 10x+ per day, and so something that is better would have a big impact on my day.
Who will do this if you don’t? Doesn’t seem like Dropbox cares a ton. Though personally I might consider buying a Dropbox subscription if it got me a really nice bug-free Mailbox on OS X. Could be like Dropbox’s ‘Amazon Prime’. Perhaps Microsoft will get into it, and have the Acompli team build a light weight OS X client. Would be interesting to see Microsoft win Mail on OS X :-) Would be nice if Apple did it, but my expectations aren’t high there.
How would you get users? Honestly the Mailbox strategy would likely work again. Build a product that you and your 10 friends who currently use Mailbox think is better, make a video of it, and put up a waitlist where people can get it earlier if they invite others. And use ‘Sent from xyz.’
Who is the right person to do this? If you’re also really frustrated with your OS X Mail client experience, and you’re either really good at OS X development and UX, or a really fast learner.
Who is the wrong person to do this? If you are already working on solving an even bigger frustration of yours or a more valuable problem.
What could make it even more interesting? Once you have a high install base, it seems like you could make a better experience emailing between two people who both use the client — Slack/iMessages both have advantages over email. It could be an interesting wedge into messaging. Also: Do more to help people reach inbox zero? Do more to help people send shorter/better emails? Help people process/organize the email newsletters/company based emails they receive?
Who are the early adopters? Which users should be targeted first? Tech people. People who frequent Product Hunt, Hacker News, etc. People who send/receive a lot of email (definitionally they are more extreme users).
How do you compete with Mailbox? Iterate faster. Since the acquisition not much has happened. Also, I think focus on desktop OS X first. Mailbox for iOS is pretty good.
How could you do customer development for this? If you’re building this, hopefully it’s a problem you personally have. So notice what you do yourself. Bonus: Customer development is comparatively easy here — go and sit in a coffee shop, observe people using their mail clients.
Written by an anonymous contributor.