Email is probably the most extended personal communication platform in the world. There are services that appear regularly and claim to be an “email killer”. But the reality is that email will not be killed. It may die some day, of course, but not because of a competitor designed to “kill it” appearing overnight.
First were the chats and instant messaging systems; they are useful and contributed to reducing the number of emails we get every day. However, they are not meant to replace email but rather discharge it of many use cases for which it is not the optimal technology. Now we use both.
The logical extension of chats is video/audio conferencing. Again, it adds value over email and IM, but it does not replace all its uses. It did replace, however, most phone calls.
In a globalized world, people are starting to get better wifi signal than phone signal in many places; I have my cell phone line routed through Skype at home since it has zero signal most of the time.
Facebook tried it then, and it had many factors in its favor: a large, extended platform that people already use to communicate. But business laughed at the idea of routing their memos through Facebook.
Web forums almost replaced mailing lists, and both systems coexist peacefully. With the rise of search engines, it was a good idea to pipe mailing lists to the Web so that anybody can search them. However, the primary channel is still email.
Nowadays, email has been stripped of many uses for which it behaved poorly, and that’s a good thing. The reality is that currently there is no substitute for the others, and these “others” involve mostly a method for non-related people to talk to each other.
Business deals, developer conversations, private file sharing, long discussions; in general, anything related to people communicating in a structured and professional manner, is still email’s territory. Email, being open, can integrate with any other platform, both ways, to allow users to send and receive text that is automatically converted to the desired service.
That’s why we have built Puput as yet another tool that contributes to the email ecosystem. In this case, to cover a gap that still causes problems to many people around the world: get notified of important emails and access them without an internet connection.
Access to important email while traveling has always required the use of expensive roaming data. Companies are happy to pay for it, but it’s difficult to convince a personal customer to pay many euros a day just to check if there are urgent emails.
After some R+D, we added a cool value proposition that democratizes this technology: it uses missed calls, so it’s free, anywhere in the world, and doesn’t require an app or even a smartphone.
With Puput, once the user is notified of a new message and listens to it with a free missed call, they can make an informed decision about whether to purchase a roaming package or look for a wifi hotspot.
Maybe, in a few years, email will have been disintegrated into a myriad of different services, each one specialized for one specific use case. And then, my bet is that some startup will try to build a revolutionary service based on plain text messages that allows users to uninstall ten similar smartphone apps and bring them all together in a single product again.
(Want to test Puput right now? Call +12046669120, we will not pick up. The audio you hear is transmitted within a missed call. Check your call log and it will show up as “Canceled”)