The productivity hazzle, collaboration dilemma and the prioritization problem in the landscape of online communication today is well documented. Many of us suffer the consequences of what e-mail does to us and we also suffer from the lack of innovation with the e-mail and enterprise collaboration space.
But finally someone has taken on the task:A company called Handle!
(a lot more on Handle a bit down i n the post)
No e-mail innovation
There are many great collaboration tools today, but still the most important one is kept as a isolated silo and no one seems to dare to touch it. E-mail innovation is so close to zero. Unfortunately this is the main reason that most collaboration product do not fill the full value it could within most organizations.
Lately there been some traction in the e-mail client space with products like Mailbox, Sparrow etc. I have written about Mailbox and why I thought it was more of a feature then a product earlier. Even though they got acquihired (yes, that is how I see it) by Dropbox I think my main concerns are still accurate and solid. Two big obstacles are not challenged in todays e-mail innovations:
- They tend to be built on-top of an existing product like Gmail
- They do not do things that much different. Still a silo, still stateless, still sender owned communication, still …… you get it. Simply put, just the same e-mail client, but with a snazzy interface.
What I am looking for is a product that thinks out of the box and builds the product that actually reflects the way we communicate today in a business environment. This might have the impact that the product needs it’s own server messaging infrastructure (still compatible with existing protocols).
I have written some posts of what a product like I foresee could include and what value it would bring, so I will not elaborate on that in this post, but will definitely get back on the topic. What I will write about is yet another product like all the ones I do not like (mentioned above). If you have not heard about Handle it might be worth continue reading
Handle - the priority engine
Handle is an on-top of Gmail inbox product that will help you prioretize and improve your personal productivity and task management. Seems very similar to Mailboxapp right?
Two days ago I got my invitation to try Handle out (if you visit the link that I have posted as headline (or this link), there will be invite-codes available). I was initially disappointed, I had higher expectations, this even though I know the product is in it’s very beginning of it’s journey.
As many startups do today, I received a mail from their CEO Shawn Carolan, where he asked for feedback. 99% of those goes to the trash, but since this is an area that really interests me I thought I could give it a couple of minutes, so I sent a mail with short notes. The mail also included my short (not so thought through) thoughts on what a product within this area should look like if it was created today, without legacy etc.
Handle - the human operating system for online communication
The response from Jonathan McCoy, Founder and VP Product, included some answers, but the most interesting was in regards to my thoughts of a product, he linked to a post on their Tumblr by Shawn Carolan with the headline “Humans need an operating system too”
The post completely made me change my mind on Handle. Their vision is almost exactly the same as my vision. That is something completely new to me. People who know me, know that I have been talking about this for about 10 years by now.
This is actually the ending of the Handle post, but read it carefully:
Noun — op·er·at·ing sys·tem, for humans.
Software that works in tandem with your mind to support basic functions, such as capturing ideas, triaging inbound information, automating Internet interactions, optimizing the sequencing of tasks, and facilitating focused execution equipped with the right information at the right time, in the right context, to maximize effectiveness in alignment with goals.
The entire post over at the Handle blog is great so jump over and read it.
I will keep my eyes on Handle and what the team will produce and if they are even near their vision they will do great things for productivity and e-mail (and maybe some other stuff as well).