There was an interesting comment from Anne Libby on Brad Feld’s post awhile ago that got me thinking about the future of the inbox.

Here is Anne’s comment:

If I were to write a similar post, it would be titled “Email is no longer working for me.”

 

Every day, we all create transaction requests, questions, introductions, responses to questions, needed data, jokes, attempts to be understood, negotiations on a meeting time — and so on — into what’s essentially a giant pipe called “email”.

 

Then we press “flush,” and expect it to be sorted out on the receiving end. (Yeah, we can set filters. It’s somewhat helpful, but for me it’s not enough.)

 

My five year future would include the emergence of email “process owners” in organizations. Industrial engineer/design specialist tasked with understanding the cost of the sorting out process, distributed across every person in the organization (i.e 100 emails/day * time to process each email* people in the organization). Then they’d figure out ways to get info where it’s meant to go…bypassing email where it doesn’t make sense.

It’s not just about tweaking the email client, but creating alternate and more effective communication behaviors.

I whole-heartedly agree. My inbox sucks, and there is an opportunity for an exponentially better experience. The inbox is certainly not a small problem one individual can solve. It’s a big crazy idea to totally redefine what an email inbox looks like and how it operates. Big risk, big reward.

The other day, I finally got around to putting together what I believe the future of the inbox is and posted it over at Geek Wire. Head over and give it a read and let me know what you think!


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