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Like any tool, email needs to be adapted to its current marketplace. If email can’t be deleted permanently from the inboxes of our lives, how else can it be used to better them?
Andy McLoughlin, VC from SoftTech and angel investor in the highly acclaimed Mainframe takes five mins to give us his opinion on the subject.
Email kind of sucks. But, it’s everywhere, it’s basically free, it’s unlimited and it’s decentralized. Indeed there’s actually a lot of stuff to love about it, but as a means to work it really sucks. This is because every time you send a message it’s disconnecting you from the team, every time I send you a file it’s yet another megabyte that has to live somewhere, etc etc. Unnecessary storage and replication is happening everywhere, on a huge global scale.
Mainframe, to me, is the classic example of what needs to happen to email. I met Mick Hagen, CEO of Mainframe two and a half years ago, we were introduced by John Bradford from TechStars. One of our goals back in the day with Huddle was to get people off email when collaborating, and the thing that I loved about Mainframe was how it plays on the beauty of email and in turn makes it suck less. Mainframe has addressed how we can take advantage of the decentralised nature of email – the fact that it’s everywhere – and then add a smart layer on top of it. They’ve said ‘let’s make it a tool for working and collaborating with, rather than a tool for broadcasting with’, which email currently is now.
So do you think people will embrace this change?
Today, email is being mashed into being a collaboration tool. What I hope is that this shift is so invisible that people won’t even notice it, they’ll just simply embrace it into their lives. Much like the simple shift that people had going from plain text email to HTML email, whereby most people didn’t even notice it and even if your client doesn’t support HTML email for some reason it will automatically revert back to plain text. That’s what I love about the concept of Mainframe, we could be using it and another person not, but it wouldn’t affect the work process. It’s seamless. It’s turning email into a richer conversation within your workplace – it’s invisible genius.