We previously founded Talkbox, a voice messaging app that gained over 13 million users before being copied by Wechat messenger. It made up realize that a closed messaging app could never win, so we decided to make an open one. What's a service that is globally ubiquitious, egalitarian, and completely open? Email!
How it works
MailTime is an open messaging service built on decentralized email technology. Think of it as an email messenger. We apply the ease of mobile messengers to email's open protocol, thereby creating a universal open communication platform available to anyone with an email address. (as opposed to Whatsapp/FB Messenger/Wechat's closed networks)
Challenges I ran into
Referral invite logic is hard. Formatting varied html emails is hard. Moving all infrastructure from the client side to my butt is hard. Localization without breaking UI is hard!
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We launched onstage at Techcrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield last September, which was great. Since then we've launched the 2.0 version that supports all mail providers, 12 languages, and multiple account support. Mailtime 2.0 is what we dreamed of, but we're not done yet.
What I learned
There's a real desire for a product like this. People are struggling with email and moving to messengers, and many eyes light up as soon as they hear what we did. That said, making email messaging style is harder than it looks.
What's next for MailTime
We want to integrate with all the nonhuman services in your inbox. Start and complete third party actions from within your inbox without ever opening another app. Take action on emails with a single tap. It's a bold vision, but we're confident we can do it.
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