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Email

HEY

The creators of Basecamp are set to release what promises to be a delightful new email service, called HEY:

It’s a redo, a rethink, a simplified, potent reintroduction of email. A fresh start, the way it should be. HEY is our love letter to email, and we’re sending it to you. Coming April 2020 to the web, iOS, and Android.

– Jason Fried

Personally, I love, or loathe email depending on its context, and who’s sending it. There is no other medium I would rather use, yet many an app wants to draw you away into a world of its own from what used to be the purest form of correspondence. 

Through email, I’ve had the ability to reach out to some incredibly successful people I admire, and likely wouldn’t be able to get in contact with otherwise; Barbara Corcoran, Spencer Rascoff, Jeff Booth, Derek Sivers…so on and so forth. How many have responded? Nearly every one of them. Where else would I be able to gain access to and connect with some of the brightest minds who already have an overwhelming influx of others wanting to claim their time? Email thus places a higher value and emphasis on effective communication and encourages me to put more thought into how I formulate sentences.

Apparently, yesterday’s announcement of the coming of HEY garnered interest from over 12,000 people. To get on “the list”, one need only send a story of any length to iwant@hey.com. A tried and true tactic of perceived exclusivity to arouse FOMO and gauge demand. Doing so made me reminisce of the glory days of email, and how my relationship with it has evolved.

What I Love About Email

  • Asynchronous communication.
  • It stands the test of time.
  • Email addresses hardly ever change.
  • Design hardly ever changes.
  • Emailing name@company.com has opened up countless opportunities.
  • Well thought out messages written after emotions have subsided.
  • It’s cathartic.  

What I Loathe About Email

  • Scammers.
  • Did you get my email?”
  • Incessant checking-in.
  • Email lists I never asked to be on.
  • No unsubscribe links.
  • Unsubscribe links that require you to enter your email to unsubscribe (?).
  • Working for a company that solely communicates through email, albeit ineffectively.

If there’s anyone that could revive such a treasured service, I put my money on the people at Basecamp. They are true engineers and designers through and through, bestowing upon us the likes of Ruby on Rails, which has powered unicorn companies like Shopify, Github, and Airbnb. In a world of constant distraction, and an endless treadmill of ephemeral productivity killers, this is one product I am very looking forward to.

By Adam Naamani

Real estate specialist, software engineer, and writer based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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