Hacking Into the Email Market:
What We Learned On Both Sides of the
Table at Xoopit and Yahoo!
Bijan Marashi
Xoopit CEO/Co...
(Viral) Distribution, Integration, and
Monetization = Hard.
Platforms Can’t Make MASSIVE
Changes to Mail Client UI Due to
User Base…
…They Have to Launch New Products.
Platforms Don’t Want to Give You
First Class Real Estate or
DEEP Engagement Hooks.
Platforms Don’t Want to Share
Revenue With You.
Platforms Will Shamelessly Copy
Features From Their Ecosystem…
…Though It May Take Them 2+ Years
To Do It.
Waiting for Platforms Will Run You
Dry.
(Your $100K from 500Startups will evaporate before meeting 3 with a
platform or yo...
Make Friends With The People At The
Platforms Early In Your Cycle.
It Will Take You WAY Longer Than You
Think to Recreate a Mail Service
Properly
Ask Zenbe, Threadsy.
Creating an Alternate Web Site to
Access Mail Features or Mail Data
Isn’t Sticky.
Deep Processing Mail Data is Hard,
Takes Lots of Work, and is
Expensive.
The (Vocal) Consumers are Finicky
About Mail Privacy.
…This could mislead your product
discovery work.
Users Don’t Want Non-Email Features
in Their Inboxes.
VC’s Don’t Want To Fund Feature
Projects, They Want to Fund
BUSINESSES Addressing Large
Market Problems…
….Or Wacky New In...
Stay Small :
Cottage Industry Styled Applets
May Be Able to Make Interesting
Money for the Two of You.
M+A Deals Under $2.5M Are
Relatively Easy To Do…
…$10M, $20M, $30M+ Deals Are
Much, Much Harder.
Don’t Confuse Your Personal Potential
With The Fixed Potential of Your
Vessel.
The Old School Outlook-like Email UI
Still Blows…
…Email Still Needs to be Re-Invented
From the Ground Up, Not Fixed.
Startups Can Unite to Hold The
Market Accountable to Innovate,
Open, or Acqui-Hire.
Dare to Dream About New Models,
Beyond Patches and Fixes…
xo,
@biji
20 Reasons Why Not To Do an Email Startup
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20 Reasons Why Not To Do an Email Startup

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  • I think the author is right. Email needs to be reinvented. Personally, I like what TrulyMail is doing. They have a new messaging system which is intended to replace email (it handles issues like authentication, encryption, read receipts, etc.) but still integrated with email so users can make an easy transition, not just a cut-over. The big question is whether or not the market is ready to start making such a transition. Only time will tell.
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Transcript of "20 Reasons Why Not To Do an Email Startup"

  1. 1. Hacking Into the Email Market: What We Learned On Both Sides of the Table at Xoopit and Yahoo! Bijan Marashi Xoopit CEO/Co-Founder thanks to @jkatzman (Xoopit Co-Founder) & @jbruck for their input.
  2. 2. (Viral) Distribution, Integration, and Monetization = Hard.
  3. 3. Platforms Can’t Make MASSIVE Changes to Mail Client UI Due to User Base… …They Have to Launch New Products.
  4. 4. Platforms Don’t Want to Give You First Class Real Estate or DEEP Engagement Hooks.
  5. 5. Platforms Don’t Want to Share Revenue With You.
  6. 6. Platforms Will Shamelessly Copy Features From Their Ecosystem… …Though It May Take Them 2+ Years To Do It.
  7. 7. Waiting for Platforms Will Run You Dry. (Your $100K from 500Startups will evaporate before meeting 3 with a platform or you get your spam filters working right).
  8. 8. Make Friends With The People At The Platforms Early In Your Cycle.
  9. 9. It Will Take You WAY Longer Than You Think to Recreate a Mail Service Properly Ask Zenbe, Threadsy.
  10. 10. Creating an Alternate Web Site to Access Mail Features or Mail Data Isn’t Sticky.
  11. 11. Deep Processing Mail Data is Hard, Takes Lots of Work, and is Expensive.
  12. 12. The (Vocal) Consumers are Finicky About Mail Privacy. …This could mislead your product discovery work.
  13. 13. Users Don’t Want Non-Email Features in Their Inboxes.
  14. 14. VC’s Don’t Want To Fund Feature Projects, They Want to Fund BUSINESSES Addressing Large Market Problems… ….Or Wacky New Inventions.
  15. 15. Stay Small : Cottage Industry Styled Applets May Be Able to Make Interesting Money for the Two of You.
  16. 16. M+A Deals Under $2.5M Are Relatively Easy To Do… …$10M, $20M, $30M+ Deals Are Much, Much Harder.
  17. 17. Don’t Confuse Your Personal Potential With The Fixed Potential of Your Vessel.
  18. 18. The Old School Outlook-like Email UI Still Blows… …Email Still Needs to be Re-Invented From the Ground Up, Not Fixed.
  19. 19. Startups Can Unite to Hold The Market Accountable to Innovate, Open, or Acqui-Hire.
  20. 20. Dare to Dream About New Models, Beyond Patches and Fixes… xo, @biji

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