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20 Reasons Why Not To Do an Email Startup


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20 Reasons Why Not To Do an Email Startup

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