No more (startup) Email Clients

Yeah. I have always been looking for a great email client – and here is a quick rundown of some of my fav email clients and what really happened to them.

  1. Sparrow
  2. Mailbox
  3. Newton
  4. Astra

The story so far.

  1. Sparrow acquired by Google.
  2. Mailbox acquired by Dropbox
  3. Newton has shutdown
  4. Astra acquired by Slack

Purely from a productivity point of view, changing email client is a pain and having gone through all these experiments, I can safely say that I am not going to use any email client from a startup anymore.

Most of the email clients either reach a point where they become a great asset to an existing player (and hence get acquired) or they fail to continue the sales momentum (and shutdown), but in the entire process, it leaves a bad taste with early backers/adopters.

After all, email clients translate (hopefully) into improved productivity and unlike other products, they soon become a part of one’s life. Changing one so frequently is least productive.

So from now on wards, it is either the default Apple mail client or Outlook for me (i.e. no more ‘exciting AI based email client from another startup which will shutdown / sell off in 6 months’).

Do you also feel the same? Plus, Google has really innovated with Inbox (which is shutting down as well) and that leaves very little space for a startup to disrupt email client (at scale).


Aside, isn’t this something Enterprise/SAAS startups should worry about? That is, of the notion that the startup may not exist (because the peers are anyways selling off); and no serious corporate buyer will consider working with disruptive startups?

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