February 6, 2012
There's a recent project on Kickstarter that's been picking up a lot of steam and getting major amounts of press. Called Mail Pilot, the listing describes a new take on the email paradigms we've all grown to love (or hate). The Virginia Tech students behind the software, Josh Milas and Alex Obenauer, are looking for $35,000 in necessary server-side funding, which they hope will allow the project to ship by June. Here's the video explaining their goals for Mail Pilot: Working with the concept that the "essence of email" is "all messages require further action" is sound enough, I suppose. However, in my experience, 95 percent of that further action is me tapping "delete." Of course, since my experience is hardly an appropriate barometer for the professional masses (We'd all be doomed if it was!), you and yours (and Josh and Alex) are probably better off to pay me no mind. Still, there's something foreboding about this project quote (emphasis added):
All new messages arrive as incomplete and remain that way even after you've read them. Mark a message as complete only after you finish any further action associated with that email.That sounds like a pretty hefty addition to the already-overloaded process, doesn't it? Mail Pilot is supposed to make email faster and more fluid, but this rubric seems totally counterintuitive. Unfortunately, it'll be impossible to know how this service actually functions until it's officially unveiled. So far, I can't see a great advantage to using Mail Pilot over the built-in iOS Mail app, and it's a hard sell to ask anyone to pay a subscription fee north of $25 per year for whatever the streamlining Mail Pilot provides. Either way, we wish these youngsters good luck! Entrepreneurship, after all, beats the hell out of flipping burgers.