Just when we thought social media might kill off email, the world is evolving email instead. Should it really be a surprise? Email is the one ubiquitous platform on our planet, used by our grandparents, our children, and every current and former coworker. Social media is certainly a powerful tool and isn’t going anywhere, but how do many social media users sign up and get notifications of new messages? Yes, on email. It’s still here and still widely used.
In a story in Killer Startups, Practical Magic — ccGenie Turns Email Into The Work Tool We’ve Always Wanted, Keith Liles profiles ccGenie, a Silicon Valley startup that allows collaboration through email. ccGenie has intelligence baked into the platform, giving it the power to read emails and allow contacts, documents, and conversations to be used in shared rooms. This is convenience and accessibility that email never had before, taking full advantage of the cloud and providing efficient use of the product many love to hate.
Maybe email won’t be with us forever…but as long as it is, applications like ccGenie make it possible to pull together the many threads of information that define a project or a support situation into one, coherent conversation (and historical record). ccGenie CEO Eric Brisson explained it this way in the article:
It’s impossible to ask, to have everybody using one specific application, the same project management tool, or the same file-sharing application. We always default back to email. And it becomes a mess, becomes complicated. After a while, I thought why don’t we try to do something that, from your email, is nonintrusive with the way you work but adds the services you need.
Sometimes a leap forward doesn’t come from creating something brand new, but from making something old and widely used into something much better. It will be interesting to see where this goes.