The Basecamp team has been developing an entirely new email provider, called Hey. They are telling anyone who will listen that everything about email is broken and email is too important not to fix it.
Their argument boils down to this: Email is fundamental to the internet. And it’s great! “Long-form, asynchronous writing has inherent merit,” Heinemeier Hansson said, “and email is the most successful implementation of that in the history of mankind.” But email has become instead a stressful mess of to-do lists, reply-all fails and marketing junk. Even as others have tried to make inboxes smarter or easier to manage, Heinemeier Hansson and Fried reckon nobody’s really tried to rebuild email, to bring it back to what made it great in the first place. That’s what Hey attempts to do.
Basecamp’s only shot at success is to go as big as possible. That’s why they spent what Heinemeier Hansson called “a stomach-turning amount of money” on the hey.com domain name, hoping it could become the kind of cool address people might switch for. It’s why the service is full of new, different, occasionally middle-finger-y twists on the way email works. “You can’t just go, ‘excuse me, good sir, um, I have some objections,'” Heinemeier Hansson said. “No, you gotta blow up some railroads. You gotta sabotage some systems. You gotta come out swinging.”
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