August 17, 2010

Investment in the Email Ecosystem

Investment in the Email Ecosystem Last week, my colleague George Bilbrey posted about how (turns out – shocking!) email still isn’t dead yet. Not only is he right, but the whole premise of defending email from the attackers who call it “legacy” or “uninteresting” is backwards.  The inbox is getting more and more interesting these days, not less.  At Return Path, we’ve seen a tremendous amount of startup activitiy and investment (these two things can go together but don’t have to) in in front end of email in the past couple years.  I’d point to three sub-trends of this theme of “the inbox getting more interesting.” First, major ISPs and mailbox operators are starting to experiment with more interesting applications inside their inboxes.  As the postmaster of one of the major ISPs said to me recently, “we’ve spent years stripping functionality out of email in the name of security – now that we have security more under control, we would like to start adding functionality back in.”  Google’s recent announcement about allowing third-party developers to access your email with your permission is one example, as is their well-documented experiment with NetFlix’s branded favicon showing up in the inbox starting a […]