Three hacked off Google workers claim they have come up with an idea which will change the way we do email.
Cameron Adams, Dhanji Prasanna, and Jochen Bekmann were so miffed with Google’s corporate culture that they left and started a new outfit called Fluent.
The three are refugees from Google’s Wave messaging product which was axed. Fluent integrates only with the Gmail service and shows users their email in a similar way to how you look at a friend’s posts on Facebook or Twitter.
The three are working on allowing other email services such as Hotmail to be integrated.
Adams claims that Fluent is trying to imagine the future of email, which he thinks has stagnated and got into these set patterns of people using it and it’s not being pushed forward any more.
By presenting it as a stream you can action items as quickly as possible, Adams said.
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Adams said that rather than having to receive a message, look at the subject, click on it, read the conversation, and then decide what to do, the software presents you with the information that you need to immediately action on it.
Fluent lets users quickly browse attachments such as images in a slide show format, and there is the ability to search for emails as one type. This is something seen in Google’s search engine but has not been seen in Gmail. It also allows you to find emails one has sent to a specified email address on a timeline.
Adams thinks that most webmail clients were “pretty horrible” at letting users access multiple email accounts under one log-in.
All that is supposed to speed up the time you take to get through your email by 20 per cent.
Fluent is letting a limited number of users trial its product as beta users. He said the business plan was to offer the basic email, which might or might not be free, but also offer a premium version with features that went beyond standard email, such as offering document collaboration, file-sharing and integration with services such as Dropbox, Evernote and Google Docs.
What is amusing is why the three left Google – which appearsto be because the outfit keeps cancelling projects. Adams said he left because the design culture was “still maturing and finding its feet”.
Google values engineers a lot more highly than designers and you’re just there to make things look pretty, he said.
After Google Wave was cancelled, Prassana began work on building new features for Google+ with Cameron. He said that every time they took something to the big cheeses they were not keen on launching it.
Fluent’s other co-founder, Jochen Bekmann, first worked on a Google Maps project before it got cancelled, he then joined Wave before it was cancelled and then went back to work on Maps. That did not have time to be cancelled before he was head hunted by the other two.