We're building software that helps you overcome our common human frailties, to achieve whatever it is you want to do in the world.
ActiveInbox is the first step of that journey: it sees emails as a flow of tasks running between you,
your colleagues and every knowledge worker in the world, and therefore transforms Gmail into a task manager to help you take control.
Why We're Doing It
There are thousands of task managers, and scores of email clients,
already out there that help you leverage technology to get things done. But that's only half of the possibility.
The thing that's missing is the getting out the way.
Software should be the modern day "invisible hand", guiding our working lives with simplicity; not a shiny rocket ship full of promises but which won't actually start.
That's what we really want to solve.
We're also driven by our community. ActiveInbox actually began on a whim: back in 2006 Andy needed a simple way to control Gmail for doing customer support for another startup.
He knocked a crude tool together in a week, then threw ActiveInbox (or GTDGmail as it was then) into the wild without a second thought for whether other people actually wanted it.
It was only when people started donating (when it was rarer, long before Kickstarter), and forming the nucleus of a community,
that Andy saw that ActiveInbox represented something more: emails weren't letters, they were badly formatted tasks,
and having to maintain a separate email and task manager was a frustrating waste of time
(to say nothing of the fact email clients weren't even much good at helping you just manage emails either!).
How We're Doing It
We're building ActiveInbox in lockstep with our community.
Most importantly, we only serve you - because we're boot-strapped, there are no investors demanding trade offs.
(And it's no secret that every cent we've made has gone back into developing the product! It's been a lean few years, but deeply rewarding).
And even though it started as just Andy, we've now recruited a handful of world-class developers and designers, from within the community of ActiveInbox users.
That community shares problems and riffs on solutions in our public forum and on the blog.
You supply: your pains, your daily workflows, your hopes & dreams for better solutions.
We supply: software built on the tenets of elegance, speed and fantastic support.
Spreading the Word
We're a small team of craftspeople, and we're a product company.
Which means we're not a marketing company (like Nike), or a sales company (like IBM) - we just want to perfect ActiveInbox.
The trade off is that we have limited resources.
So if you like what we're doing, you can delight a friend AND increase our resources by telling more people about us…
- Give your friends a Referral link, available in ActiveInbox.
- Write a review at the Chrome Webstore.
A Closing Thought: Why We're Focusing On Email First
There is something magical about emails, they're like throwing telepathic thoughts between each other, helping us move things forward.
And they're incredibly adaptable, flexible enough to work on any project.
Which would be the end of the story. Except for the fact that the thing which makes email useful - being a simple system that everyone uses - also makes it utterly chaotic.
In fact it has been called a $650B drag on the economy.
A fundamental part of the problem is that they're not actually letters, they're badly formatted tasks flowing between you, your colleagues and every knowledge worker in the world. Our inboxes have become our to do lists.
So in an attempt to fix the problem of email overload, we simply try to replace it with separate task and project managers. But because people still prefer email's ease, that leaves us with a new problem…
We now have dynamic communication and information in email, and out of date information in the team project manager.
The Inbox Foundry - the company behind ActiveInbox - has a single reason to be: we're building a tool that eliminates the clunkiness of having a separate email, task and project manager; by embracing email's popularity at the heart of it.
A new way to give you uninterrupted flow to achieve whatever you do in the world.
Andy Mitchell — founder
A big part of sharing ActiveInbox is my simple ethos of 'leaving more in the world than I take out of it', giving purpose to my life and quietening the existential demons.
But I'm also selfishly building it to assist me in succeeding at future endeavours -
which is why the community's input is so appreciated in collaboratively making something that truly works for all of us.
Day to day, I'm trying to ensure we're all pulling in the same direction to craft the best product we can,
and if anything goes wrong, I'm the one you can shout at!
You can reach me any time at @andymitchell and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or find out more from LinkedIn.
Pete Lambert — designer of lovely products
Pete tries his best to make things look pretty, splitting his time between drawing pretty pictures and making them work on the internets.
Prior to working on ActiveInbox Pete slept most nights. He also designed and built websites and UIs for web apps.
Lisa Reynolds — meeter, greeter, supporterer
Lisa delights in thinking like a user and member of the community first, and being part of ActiveInbox second. It gives her the extraordinary gift of empathy to listen to any problems you have, help you solve them, and fight your corner with getting requested improvements put in when Andy is stamping his feet.
Mark Perkins — hacker spirit extraordinaire
Mark, in addition to being the nicest human on the team - or possibly anywhere - is a champion of The Right Way.
Deterred by no technical challenge, he isn't just driving ActiveInbox towards ever more refined functionality, he's
ensuring it's done to the highest standard of software craftmanship AND considering every devilish detail of the user experience.
Tom Parslow — technical True Grit
Tom, aside from being a well known speaker on the wonderous power of Python
and entrepreneur behind an energy drink of very niche brand,
sees the big picture of the systems he builds, meaning even the most complex projects get simplified in a way that
keeps them as easily maintained as a Model T Ford.