Friday, August 29, 2008

Goodbye, Xobni!

Wednesday was my last day at Xobni. We took a quick trip to Ben and Jerry's to honor the occasion:

The last one and a half years seem more like four - it was an intense journey and very hard work. This has been a great learning experience and I'm sure I'll have plenty of fond nostalgia for the Xobni days. Good luck, guys, I'll miss you!

Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to my round-the-world trip and building my new company!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Reviewing YouTube - in 2005

I was playing around with TechCrunch to see how far it goes back (a review of Technorati seems to be the oldest article on the site).

While I was browsing, I found quite a gem - an August 2005 review of YouTube:
  • "YouTube is very much like flickr, but for videos."
  • "The service has recently been launched but seems to have quite a few users who have posted lots of content."
  • "I suspect YouTube will be quickly acquired and/or duplicated. We love it."
A bit more than a year later, that prediction turned into reality, and breaking that story made TechCrunch the premier news source it is today.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Delayed Sending of Email

Every once in a while, people pitch me a new feature for Outlook: "This is something I'd use every day!" For a large percentage of these, Outlook already does what they want, and it's just hard to find it.

A good example of this is delayed sending of email. Instead of sending the email when you hit "Send", you want to automatically send the email at a later time. Maybe you don't want to give someone the impression that you respond to their emails instantly. Or your press release goes out at midnight but you don't want to be awake at such a late hour.

This feature already exists. In Outlook 2007, it's called "Delay Delivery". When you're composing a message, click the icon in the menu bar, then check "Do not deliver before". In Outlook 2003, click "Options", then "Do not deliver before".

This is a great illustration of both Outlook's greatest strength and greatest weakness. I can easily imagine the corporate IT meetings in the mid-1990s where admins compared the feature matrix of Outlook to that of Lotus Notes, and decided to go with Outlook. Microsoft got everyone to use Outlook partly because it had a complete product with every feature box checked. On the other hand, it created a client with a lot of complexity, where every new release needs to carry the weight of the last one to assure backwards compatibility. Complexity leads to long cycles, and slow products. However, it can also lead to market dominance.