Dropbox's Move Reminds Us Teams Must Evolve Beyond Email

With the news that our partners at Dropbox have decided to discontinue their email app Mailbox, I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon the state of our industry as a provider of Work Management and Collaboration Software. 

First, let me say that Mailbox was a great email app. A lot of users are going to miss it. It brought swipe gestures and snooze into emails, and a polished user interface. At the time of its launch, these were very overdue additions to the email experience. 

That said, it had a major flaw. It wasn’t a technical flaw or even a user experience flaw; Mailbox did everything it was supposed to do. Its flaw was a philosophical one that limited its value for individual business users.

Our team at Wrike recently conducted a survey of the pains of workers and compiled the results into our 2015 Work Management Report. Among the interesting findings were that two of the biggest roadblocks to getting work done are “Waiting for Other People” and “Missing Information.” Within these statistics lies the flaw in Mailbox as a solution: You can give email a new paint job, but at the end of the day, it’s still a silo. 

The engine for email is an individual engine. Mailbox helped improve personal productivity, and for its users, many of them saw real results. But the biggest pains for workers in 2015 are team pains, and improving the experience of email does not solve those. The best way to improve individual productivity is by enabling team productivity. 

At Wrike, we have mobile apps with an Inbox feature not unlike Mailbox. It allows users to easily view new messages, and respond to them with swipe gestures. The fundamental difference is that it sits on a platform that is built around team visibility and collaboration. 

When you receive a notification in your Wrike Inbox, you know who on your team can also see that update, and you don’t need to worry about who’s CC'd or fear that you’ll be delaying a project by delaying your response. All the vital information is presented, and previous conversations are clearly organized. In short, it’s more than a new paint job, it’s a whole new paradigm.

Mailbox was a great app for its time. But its retirement shows that Dropbox sees what we have seen for nearly a decade: teams hold the key to successful businesses, and improving the way they work together is the fastest way to meeting big goals. 

If you were a Mailbox user, I hope you’ll check out what we’re doing at Wrike. We’ve got tools for teams of all sizes, and I’m confident you’ll be impressed by the way we’ve evolved the inbox and the experience of working with your team.  

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