A letter to Maalika Manoharan, Product Manager, Gmail. Sent via LinkedIn Inmail, which is palpably ironic.
My name is Casey Rodarmor, and I am a former Google SRE and SWE.
I am writing you today because you may be one of the few people that can deliver us from the multi-messenger hell that the human race finds itself in today. Everyone needs to use six or more messaging apps, and everyone hates it.
However, there is an easy way out of this. Email is a federated, decentralized, standards-based messaging platform that everyone already uses. The only reason people use other messaging protocols is because those messaging protocols have features that email doesn't have.
Here is the path to email world domination. It is very simple:
Add the features that email is missing, one by one, in a backwards compatible way.
These features include:
- Chat messages with low UI overhead and no subject line
- Group chats
- Read receipts
- Voice calling
- Video calling
- Typing indicators
- Message requests
- Better rich text support
- End-to-end encryption
- Faster message delivery
- Pay money for guaranteed delivery
These features can all be implemented in backwards compatible ways that gracefully degrade when they aren't supported.
These features should be designed and implemented in an open process, involving the internet community, public RFCs, and implementations by multiple clients and service providers.
This is a major undertaking, but the benefit is huge, both for Google, Gmail, and the internet community.
Every single non-email protocol will fall by the wayside, and we can return to a simpler, more productive, and more secure world, one where everyone just uses email to communicate, an open, standards-based, internet native protocol.
This could be, without exaggeration, the most important work of your life.
Do you have time to discuss this with me? I have no agenda, just someone who thinks that this is possible, and ultimately very achievable.
With best regards, Casey Rodarmor