I mean, I get hundreds of email in my normal day at my current gig. And it’s ridiculous, as most can easily be replaced if we just used an issue tracker and wiki (which we have plenty of). Not only would using an issue tracker maintain order (tracking, monitoring, context, etc) it would let us get on with work.
I’ve worked in a number of offices now, and I can definitely second the following claim/quote.
The number one competitor we have in our business is not Microsoft, Google, or some other startup somewhere. The number one competitor we have is simple things, like email…
People are organizing through email. They’re keeping track of their notes through email. They’re doing all this stuff through email. And email is incredibly simple, basically just a text box that you can send to other people or receive.
We have to be just one step above that. Most software developers in our space think they need to be far, far beyond that. The more complex they can be, the more features they list on the back of the box, the better it’s going to be — without realizing that’s not how most people operate. Most people operate just with email. So if we can just be one step above that, then we’re doing pretty well.
— Audio of DHH speaking to A Better Way Of Work on the theme of simplicity
While the simplicity is fantastic, from a product point of view. The pragmatist in me says the problem with email is actually that email is too simple. It should be more expensive (not as in $$$) for one to send an email. It’s far too easy for a single person to disrupt an entire team or organization. Seriously!
Thanks to 37signals for the link.