Some of the greatest pearls of wisdom come from email conversations, yet they are impossible to follow with people treating email more and more like text. Between the random indentations, color changes and other confusing formats, you should not have to suffer in order to read a reposted email conversation. Thankfully, FWD:Everyone is fixing the problem head-on with their platform that reformats emails into actual readable conversations. The company is perfect for posting on Reddit, Twitter and any other social media platform to save your followers time and peace of mind while reading your posts. With FWD:Everyone, formatting issues will disappear and email will be shareable with the masses.
AlleyWatch chatted with Alex Krupp about the startup and spoke about the wide applicability of the of the product.
Tell us about the product or service.
FWD:Everyone is a web platform for publishing email conversations.
We provide tools for requesting permission from message contributors, redacting sensitive information, and anonymizing users. These tools make it easy to take conversations from a Gmail or Google Apps account and turn them into published works.
Once published, threads are viewable within our platform. They’re also shareable on social media, and directly embeddable within Reddit and Medium posts.
How is it different?
We’re different than blogging and Twitter because we give readers an authentic look at how people actually talk with one another.
For example, imagine getting to firsthand peak at how venture capitalists talk with other VCs, entrepreneurs, limited partners, the media, etc.
For our publishers, sharing an email conversation is much easier than write a new blog post. For people who do social media for a living, it can be difficult to convince your coworkers to blog (if they even know how), but it’s much easier to get them to respond to an email.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
Our target users are entrepreneurs, social media strategists, academics, bloggers, and journalists. We are targeting the subset of those who also use Gmail or Google Apps.
What is the business model?
The FWD:Everyone business model is the same as GitHub: free public repositories, and paid private repositories. Public repositories allow you to publish email conversations under the umbrella of your organization. Private repositories allow you to share email privately within your organization, for example, for use as easily searchable internal documentation.
What inspired the business?
The business was inspired by wanting a way to read the email of industry leaders and academics. I realized there was a ton of knowledge trapped in their inboxes, not only their ideas but also just how they talked with one another.
For example, there are a million blog posts from VCs about how they trade deals with each other. But actually seeing what that sort of horse trading really looks like is a completely different experience. So much tacit knowledge is lost when people try to describe these interactions rather than just sharing them.
Why can’t you just paste the email thread into your blog?
This is better than just copying-and-pasting an email thread into your blog for the following reasons:
- We give you the tools to request permission, make redactions, and anonymize users.
- We format your conversation to make it look beautiful.
- You can click on any person in the conversation to see their profile, which makes it easy to learn more about them. We want to give readers authentic insight people and their relationships, not just their ideas or how they market themselves.
- We make conversations not only easily shareable on social, but also directly embeddable within Reddit and Medium posts.
- Our platform is SEO friendly and designed to drive traffic to your business or organization.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
FWD:Everyone aims to publish more email than Wikileaks by the end of the year, all legitimately and with full permission. (While we respect what Wikileaks does, our own platform was not designed for leaking email or whistleblowing.)
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Regardless of whether you want to be an entrepreneur, a product manager, a marketer, etc., first teach yourself to code and spend two years working as a junior developer. This will pay enormous career dividends even if you have no intention of remaining a developer.
If you could be put in touch with anyone in the New York community who would it be and why?
Jonah Peretti. I’ve long admired him for being one of the smartest folks in the tech industry, but now that we’ve built a media platform I’d love a chance to get his feedback!
Why did you launch in New York?
We launched in New York because we both live here. I live in the Bronx and my co-founder is in Manhattan.
Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?
My favorite bars keep closing so I’m hesitant to name one, but currently the Flatiron Lounge.