Schadenfreude

Folderee, Foldera, Folderhahaha? | February 21, 2006

Foldera is an Ajax-rich web based e-mail/document categorizer hybrid, aiming to make the sorting and distribution of work-based items such as e-mails, calendars, IM convos and documents easier and more time-saving than it currently is. It’s a huge project, apparently with a market capitalisation of 70 million US dollars. Micheal Arrington is conspicuously excited by it, and has tried the app himself.

To save me some trouble, he describes the basic premise of it on his blog:

You create a dedicated Activity Folder for each distinct project or activity. Email, instant messaging, and all your other applications are now accessed from within this folder instead of their original disconnected and unstructured state. This organizational structure also keeps everything in context; for example, all your email conversations and instant message dialogs stay right inside that specific Activity Folder, so everything related to that project stays grouped together. Doesn’t that make more sense?

It seems good, doesn’t it? When you think about it, you wonder why this hasn’t been done before, either as add-ons to excisting applications or entirely new ones. But when you think even more about it, you realize that the change from standard e-mail apps is quite modest; the most substantial one being the incoporation of other items than e-mail such as IM convos, calendar entries and documents.

I’ve got some questions I’d like to be answered, some more important than others.

  • The advantages of being web-based are obvious, but could the lack of sufficient memory/bandwidth on a given PC make it slower than the very light Outlook?
  • Following that, is it really that much of an advantage being strictly web-based? Wouldn’t its target user do just as well, if not better, with a seemingly faster desktop app? (Martin Wells cogitates)
  • Can items (e-mails, calendar plots, convos, etc.) be assigned to several/virtual folders without having to be duplicated?
  • Will calendar entries pop up at the exact time at which they’re set or will it gradually make its way up your inbox as the scheduled date and time looms closer?
  • Can you implement items from other applications, spesifically those that are business-spesific?

Carlos Leyva makes a good point regarding customisation:

Take this idea and add matter management and time-billing and you have the making of a “killer app” for law firms. Extend it in a slightly different way (i.e. adding basic business functionality) and you have “killer app” for Realtors. Make everything “web-bootable” and you have Web 2.0 coming to life in a huge way!

Now, it hasn’t been in the public eye for very long, so it’s safe to assume that a lot of question will be answered and details elaborated upon before release.

All in all, I like the look of this. I like how if functions as a place to upload and share things rather than send things from one unique user to another. I like how it automatically sorts items, and I love the incorporation of other work-related items that with the current standards are seperated from each other.

I think the small details play a big part in Foldera, and the thoroughness with which it is implemented will be vital to the success of it seeing as the kind of application it’s trying to improve is so engraved in companies and its workers’ habits and work structure. Tris Hussey from A View from the Isle is sceptical in regards to this:

I’m all for better and better collaboration solutions, but anything that goes against the grain of people’s work habits… just won’t work.

What with having raised almost $20 million without even having been released, though, the conditions are set.

Make sure you follow Schadenfreude for more commentary on Foldera and the reactions it procures on the www (warning: may contain even shittier entry titles).


4 Comments »

  1. Great commentary! I’m hoping to get an invite into the beta and I’ll give my report when I do.

    Comment by Tris Hussey — February 21, 2006 @ 10:44 pm

  2. Hi Schadenfreude, I’m Richard Lusk, the CEO and Founder of Foldera.

    I thought I’d drop by for a minute and answer some of your questions about Foldera, and to thank you personally for pointing people to Foldera. I really appreciate it.

    First off you say:

    “Foldera is an Ajax-rich web based e-mail/document categorizer hybrid, aiming to make the sorting and distribution of work-based items such as e-mails, calendars, IM convos and documents easier and more time-saving than it currently is”-great description Schadenfreude , well done.

    Ok, here are the answers to your questions:

    “The advantages of being web-based are obvious, but could the lack of sufficient memory/bandwidth on a given PC make it slower than the very light Outlook?”- You are right, Foldera is entirely web based meaning no downloads, so Foldera won’t mess with your PC, or PC memory. Additionally, because our page loads are so light, Foldera won’t tie up your bandwidth resources either. You’ll soon see that Foldera will load as fast as many of your favorite online sites like Yahoo Mail, CNN, Amazon and others.

    “Following that, is it really that much of an advantage being strictly web-based? Wouldn’t its target user do just as well, if not better, with a seemingly faster desktop app?”-Great question, But-what if you are away from your “Desktop”. How will you access the applications, teams, projects and information that live there? And what if your desktop is lost, stolen or disaster strikes- what happens to your digital life stored there? Foldera blends the best of both worlds, your stuff can live on your PC, and it can live in a secure place online.

    “Can items (e-mails, calendar plots, convos, etc.) be assigned to several/virtual folders without having to be duplicated?” Yep, all of the docs, ims, tasks etc are live objects, meaning- in one click-you can open them, share them, unshare them, move them, copy them, comment about them and resave them at will.

    “Will calendar entries pop up at the exact time at which they’re set or will it gradually make its way up your inbox as the scheduled date and time looms closer?”- Schadenfreude it’s entirely up to you. Foldera has very granular personalization abilities, so you can decide what works for you, and change your settings whenever you want. It’s really easy too.

    “Can you implement items from other applications, spesifically those that are business-spesific?” Sure, just forward whatever you want to your Foldera. That’s really easy too.

    Great questions, thanks for asking them, I enjoyed answering them

    Thanks to all of you that took the time to read this post. I really appreciate it.

    Comment by Richard Lusk — February 24, 2006 @ 4:10 pm

  3. […] Today, at about 4:10 PM (GMT +1), Foldera’s CEO and founder Richard Lusk decided to drop by Schadenfreude and answer some of the issues I pointed out regarding his hyped-up web-based application. […]

    Pingback by Schadenfreude » Blog Archive » Founder Richard Lusk Explains Foldera — February 24, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

  4. In the above note, the note: you “wonder why it hasn’t been done before”.
    There are other industry solutions using collaboration tools. The founder of Lotus Notes created a solution called Groove Networks. Groove’s solution is a middle point solution between the normal outlook tool and solutions used to collaborate with larger groups. Groove was purchased by Microsoft (go figure).

    I am not sure if Foldera has any other competition, directly, and, again, wish them luck on their future. It is a good idea and I can only hope that others will work as hard at delivering products and solutions that can actually help a large number of people.

    Gary Pick, Dir.
    ADN1.COM

    Comment by Gary Pick — March 10, 2006 @ 9:15 pm


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