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.
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).