Bravo, Google!

Many years ago when I wanted to leave computer business and purchase a gas station, a friend of mine who was in fuel business said, “You know nothing about gasoline. Stay where you are. Keep doing what you’re doing, just do it a little better than others rdquo;. Believe it or not – this simple advice really works, and I had a chance to see it in action today.

Let me ask you this, “Can you come up with any innovation for the time interval between the moment you pressed the button Send in your email client and the moment when the send process actually begins rdquo;? No? And Microsoft couldn’t, even though MS Outlook is probably still the most popular email client.

But Google found a way to use this time interval “a little better than others”.

Today, I was sending an email using my gmail account with a file attachment. You know what happened? I pressed the button Send but forgot to attach the file. The text of my email message had the words “see attached”.

I pressed the button Send and … Google made my day! Just look at the message I got:

Is it crazy or what? If you think about it, it’s so easy to implement! So why other vendors didn’t do it?

How about this nice little feature: have you ever regretted pressing that button Send right after you hit it? No Biggies.Go to the menu Settings, Labs and enable the Undo Send feature. Now after pressing the button Send, your new email will stay in a queue for a configurable time (5, 10, 20, or 30 sec), and you’ll see an Undo link above the emails list that you can hit if you changed your mind within this interval. Nice? Yes! Easy to implement? You bet! So why no one else did it before? They just never thought of it this way?

I know, I know hellip; Re-phrasing a famous writer Isaac Babel, “That’s why Google is where it is, and you just have spectacles on your nose and autumn in your heart.”

Bravo, Google! They do the same things as others, but just a tiny bit better.

Update. Two years after publishing this post I found another GMail’s little gem: highlight the fragment of the email text and press Forward – only the highlighted text will be included into the forwarded email. Is it cool or what?

Update 2. Three years after publishing this post I noticed that each email has a bookmarkable URL! Just now I’ve added an item to my calendar to respond to a certain email and pasted its URL into the calendar.

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