This CEO Has A Plan To Save Us From Email Hell

Avinoam Nowogrodski ClarizenAvinoam Nowogrodski, CEO of Clarizen says e-mail will get smarter but won’t really die.

Photo: Clarizen

Who doesn’t want something better than email? We all spend too much time dealing with it.Avinoam Nowogrodski is CEO of Israeli-based Clarizen. It makes a cloud app that competes head-to-head with Asana.

Asana has the Valley agog in part because its founded by two prominent ex-Facebookers but also because it has a big, fat plan to get rid of email.

But Clarizen, founded in 2005, has been scoring big numbers with its project-management cloud service.

  • It’s got 2,000 customers and it doesn’t use the freemium model. Instead, customers get a 30-day free trial.
  • 250 companies are starting new trials every day, he says.
  • 150 companies sign on as paying customers per month.
  •  60% of these customers are in the U.S. but others are spread across 67 other countries.
  • Revenues have quadrupled in a year’s time.

Nowogrodski talked to Business Insider about how he sees a post-e-mail world.

“Many companies have tried to replace email. Remember Google Wave?” Nogrowdowski says. “It didn’t work so well because the issue is not email. The issue is connecting email to the processes.”

While Nowogrodski admires Asana’s goal, he criticises its methods.

“They are basically targeting teams,” and this he says “creates a silo of collaboration,” he says.

He has a point. While it’s nice that teams that can talk to each other, it’s far better to connect whole companies and have our messages automatically connect to our to-do lists.

Naturally, he says that his product does just that. But Nowogrodski also gives kudos to

“Salesforce is playing a major role with the social enterprise with Chatter and CRM processes,” he says.

Unfortunately, he doesn’t think that email will really die. But he does think that applications that use it can get smarter and make it less of a pain.

“The revolution is about connecting the conversation —email, chat, voice, or video—and putting it into context of the process. It’s not about replacing email.”

Interesting. And too bad. We’d personally like to see that overflowing inbox just go away already.

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