One thing I’ve been surprised about is the fact that the success of Twitter has not brought on any other really successful ‘constraint driven’ services. At least none that I can think of off the top of my head.
And in thinking about that, one of the biggest things that I think is ripe for playing around with constraints is of course 'email’.
Why aren’t there email services that let you set a character limit you’ll accept for incoming email (ie. if the body is over 500 characters, reject the email)…or limits on how much email you’ll accept on a given day (ie. only send me 500 incoming emails; reject the rest)…or limits on how much a given user can send you in a day.
Gmail is amazing, and one of my core tools, but it’s not perfect for all situations. Filters work for some situations (though I don’t use them personally), but even they are pretty limited (why can’t I set up a filter for example to just show me emails from people I’ve never communicated with via email before?)
While it’s not a personal passion spot for me (and hence, I likely won’t be 'seriously’ hacking on it any time soon), there is just so much more that can/should be done with email as a whole…experimenting with constraints seems like especially promising area to start.
So…you should *totally* go build that. :-)
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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