Philosophy and Principles


In a world that is more "connected" than ever before, technology still does not facilitate meaningful conversations. Twitter limits to 140 characters and Facebook minimizes to 1-click actions. We believe E-Mail is still the most viable platform for having meaningful conversations and we're here to fix its problems.

10 years from now, we believe we'll still be using E-Mail. Except, it'll be 10x better, and E-Mail as we know it now will be vastly different. We are here to lead that movement to evolve E-Mail.

Our Principles Behind Building Products

We are a principles driven company. We believe a focus on principles is fantastic because not only does it yield a great product and a business but it also expands the state of the art of our craft. The core principles that drive our decisions are a work in progress, malleable and constantly debated. Below are a few of them.

  1. Don't build technology for the sake of technology
    We exist to help people communicate better and be more productive. We happen to do this by building great technology products. However, we believe this is an important distinction. By not building technology for the sake of technology, we always pick the best tool for the job, build things that are firmly grounded with real people's problems, and use technologies that are proven (and not just shiny).
  2. Solve for patterns, not for instances
    We talk to customers. We get to understand their problems, how they do their jobs and even how they use our product. Throughout the course of these conversations, we always strive to find patterns instead of instances. Patterns are powerful because they help you identify the root of an issue. By focusing on patterns, we believe we build products that are not only innovative but also fundamentally shifts how people communicate and do their jobs.
  3. Always ask, What is the Goal and What are you Optimizing for?
    As human beings, we love to do. We love thinking of possibilities, and we love executing. Unfortunately, while this comes naturally, this is not necessarily the recipe for successful products and businesses. We belive that to be successful it is always important to have a crystal clear vision of why we are doing things, what our goals are, and what factors (out of the many possibilities) we are optimizing for. Our process isn't perfect, in fact, we're still learning new ways to do this better every day, but it is certainly a start.
  4. Look for leverage, but always invest in your core
    When Tout was originally built, by using common services in the cloud (leverage) we were able to build out a prototype in a weekend and we had our first paying customers within 24 hours of launching. There are plenty of ways to get leverage when building products these days, whether it is a Gem, a Plugin, a Library or a hosted service that promises to abstract away a key piece of complicated infrastructure. We're always looking for leverage when building our products so we can prove our theories faster -- but we always keep an eye to make sure that we're not too dependent on others when it comes to our Core.
  5. Know your core
    We don't want to be a jack of all trades and masters of none. So, we believe it is important to be frank upfront about the things that we want to excel and specialize in and the things we'd rather pay the experts to do. Based on our core, we make key decisions on how to hire, who to hire, how to build our product, which features to build and which services to leverage.

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