Why I'm working on Shortwave

...and why I believe email is the future of communication

My startup, Shortwave, recently came out of stealth mode. Shortwave is a messaging product that allows you to talk with other people using a decentralized and globally accessible standard: email.

I joined Shortwave because I’m excited about building a product that extends the capabilities of a traditional email client to meet the full potential of email’s open and decentralized protocol. 

Here’s what Shortwave looks like:

It’s time to stop juggling dozens of apps just to stay connected with friends and family. An ecosystem with multiple clients is fine (in fact, it’s preferred), but not if it means that you can’t communicate across apps. Imagine how ridiculous it would feel to use a different browser for each website you visited? This is the current state of messaging.

To make matters worse, a few companies control the vast majority of all messages sent online. This places considerable power in the hands of centralized service providers, creating a situation where communications can be monitored at-scale for very little cost. The combination of centralized communications with mass surveillance technologies opens the door to a tremendous potential for abuse, and it’s not a risk worth taking.

It doesn't have to be like this. We deserve a high-quality messaging experience. One that lets us choose our own client and, if we want, run our own server. One that promises private interpersonal communications. One that is universally accessible, decentralized, and secure.

The solution isn't a new protocol. It isn't a cryptocurrency funded pipe-dream. It's a globally accessible standard that has the capability to scale to billions of people worldwide. The solution is email.

I’m excited about Shortwave because it feels like the right time to solve these problems. People are passionate about crypto and decentralized governance. At the same time, centralized services have demonstrated moderation problems that require us to build good alternatives. I believe that Shortwave has a role to play in that future.

If you’re interested in becoming an early user and helping to shape the future of communication you can bypass the waitlist using this invite link.

If you really want to get involved, consider signing up for an onboarding with me and my team. We learn a ton from these sessions and love meeting people passionate about great design, decentralized systems, and the importance of secure communication.

Get early access