The Next Chapter

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Just over one year ago, we unleashed DestroyMail. Over 150,000 emails were destroyed by users all over the world. The reactions to the app were amazing to see on Twitter, in the App Store, and most of all in person. We even got featured on Yahoo! Tech’s Front page of stories right along side a feature on Facebook’s Paper application.

Featured in Yahoo! Tech

We were gearing up to take DestroyMail to investors so that we could continue to build out what had been a bootstrapped application among four friends to that point. And yet, even as we were lining up investors and rehearsing our pitch in front of advisors, there was a feeling of uncertainty that we couldn’t shake.

Why did we have 10,000 downloads but not 100,000? People loved the app, but we weren’t creating a sea change. What was it about the app that wasn’t allowing it to become your default email client? And, perhaps in a broader sense — why was it the case that NONE of the four founders focused on creating a better email application had adopted any of the email apps that had come out in recent months?

The four of us obsess over email like no one we know. We didn’t set out to become entrepreneurs — we set out to fix email. But, we didn’t use Mailbox, or Boxer, or Acompli, or the dozen other amazing email apps that came out last year. We all used iOS Mail. It wasn’t necessarily better, but ultimately it was familiar, it felt integrated with our device, and it was extremely reliable.

If we could have integrated DestroyMail directly into iOS Mail, of course we would have done that. And, we’re hopeful that may be possible in the future as iOS continues to become more open. But, in the meantime, how can we change email forever without making users change email apps?

This is what we’re working on now, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

David, Dhruva, Michael & Peter (D2MP)


From Imagination to App: The Evolution of a DestroyMail Animation

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DestroyMail does a lot of things that other email apps don’t do. It puts smiles on faces, it creates cathartic satisfaction and most importantly it takes a mundane experience and makes it fun. All of these feelings are made real by the work of our amazing team of animators. Spanning 4 countries, our animators are the ones who make DestroyMail the living, breathing, entertaining experience that it is. Some of them specialize in 3D work (e.g., Air Strike pack) and others, like this post’s featured animator Nate Allen, are brilliant at 2D character driven animations. We thought you might like to see the all that goes into the evolution of a DestroyMail animation pack from idea to product. In this animator spotlight, we look at the work done by Nate on Grout Ninja, our beloved, mustachioed inbox killer.

Create a Concept – Original sketches that transfer Nate’s imagination onto paper grout-creation-sketch grout-creation-sketch-to-illus

Take Grout from Analog to Digital with Adobe Illustrator

grout-creation-illus-pathsgrout-creation-illus-shaded

Animate the Still Image with Adobe After Effects

grout-creation-AE-1grout-creation-AE-2grout-creation-AE-3grout-creation-AE-4

Bring the Animation into the World of DestroyMail

grout-creation-AE-5-phone-ex

Produce and Sync Sound (by Dhruva, our COO)

It’s Alive! Say Hello to Grout Ninja’s Katana Ambush  Hopefully this gives you a sense of some of the creative process behind our app.  We’ll be featuring other animators soon. Thanks to Nate for the great work!

 


Email is about to change. Forever.

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Today we release version 2.0 of DestroyMail. We couldn’t be more excited to share all of the work and thinking that the DestroyMail team has put into this release.

Over the past few months, we’ve been listening to our users to better understand what the optimal DestroyMail experience should be. And, two key ideas emerged again and again:

  1. Focus on the faster, simpler destroy method
    Swipe right. No destroy button, no extra action (we called these “Quick Destroys” in the previous versions, and they proved to be the favorite)
  2. Provide an alternative to destroy that is quick and silent
    Email from grandma? In a meeting at the office? Swipe left for a delete with no animation, sound, or vibration. And, don’t worry – it still counts towards your destroyed counter.

The other thing you’ll notice is more awesome animations, of course. The World Cup themed "Gooooooaaalll!" pack is a perfect way to kick email to the curb. We’ve also introduced Grout Ninja: strike your inbox in a flash with a moustache.

Penalty Kick Victory
Fierce Header
Katana Ambush
Smoke Screen

Thank you to all of our users who have made version 2.0 a reality. Your feedback and ideas have strengthened this version. And, your enthusiasm and joy make us excited to get to work on the next version.

Our goal at DestroyMail is to change email forever. We’ve only just begun.

Michael
Co-Founder & CEO


DestroyMail 1.1 — Gimmicky App, or the Future of Email?

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Apache HelicoptorA sample reaction to DestroyMail 1.0 from some of our friends:

"Hahaha, that’s awesome! A grenade launcher blasting an email away. Now that you’ve built this funny app, are you thinking about making others?"

Ummm, no. DestroyMail has only just begun. It is the tip of an iceberg that we believe will be the future of email: A full entertainment and information platform at your fingertips. Nobody has ever brought enjoyment to email. We all know we need email every day, but we also know it kind of sucks. With Destroymail, we intend to change all that.

Today is the end of email as we know it: DestroyMail 1.1 has launched in the App Store. The classic Weapons Pack is of course still there, so you can continue to obliterate messages with your grenade launcher, flamethrower, and the like. But we’ve added two full new packs that begin a growing collection of animations that transform email from boring to awesome:

  • The Reboco & Churrasco Pack: Playful characters whose various antics destroy your messages.
  • The Airstrike Pack: A series of hi-def animations, including the Apache Helicopter and F-16, for maximum firepower on your inbox.

Oh, and they are all FREE for a limited time — yes, all of them. That’s especially nice because you can now simply shake your phone to shuffle through a variety of animations to destroy messages.

Welcome to the future of email.


Our First Month in the App Store

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“How is the app doing?” — everyone

At times, I found myself struggling to articulate a response to this seemingly basic question because DestroyMail isn’t exactly at the level of an app like Snapchat (…yet). But we’ve seen some truly inspiring validation already: search for “DestroyMail” on Twitter and you’ll see it yourself.

Aria Loves DestroyMailI realized how young DestroyMail really is. Just days before launch, one of our founders had his first child — a beautiful baby girl named Aria (cheers to Pete & Liza). Several close friends have had their first child this past year as well, and while I’m not yet a parent, I watched as they all shared the same basic metric of success at birth: health of the baby (and the mother).

For the first month, the majority of time is dedicated to caring for that child to nurture its health, while still being excited by the most simple of milestones. People don’t ask if the baby is a doctor or a lawyer in month one (though that could be a great way to stem oversharing on Facebook).

Our app was conceived and built over nine months. And it is now a healthy one-month-old baby. But, please don’t misunderstand — I’m not trying to suggest that these things (a baby and an app) are of the same order; they are not. A baby can’t be used 50,000 times to destroy over 27,000 emails in a month. They need naps and stuff. (On the flip side, as Pete reminded us, an app can’t destroy 216 diapers in 5 weeks.)

We’ve got some amazing new content coming next month including the insane Apache Helicopter and playful pals Reboco & Churrasco. We’re also working on the most-requested mail features, as well as some surprises.

Thank you to everyone who has supported DestroyMail — it’s been an amazing first month.

Michael
Co-Founder & CEO



DestroyMail is Coming Soon!

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DestroyMail is coming November 11th! It all began on a rooftop in LA early this year and we’re thrilled to be putting it in your hands in a matter of weeks. Watch the Trailer if you haven’t already.

As you can see on the About Page, the app is really simple. It’s built around the central idea that the primary thing we do with mobile email is sift through our inbox to get rid of what we don’t need so we can focus on what’s important. The difference is that we actually take that mundane task of sifting through our inbox and make it FUN. Sure, we all compose messages, reply, forward, organize into folders, etc. and DestroyMail lets you do all of that like any mail app.

As this is an ever-evolving app, we’re continuously working on new ways of Destroying (we’re starting out with a First Person Shooter Pack and we’ll keep you posted on what’s coming up in future blog posts so watch this space) and also building out the mail client’s features. Feel free to contact us and check out the FAQ for any unanswered questions.

In the meantime, keep an eye out on DestroyMail.com for when the app is live. You can also follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube for the latest and greatest.

Dave, Dhruva, Mike and Pete (D2MP)