It's clear to us that many potential backers don't fully understand what Taper is or why you might need it. Meanwhile, when presented with services that will "filter" important email into a new inbox and move "unimportant" to another inbox, you "get it," you understand those. That's cool. We understand.
Taper is, unfortunately, something you need to use to understand, which is impossible on Kickstarter. So let us try our best to explain the BENEFIT of Taper instead of what it does.
The reason that other services, such as Google or Sanebox, move important email to a new folder is so you can focus on what is important. This is great and we like that, however, it's very difficult to focus when you have 20, 50 or 100 things to focus on.
Taper fixes this problem. Taper lets you focus on email without distraction, allowing you the freedom to quickly and easily deal with a task. If you treat your inbox like a todo list, no problem, just flag or star the "todo" or "waiting for a response" email and Taper will let in the next one.
You see, Taper is not about blocking email. In fact it doesn't. Taper is designed to support how you already do email so you can do it faster with less distraction. If you can handle more than five tasks a time, no problem, Taper can let in 7, or 10, or 15. It's up to you.
Without Taper you have no control. We had no control. Even with a "system" for managing email we often lost focus as the email kept coming. With Taper we have the ability to focus on our terms.
We hope this clears things up.
p.s. If you're a "single inbox" person who never uses folders, then you don't honestly need Taper but thanks for checking us out.
p.s.s. If you still want to read more, it's all below. If not, please back us so you can experience Taper also.
Our goal is to take you...
...in about 23 seconds, without having to download or learn a single thing.
Taper is a doorman for your inbox.
Since, well, basically the creation of email, our inboxes have had way too many emails in them. Look at yours right now - do you have more than ten sitting there? Twenty? Fifty? More?!
That's called email overload.It's when you have more emails in your inbox then you can efficiently manage or deal with. Email overload sucks up 30% of our day (according to the LA Times and others), makes us more stressed, less productive and costs businesses a crazy amount in lost productivity.
So we said, "well, if email overload means you have too much to deal with, wouldn't the solution be to, umm, have less?" Guess what, it is!
We looked around, and found some really useful tools that we just didn't want to duplicate:
Spam filters - for spam
Categorized inboxes - for social, news and promo email
Auto-unsubscribe - tools to remove yourself from newsletter
Snooze buttons - to deal with email later
Apps to turn your email into a todo list
But, there was still nothing to simply control the flow, which, let's face it, can be intense. So, we set out to add that simple feature to email - something to slow down the number of emails we deal with at any one time.
You're concerned, I can tell
1. I'll miss an email from my boss and be fired. You can set your boss as a VIP and he'll skip the line directly to your inbox. You will not be fired.
2. Ok so I delete 5, another 5 come in. I delete those, another 5! How is that not stressful? You have the option of setting the frequency of incoming mail from immediately upon move/delete, to every 30 minutes. Soon you will learn that not every email demands an immediate response, and 30 uninterrupted minutes can be a very precious thing indeed.
3. I'm too anxious to have emails waiting that I don't know about - I NEED to see all my email...Taper doesn't withhold your email from you - you can peek in on it at any time in the TaperQueue folder. If you have many emails in your queue, we'll even send you a notification listing them in a single email. Don't fear the unknown, for it is not unknown - it is known.
We knew this solution would have to run in the cloud so that it was always working, but that would cost a bit of money for hosting, data transfer, IP addresses, etc. So, we created a little Mac app as a proof-of-concept that we called Taper, which is now a patent-pending invention. It works like an invisible doorman to your inbox. Instead of letting every email you ever receive go directly to your inbox, Taper lets in five.
Once you delete, archive, move or flag an email, another is allowed in. The rest of your emails are stored securely in a folder in your email account just in caseyou really needed to see something before Taper lets it in.
So why only five emails?
You know how easy it is to deal with five emails at a time? REALLY DARN EASY! And, when you have so few emails at a time to deal with, you really miss NOTHING, work faster and simply don't worry about getting behind.
Yes We're Serious. It Works And It's That Darn Simple.
No emails are ever filtered out; you'll eventually see everything, but in a calm, zen-like way, instead of having a crap load of email constantly dumped on you.
Do I Really Need This?
Look again at your inbox, right now. Stress you out a bit? Then yeah, you need it. Because every email that comes in after this point, right now, adds to that stress, decreases productivity and wastes your time.
Already have an "email" system?
Good job! Then you recognize how important a managed inbox is. Taper helps to reinforce the most recommended email habits of quickly and decisively processing email, deleting what's unimportant and moving on. If you have a system designed to TRY to help you get to inbox zero everyday, Taper can help make sure it happens without messing with your system.
But I'm Going To Miss Something! AHHHHHH!
See, you're stressed. But with Taper, you won't be and you won't miss anything. Here's why:
If you end up with emails in your queue, Taper will send you a single summary email so you can see what's there at a glance. Also, your queue folder is always there, so you can easily jump to it IF you need to (which rarely happens once you start using Taper cause you just do email better).
Taper also has a neat little feature called the VIP List. Anyone on your VIP List will immediate move to the front of the line in your queue, ensuring that they will be the very next emails Taper lets through. So, any emails from the boss, girlfriends, boyfriends, judge, etc. will never be missed and your inbox will still stay neat and organized.
To Use, Do Nothing Different!
Taper just works, silently, in the background, communicating with your email server to block email and move it when ready. Use Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Apple Mail, your iPhone or whateva. Don't matter. It's like a diaphragm you didn't know was there (that let's in a baby or two every once in a while).
But You'll Learn A Ton
With Taper, you simply learn how to manage email better. True, you don't have to "learn" anything new to use Taper or use any fancy new software, but by using Taper, you will find that your email habits improve. Emails do not sit in your inbox. You either file or delete or Taper no give you new one.
It's better email management pavlovian dog style (yes, you're the dog).
Ok, but why Kickstarter? Why Now?
We built the proof-of-concept as a Mac OSX app that runs silently in the background just to see if our theory was right. We shared it with a handful of friends and relatives and so far NO ONE has gone back.
But there's a problem. Right now, it only runs on a Mac and only when that Mac is running. We want to turn Taper into a cloud-based solution that anyone can sign up for to end email overload. Once someone signs up, they're done. They change NOTHING. Do NOTHING new. Use ANY email device or client they want and Taper will still fix their email overload problem.
We have the plans, the technology and six months worth of experience on how to tame this beast called email, but we need your help. We need funds to help cover storage and bandwidth costs to develop Taper as a cloud-based solution.
What do I get?
We've come up with some cool rewards based on your specific needs, but in a nutshell, there will be Taper for personal use and Taper Pro for business use:
We also have some cool, fun stuff like awesome buddha stickers and beautiful music so zen-like, you will swear you are emailing to the buddha himself.
Requirements for Taper
For the Mac OSX version, you simply need an Intel-based Mac and OS X Lion 10.7 or later. For the web-based version, you'll need an IMAP, Google Apps or Exchange Server email account (which covers almost everyone in case you don't know what ya got, but please check first if you don't).
Works With... Anything!
As for reading email, Taper has NO REQUIREMENTS. What to use; Gmail.com, Apple Mail, Outlook or even Lynx? Fine. iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Blueberry? Okie doke. Taper don't care.
Questions, Doubts, Concerns?
Almost everyone we've told about Taper, before they try it, says the same thing:
"This won't work for me, I have too many emails, I have a system, I'll miss emails from my boss, wife, lover, bail bondsman, etc."
And our answer is always the same - we have no answer. Trying to explain why dealing with emails in groups of five is SO much faster and more productive than having an inbox full of emails is like trying to explain why having to fold only five shirts is better than a hamper full of laundry - it just is!
And then we say this, "Try it." Try it for one week and tell us what you think. And now they send us cookies, and sometimes cakes 'cause they have more time to do baking, we guess.
But seriously, we will happily answer any question or thoughts or concerns you have. Just ask.
And obviously, namaste (whatever that means).
Risks and challenges
Fortunately, the risks for this campaign are fairly low, as we have spent the last six months using Taper ourselves, and know that it technically can work, how it works and how to make it work on the web. However, as with any migration to a new platform, there are always unforeseen risks. In this case, we should mention the following:
- We might run into an issue with a mail provider, such as Google, allowing us secure and legit access to multiple mail accounts through one provider. Given that some other companies, such as Sanebox, already do similar things, we would classify this as a low risk issue.
- If you go with the FREE TIME reward option, we might not be able to get enough Salty Chocolate Buddha Bars. There could be a shortage on cocoa beans, or salt. Who knows? The world is a crazy place and people love salt and chocolate.
And finally, the most obvious risk:
- You might not like a less stressful email situation. It's always possible that you prefer dozens or hundreds of emails sitting in your inbox. We've seen crazier things.
STICKER, MUSIC, GUNGA - As given to Bill Murray in Caddy Shack, we will impart to you "Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga," or total consciousness on your deathbed. You will also receive a hand-drawn buddha sticker and a copy of our self-produced album, "music to email to." (Stickers available for US backers only)
PROOF-OF-CONCEPT DOWNLOAD APP FOR MAC
- For you early adopters and tech explorers, you will receive a download link for the Taper proof-of-concept Mac application to immediately end email overload for you and up to three accounts. Of course, we will also give you gunga galunga, buddha stickers and a copy of our self produced album, "music to email to." (Stickers available for US backers only)
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! - Be one of the first to back our web-based solution, and get it on the cheap! You'll get first-look access to Taper in the cloud for two years as well as stickers, music and lots of gunga. This is a LIMITED reward! (Stickers available for US backers only)
GET TAPER! - You want it, you got it! Access to the web-based version of Taper for two years, which fixes email overload for you in the background without having to install anything. You will also get a copy of the Mac App immediately in case you want to try that out while waiting for the web version to be completed. Gunga, stickers and "music to email to" as well. (Stickers available for US backers only)
TAPER PRO FOR START-UPS - Early access to Taper Pro for business, allowing you to use Taper with any IMAP service and Google App Domain emails, for up to three users for two years. A gallon of gunga for total consciousness for the team, "music to email to" and a special surprise, in the shape of a buddha.
THE HACKER - Think you can make the world a better place by block and tackling email? We'd love to get you involved. Hackers get added to our Github repo for the Mac App so you can build, deconstruct, expand and go crazy. You'll also get access to Taper's web-based solution for two years and all our other swag. (Stickers available for US backers only)
TAPER PRO FOR TEN USERS - The same rewards as "Taper Pro for Start-ups" but for up to TEN (10) users for two years. While we don't know yet how much Taper will eventually charge per user, we promise you this is a very, very good deal.
WELCOME TO FREE TIME! - As a newly minted Taper-er-er-er you'll soon reclaim the 30% of your day you waste on dealing with email. We want to help fill this copious free time with a new desktop zen garden, remote control helicopter, edible salty chocolate buddha bars and other mystery items. You can also Taper for yourself for two years, Taper Pro for up to TEN users for two years or our Hacker reward.
TAPER PRO FOR 25 USERS - Taper Pro for two years with IMAP & Google Domains support for up to TWENTY FIVE (25) users, plus all the buddha lovin' you can eat, and a special book written by Scott on the noises we make.
LAUNCH PARTY NYC! - Get to NYC and we'll put you up at a semi-nice hotel, play a couple of rounds of fricket and live the good life in creative ways. We will create a party wherever we go, extolling the virtues of a tamed inbox. You will also get a giant buddha statue to take home with you to commemorate the event. Like Taper, we're only letting FIVE people into our launch party at a time. Oh, and you get Taper for two years too!