Why Do Email Apps Struggle…?!

Superhuman recently announced 22% workforce layoffs

Francesco D'Alessio
3 min readJun 15, 2022

Email apps.

They come, they conquer — they leave. This could be written on a Roman tablet somewhere. Please somebody do this.

Over the years, I’ve seen plenty of email applications come and go. It is so sad to see. Newton — a great example, it has been resurrected more than twice now and Mailbox bought and killed by productivity giant Dropbox…

But why?!

Superhuman recently announced 22% of their staff were heading away from the company in a sad announcement from CEO Rahul Vohra — this is likely due to the economic downturn they are projecting on the market — very soon.

Whilst not yet gone, why do other email apps come and go?

Tempo 2 is a good recent example.

A calming approach to email — and one that I honestly rated higher than most other email application, Tempo was set to do big things. Charging $99 per year, the price to run 3rd-party email apps is normally high due to the nature of protecting information and the integrations that people want to see.

Tempo in their closing down statement mentioned:

Since then, we’ve expanded the team to 8 people spread across Europe, received investment and support from BoostVC and Founders, executed a complete redesign, launched the iOS beta this year, created our very dear Tempo Pulse community and much more. But we also realised over the years how much it takes to build an email client. It’s complex, and the bar is incredibly high.



Francesco D'Alessio

Uncovering the future of productivity software. Building Tool Finder.