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Launch HN: EasyEmail (YC W18) – Gmail plug-in that helps compose emails quickly

Hey HN!

We’re Fil, Lambert and Matt, the founders of EasyEmail (https://easyemail.ai). EasyEmail is a Gmail plug-in that helps you write emails quickly. We train our software with your inbox and quickly suggest what you should write based on your previous responses.

We started working on improving how email is used about a year and a half ago, when Fil was organizing the MIT Fall Career Fair, an event for 6,000 people and 450 companies. He was sending 200-300 emails a day and feeling suffocated by the volume. We started chatting about some sort of a solution, and after a long journey (including a car crash on the way to our YC interview!) we finally have a working product and some happy users.

Our current product is a Chrome Extension helps you write emails with two main components: autocomplete, and hotkeys.

Autocomplete searches through every sentence you’ve ever sent in the past and suggests 5 sentences you might say at this moment. An example could be me typing “how a” and the autocomplete suggesting “How are you doing?” together with 4 other sentences. This feature turned out to be harder than we expected because users say things that start similarly a lot (I have 207 unique sentences starting with “how a”). The question is how to sort all those sentences so they’re most likely to choose one of the top 5. Our sentence-matching algorithm includes things like frequency, recency, and context from the email you’re replying to.

Hotkeys are a quick way to enter snippets of text that you repeat a lot, but that aren’t sentences, like a link that you send a lot, or pieces of text that you send often but don’t merit a new template.

It’s very exciting to work on this problem, because email is so universal. That also makes it very hard, because we need to satisfy a lot of different email users. There's also a lot of competition - most prominent is probably SmartReply by Gmail (those 3 buttons saying “sounds good” on your mobile app). The most important difference between us and them is that our suggestions are always personalized, since they come from your own mailbox.

This may sound like we’re trying to remove thoughtful emailing by just making our users repeat the same sentences over and over again, but that’s the exact opposite of what we’re going for. Our initial users tend to already send repetitive emails, and we’re just reducing the amount of typing they have to do. The goal is to give everyone more time to put into the non-repetitive parts of emails!

We’d absolutely love to hear your thoughts on the product and your experiences in this area. If you’d like to try out our product, it’s easier to go right away to the Chrome webstore: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/easyemail-ai/giage.... Please let us know what you think!