Meet the Cult Email Client With a Waitlist of 180K People
Superhuman can unsend emails, show read receipts and get your inbox to zero
“Hi, just following up again.” “ “I’ve cc’ed my colleague…” “Apologies, this email was sent in error.”
For anyone who is plugged into their email 24/7 (which is most of us, unfortunately), you’ll know these stock phrases all too well. Once a novel new tool that brought little moments of joy to our days (“You’ve got mail!”), email these days feels more like a chore that you can never quite keep under control.
The bad news: I’m not here to announce that Google has actually taken a stand and done something about this. The good news: A startup has done their job for them. The company, appropriately, is called Superhuman.
In a nutshell, Superhuman’s product is a $30/month app to make email suck less. In their words, it’s the “fastest email experience ever made.”
Specifically, it’s an email client that connects to your Gmail or Google G Suite account (the only ones supported at the moment, but others are coming soon) and optimizes the entire experience in ways you may not have thought possible. It lets you unsend email; it shows read receipts not just for your email, but also for links and attachments (it works like iMessage and WhatsApp); it has “instant intro” instead of manually using bcc; and it has a shortcut for just about everything.
Where do I sign up? That’s the question more than 180K people have asked (that’s how many people are currently on the waitlist for Superhuman, according to Product Hunt).
The list got that long because, technically, Superhuman has been available for two years. But during that period it has been invitation only as the company worked toward a public launch. They’re still not public yet, but they’re getting closer — the company recently raised a $33M investment round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. That brings the total funding up to $51M and a valuation of around $260M.
With that kind of money behind it, it has to be good, right? According to early adopters, it’s a godsend. “Superhuman is the future of work,” says David Ulevitch, an Andreessen Horowitz partner, in the New York Times. And the journalist of said Times article says, “It made checking my email feel less like doing work and more like speed-running a video game in which the object is to annoy as few people as possible.”
As Rahul Vohra, Superhuman’s CEO and founder says in the Times, “We have insane levels of virality that haven’t been seen since Dropbox or Slack.” That demand means the invitations available on this invitation-only service are even harder to come by than normal. But it’s not impossible.
Two Ways to Get Access to Superhuman
- Go to your inbox and search “Sent via Superhuman,” which is put in the signature of users’ emails. If you know that person well enough, go ahead and pester them for an invite.
- Product Hunt is also offering “early VIP access” that you supposedly can’t get directly through Superhuman’s website. You can sign up for that here.
So what’s the downside here? As the Times points out, Superhuman “users are required to grant the app full access to their email accounts, which may dissuade some privacy hawks.”
I guess that’s the price we pay for faster email. (Well, that plus $30 a month.)