We can't all be super


Emailed on July 5th, 2019 in The Friday Forward

Superhuman, an invitation-only email service that costs $30 a month and promises “the fastest email experience ever made,” raised a $33 million investment round, led by Andreessen Horowitz last week at a whopping $260 million valuation.

The cost of the tool alone sparked a bit of controversy after The New York Times published this post titled, "Would You Pay $30 a Month to Check Your Email?"

But that's not all: Now the by-invitation-only service has come under fire for its privacy practices around the use of pixel tracking. 

Pixel tracking allows senders to track emails by forcing a recipient to download a tiny, invisible graphic file when they open the message. Once the image file is downloaded, the sender knows their email was opened — and can also harvest a slew of additional information about the reader. 

  • In the case of Superhuman, which aims to streamline inbox work for heavy email users, that includes location data about each time a recipient opened a message.

Superhuman uses this data to make their email client faster.

Of course, I have a few thoughts: It's what you're here for right?

Bottom line is, if you are a serious email user, there's a 90% chance you're already using some sort of an add-on tool that involves pixel tracking. Every sales person I've ever met uses one.

If you're not serious about email (it's not a super huge part of your job), you're almost certainly not one of the 180,000 people on Superhuman's waitlist.

So... the people who are upset about Superhuman's use of pixel tracking were never going to be users of Superhuman anyway.

Dare I call this cohort... muggles?

Sean Steigerwald