Mailbox’s Gentry Underwood Would Rather Move Slow And Get It Right

In an interview backstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013, Mailbox founder Gentry Underwood said that the company is actively working on an Android version of the app, and mentioned that ephemerality may be involved in forthcoming “whiz-bang” features down the line.

Mailbox doesn’t have the same “move fast” mentality as some other companies, most notably Facebook. The company was bought by Dropbox in March and only implemented Dropbox integration for attachments in July. Most recently, the company announced cloud search for Gmail which was surely one of the most clamored-for features since Mailbox’s launch in February of this year.

Underwood explained in the interview that with cloud search, there are “a lot of edges to get right.” According to the founder, having one foot in the cloud and one on the phone can be very difficult and hard to get right.

“Mailbox is always going to be biased towards building the right experience, no matter how long it takes. We think that’s a defensible position in the long run,” he said.

As for a timeline for Android, Underwood didn’t mention it. However, he did say that there are a few Alpha versions going around internally and that the team is actively working on the application for Android.

Though Underwood finds the idea of ephemeral messaging very interesting in terms of communication’s evolution as a whole, he has a lot of priorities in the pipeline before a “whiz-bang” feature like “exploding, private, or secured” email messages. However, down the road at some point, he said it could be a “possibility.”

For now, Mailbox is focused on laying down the foundation, expanding beyond Gmail and iOS devices alone to reach everyone using Mailbox. And from what I gathered in the interview, that will eventually include desktop as well.