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Yakov Fain

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Many years ago when I wanted to leave computer business and purchase a gas station, a friend of mine who was in fuel business said, “You know nothing about gasoline. Stay where you are. Keep doing what you’re doing, just do it a little better than others”. Believe it or not – this simple advice really works, and I had a chance to see it in action today.

Let me ask you this, “Can you come up with any innovation for the time interval between the moment you pressed the button Send in your email client and the moment when the send process actually begins”? No? And Microsoft couldn’t, even though MS Outlook is probably still the most popular email client.

But Google found a way to use this time interval “a little better than others”.

Today, I was sending an email using my gmail account with a file attachment. You know what happened? I pressed the button Send but forgot to attach the file. The text of my email message had the words “see attached”.

I pressed the button Send and… Google made my day! Just look at the message I got:

Is it crazy or what? If you think about it, it’s so easy to implement! So why other vendors didn’t do it?

How about this nice little feature: have you ever regretted pressing that button Send right after you hit it? No Biggies.Go to the menu Settings, Labs and enable the Undo Send feature. Now after pressing the button Send, your email will stay in a queue for a configurable time (5, 10 or 20 sec), and you'll see an Undo link above the email list that you can hit if you changed your mind within this interval. Nice? Yes! Easy to implement? You bet! So why no one else did it before? They just never thought of it this way?

I know, I know… Paraphrasing a famous writer Isaac Babel, “That’s why Google is where it is, and you just have spectacles on your nose and autumn in your heart.”

Bravo, Google! They do the same things as others, but just a tiny bit better.

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Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain