025 : From Crash Bandicoot to a smarter inbox with Dave Baggett

Dave BaggettHow many unread emails do you have in your inbox? If you went all the way back to the very oldest unread email, do you think you’d actually need it? If not, why is it still there? When are you going to do something about it?

Email itself first came on the scene circa 1993, alongside Windows NT 3.1 and massive brick phones. Since then, our computers have evolved substantially — and just look at our smartphones — but our email inboxes remain mostly just a big dumb bucket.

Dave Baggett is using machine learning to bring your inbox up to speed. He’s the founder of Arcode, creator of Inky email client (iOS, OS X). Dave shares the interesting story of how Inky came to be, starting with working on the first two Crash Bandicoot games and then joining a travel startup that would end up taking over the industry (and eventually get acquired by Google).

He’s got an interesting story and a fresh take on email. It’ll make you think about your own projects differently.

Here’s what we chat about:

  • How Dave dropped out of MIT (he was working on his Ph. D!) to develop the first Crash Bandicoot came
  • How Dave transitioned from the gaming industry to the travel industry
  • What it’s like to have the Department of Justice review your acquisition for a full year
  • Behind the scenes of Dave founding Arcode and creating Inky
  • Inky’s false minimum viable product, and what they learned from the early feedback
  • How Dave’s experience coding games helped him with his future projects
  • Why Dave prefers low-level languages, and how he still gets in there sometimes even today
  • How ITA Software grew, in both vision and scope
  • How ITA Software took advantage of being on the cusp of a huge revolution in travel booking
  • Why Dave decided to tackle email, a notoriously difficult field
  • How Inky battle’s people’s paranoid that real email will get stuck in spam
  • Bringing machine learning to your email inbox to help you get the information you need
  • Why email clients make it really difficult to build an MVP
  • The first action Dave took after having the idea for Inky
  • The two major challenges currently facing Inky

Links mentioned in this show include:

Did you enjoy this episode? Thank Dave on Twitter!

If you thought this episode of the podcast was interesting, take a few seconds and let Dave know by clicking the link below to share via Twitter (you can edit the tweet first): Click here to thank Dave on Twitter!


Are you finding that your MVP is a lot more difficult than you originally thought? Let us know in the comments below!

Can’t get enough?

There’s a new episode every week, so subscribe to stay in the loop! I have some amazing guests lined up that you won’t want to miss!

Click here to subscribe via iTunes
Click here to subscribe via Stitcher
Click here to subscribe via RSS (non-iTunes feed)

If you have a moment, I’d also really appreciate you leaving an honest rating and review of the Novice No Longer podcast. It helps immensely with iTunes search and ranking, and helps other people discover this new show. You can rate it by clicking here.

The Novice No Longer Podcast intro music was composed by the talented Will Larche.

Thanks again for listening!

Share what you think