AMP for email is a terrible idea

Google just announced a plan to “modernize” email with its Accelerated Mobile 
Pages platform, allowing “engaging, interactive, and actionable email 
experiences.” Does that sound like a terrible idea to anyone else? It sure 
sounds like a terrible idea to me, and not only that, but an idea borne out of 
competitive pressure and existing leverage rather than user needs. Not good, 
Google. Send to trash.

See, email belongs to a special class. Nobody really likes it, but it’s the way 
nobody really likes sidewalks, or electrical outlets, or forks. It not that 
there’s something wrong with them. It’s that they’re mature, useful items that 
do exactly what they need to do. They’ve transcended the world of likes and 

As evidence consider the extreme rarity of anything other than normal versions 
of those things. Moving sidewalks, weirdo outlets, sporks — they only exist in 
extreme niches like airports and lunchables. The originals have remained 
unchanged for as long as millennia for a good reason.

Email too is simple. It’s a known quantity in practically every company, 
household, and device. The implementation has changed over the decades, but the 
basic idea has remained the same since the very first email systems in the ’60s 
and ’70s, certainly since its widespread standardization in the ’90s and shift 
to web platforms in the ’00s. The parallels to snail mail are deliberate (it’s 
a payload with an address on it) and simplicity has always been part of its 
design (interoperability and privacy came later).

No company owns it. It works reliably and as intended on every platform, every 
operating system, every device. That’s a rarity today and a hell of a valuable 

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