Dvir Ben-Aroya, CEO and Co-Founder of Spike: creating email of the 21st century

What makes up the email of the 21st century? Is it a vast array of security features paired with a sprinkle of user-friendliness? Or maybe it’s a straightforward interface and modern technology? According to Dvir Ben-Aroya, CEO and Co-Founder of Spike, email of the 21st century is a little more than all of the above.

Most of the modern communication apps are controlled by the leading tech giants, such as Google and Microsoft. But there is a lot on offer from companies outside of the familiar names. Spike, an app that combines email, team chat, note-taking, and video calls, modernizes our understanding of communication, providing a one-for-all app, based on your existing email. 

We have reached out to Dvir Ben-Aroya to discuss the new ideas behind Spike, the future of email, and the security challenges that come along with using a digital platform for sharing private information. 

Your customers say that your app is taking emails to the 21st century. What, in your view, constitutes the email of the 21st century?

Email of the 21st remains an open platform for everyone to communicate outside of apps that are only controlled by the big technology companies. It also adds modern features like team chat, collaboration, video meetings, file sharing, and task management.

Which features have you implemented to achieve that title?

Spike takes email, which is a very legacy technology, and modernizes it. With Spike, email feels like a chat app, removing the need for other team chat tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Email is based on open protocols (IMAP and SMTP), and we’re still using the open technology that has let email continue to thrive in a technology world dominated by just a few companies, but we’re adding features to make it usable for today’s freelancers, remote teams, and even large companies.

Most people have a disdain for email because they're using legacy apps that still function like it’s 1998. Spike upgrades your inbox for 2021 while keeping the open standards. Spike removes all the clutter that you’re used to seeing - like repeating subjects, signatures, and endless threads - which leaves you with a clear and focused chat. Spike also includes an extremely powerful search feature, so you can always find what you're looking for regardless if it's a file attachment, a phrase, or even a contact.

Spike also includes collaboration tools, such as notes, task management, and video/audio calls without needing another app.

All of these features are available without creating a new account. All you need to do is log in with your existing email address, and Spike handles the rest.

What, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge to email security today?

Password reuse among other web logins can create security problems even if a particular provider doesn’t have any sort of breach. If someone uses the same password for a Gmail account as they do for every other website they use, that password is bound to get leaked at some point. It’s important to use unique passwords across all website accounts.

How do you balance security and user-friendliness?

We believe privacy and security are essential to any conversation. That’s why we do everything to protect our customer’s data and create a workspace you can trust. Spike is ad-free and does not rent, sell, distribute, or monetize your data. All message data is encrypted using the AES-256 encryption. We store only the minimum data needed to provide the fastest communication and collaboration experience. 

Why is it important to verify a customer’s identity via email address?

We don’t need to verify customer’s identities as we aren’t creating a new account for them. Spike customers log in with their existing email account - so whatever OAUTH logins, 2FA, or other security measures they have enabled, will be used to log in to Spike. We’ve added all of Spike’s features on top of their existing email. This makes it very easy for teams to move to Spike. 

Give a few tips to email users on how to keep their accounts safe.

  • If your email service supports multi-factor authentication, it’s wise to enable it. 
  • Don’t reuse passwords across your accounts.
  • Use a long password that you can store in an app like 1Password or LastPass.

What are some of the main challenges your users have experienced as a result of remote work?

App switching has continued to be a problem for remote employees. They end up jumping from one video app to the other depending on who called the meeting. They’ll use Google Docs for this one project and then Jira for another. Spike puts an end to app switching by building all of the needed tools into a single app.

We also hear a lot about feeling disconnected from the lack of personal interactions. We try to solve that by adding real-time awareness to messaging. Coupled with seamlessly switching from email to voice messages and video calls, we aim to not just help teams feel more connected, but also make working together, whether remotely or in person, more seamless and enjoyable.

Has the pandemic pushed you to integrate any new important features?

We saw a clear need for a simple video meeting solution that worked great for 1:1 calls but also teams. With our new Video Meeting feature, you can share your screen, join from any device, and catch up with everyone on your team without needing to install new software, clunky plugins, or create a new account.

Finally, please, tell us: what is next for Spike?

We’re planning to launch a competitor to Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 to give businesses a choice when it comes to their communications platform. While those platforms offer a lot of benefits, Spike is the best place to work as we seamlessly combine all the essential tools for your work without compromising on simple and beautiful design and an actually enjoyable experience. 

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