Email startup Superhuman is also trying to reinvent the calendar

  • Email startup Superhuman is also looking to reinvent the calendar, starting with a new feature that allows users to create calendar events directly within the app, using just keyboard shortcuts.
  • Rahul Vohra, CEO and founder of Superman, said it’s just the start of the company’s plans to reinvent how people use their calendars 
  • Vohra says one-third of all emailing is related to scheduling, so in order to truly make email more efficient the company has to rethink how calendars integrate with email.
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Superhuman, the hot startup that’s aiming to reinvent email, is now looking to transform the calendar, too.

The company announced a new feature earlier this week that allows users to create calendar events directly within the app, using keyboard shortcuts. That quick, all-in-one-program process is faster than the options offered by rivals like Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook. 

This is something Superhuman’s customers have wanted for years, said CEO Rahul Vohra, who founded Superman in 2014. It’s just the start of the company’s plan to reinvent how people use calendars, he added. 

Superhuman’s goal is to provide a better, faster email experience, and its $30-per-month product already has a cult-like following among founders and investors. To date, it has raised $56 million in venture capital funding from firms like Andreessen Horowitz, and has a valuation of $260 million, according to PitchBook. 

The company is trying to tackle all the different ways that it can make email more efficient. One-third of all emailing is related to scheduling, Vohra said, so the company has been trying to find ways to integrate calendars better.

“So far, we’ve made people twice as fast at getting through their email in general and we want to keep doing that,” Vohra told Business Insider. “The way that we do that is, we start to take on the different aspects of what emailing is. Emailing is everything from scheduling to delegation, to receiving tasks to sharing files, to collaborating on documents. Scheduling is one of the biggest.” 

The key to all this is pre-programmed and customizable keyboard shortcuts, which is what makes Superhuman’s email experience faster than competitors, Vohra said. 

Superhuman Create Calendar Event

Superhuman’s feature to create a calendar event

Superhuman


In addition to the new scheduling feature, users can already hover over a time in an email and see their calendar for that day. While Superhuman doesn’t yet have a separate tab or page to see your calendar in its entirety, Vohra said that’s something his team is considering adding. However, the focus is on looking at what parts of scheduling are cumbersome and coming up with features to fix those. 

That might include things like scheduling assistance, so when you’re replying to someone, Superhuman would automatically suggest times that you’re available, and put a hold on those times until one is picked. Long term, that might even include Superhuman intelligently deciding a time by looking at two people’s calendars and seeing what works best, without the user having to do any work. 

Vohra also sees the potential for Superhuman to remember your favorite meeting locations or preferred meeting room with certain contacts and suggest that new meetings happen there — for when people are back in offices. He also thinks the company might add features to automatically add a Zoom or Google Meet link to a calendar invite.

Superhuman wants to compress the scheduling work to as little time as possible, “so that people can then choose to do more stuff. That might actually be more emailing, but maybe it’s more outbounding, it’s responding to emails. It’s more real work,” Vohra said. 

Superhuman’s philosophy is that efficiency — with enjoyment! — is everything, Vohra said:

“We always believe let’s start with that layer, let’s make the fundamental work that people are trying to do fun and fast before we add the bells and whistles that typically a Google or Microsoft can do.”

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