What Google Should Do With Postini

I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about and investing spam prevention. I was an early investor in Bright Mail, the first anti-spam company, which was bought by Symantec a number of years ago. I am also an investor in Return Path, which owns the Sender Score business which uses reputation scoring to help both senders and receivers eliminate spam and help legit mail get through. And we’ve been customers of Postini at Flatiron Partners and Union Square Ventures for as long as I can remember using a spam filter.

So it’s nice to see the team at Postini get a win with the sale to Google that was announced today. As good as Postini is, it can be better. Here are the things I’d like to see Google do with Postini:

1 – allow me to search my quarantined mail. i have no idea why Positini hasn’t offered this feature. i’ve been asking for it for years. Given Google’s credentials in search, this should priority number one.

2 – figure out how to stop grabbing verification emails. pretty much every service i sign up for sends me a verification email. and at least half of them are gobbled up by Postini. I am not complaining too much because Postini stops so much spam that I have learned to tolerate the false positives. but for some reason verification emails are always treated badly.

3 – let me manage my quarantined mail in the gmail interface. actually that would be a great way to solve the search problem. quarantined mail is still mail. i’d like to use my quarantined mail like a mailbox, not a trash can.

4 – let me see the reputation of the sender in the quarantined mailbox. i would like to sort by that as a way to find false positives. Sender Score can help with that.

The bottom line for me is quarantined mail is not all spam. And never will be. Google can make Postini so much better by focusing on all the mail that is caught by the filter and making it usable to me.

And in addition to the awesome team at Postini, I’d like to congratulate my good friends at Mobius Ventures and Foundry Group for their big win on their investment in Postini. Another smart investment pays off. Well done everyone, including Google.

#VC & Technology