[A picture of private offices at Fog Creek Software] Alert! This ancient trifle retrieved from the Joel on Software archive is well-past its expiration date. Proceed with care.

Joel on Software


by Joel Spolsky
Thursday, May 03, 2001

Ev has a neat idea for an application that he calls Alias Manager. It's a simple way to deal with having a team of people who are responsible for answering emails to one email alias, like the world famous president@whitehouse.gov, or the almost as famous customer-support@fogcreek.com. When I read his idea, I thought, smart Ev! We need that too!

Then I realized that FogBUGZ almost does it, but not quite. It would take about $10,000 of investment to add this feature to FogBUGZ. So I thought I'd ask my readers two questions:

  • have you seen a simple, cheap application that does this?
  • do you need a simple, cheap application that does this?

Postscript: I've gotten tons of replies. There are a lot of expensive CRM packages. That's not what I'm talking about, they are too complicated and too expensive for small business. There are also some open source things, many people mentioned rt.

Have you been wondering about Distributed Version Control? It has been a huge productivity boon for us, so I wrote Hg Init, a Mercurial tutorial—check it out!

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You’re reading Joel on Software, stuffed with years and years of completely raving mad articles about software development, managing software teams, designing user interfaces, running successful software companies, and rubber duckies.

About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Fog Creek Software, a New York company that proves that you can treat programmers well and still be highly profitable. Programmers get private offices, free lunch, and work 40 hours a week. Customers only pay for software if they’re delighted. We make Trello, easy web-based collaboration software, FogBugz, an enlightened bug tracking and software development tool, and Kiln, a distributed source control system that will blow your socks off. I’m also the co-founder and CEO of Stack Exchange. More about me.

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