A Chrome extension for unsubscribing, privacy focused

No Employees
Founders Code
Solo Founder
Mailing Lists

I'm spending a lot of time deleting unread email from my mailbox, but I never get myself to open it to unsubscribe. So I decided to build a tool for it.

April 9, 2021 First sale!

Finally, the first sale. With all these success stories on IH, I was hoping it would happen much sooner -- I've been working on this little side project for over 4 months now.

The funny thing is, I don't even know which of the many channels brought the sale -- Twitter, Indie Hackers, Quora, or just organic search.

March 2, 2021 Gmail API access approved by Google

This was the main roadblock towards launching DetoxBox. Without this approval, Google displayed a big scary screen that my application wasn't safe to use. I guess nobody would be willing to use it.

I need Gmail API access because I search for "unsubscribe" to detect emails from mailing lists. Other tools that I know of require you to enable IMAP in your Gmail account. I assume they asked for your password then, but I didn't go that far. I didn't want to change any settings, and I'm sure nobody would want to have a 3rd party server to download your emails. I promise my users that their emails never leave their browsers, and I don't even have a backend to get any of their data.

February 3, 2021 Version 0.2 is production-ready

Last week I made it more usable: the list of mailing lists is collapsed so that you don't have to scroll it endlessly and added a link for feedback and feature ideas. I have also added some AI-generated copy (from Copysmith) and the screenshot to the landing page,

January 23, 2021 It works!

Just unsubscribed from the first mailing list using DetoxBox. It's officially Working On My Machine.

I planned to accomplish it in one week, but it took two instead because I spent a lot of time just implementing authentication, first using Google Oauth API (didn't work), then Chrome API.

Now I need it just a little bit more usable before I release v0.2. The next step is trying to sell a few LTDs. Any advice is appreciated.

January 3, 2021 Released the first version

I've just released the first version of Detoxbox (my Gmail productivity tool) to Chrome Store. It works reasonably well, although I'm a bit embarrassed to show it to the public, which also means that I'm releasing it not too late.

The first version can only hide emails from senders that you always delete without reading. The main feature, unsubscribing, is scheduled for v0.2.

December 27, 2020 Pivoted to a productivity tool

After posting it on Reddit, I've got advice to change it into something that would help people constantly, rather than once in a while. Mass unsubscription is still planned, but I've realized there is much more that can be improved: visual distinction of important emails, quick previews, automatic email confirmations, keyboard actions, and probably a lot of other things.

Here is a quick poll, which feature would you prefer?

November 26, 2020 Got 81% click rate on GMail ads

Since DetoxBox is all about fighting spam on your GMail page, I figured that GMail ads would be the best place to advertise it. And I was right: I have added "Black Friday" as keywords and placed a GMail ad, choosing "Health & Fitness Buffs, Lifestyles & Hobbies" as my target audience, and got 216 impressions and 171 clicks (81% CTR) before they banned my ad for "Malicious software".

Now, the landing page was rather sketchy, I admit, I've made a better one using Umso since then, so I'm trying it again, hope this time it won't be banned.

November 22, 2020 Validated on Reddit

I was thinking about the idea for some days, but I recently ditched my other idea (Startab) and decided to give this one a try. So, I spent ~2h figuring out how Chrome extensions work and finally decided that it's possible.

Then I wrote it to /r/SideProject/ and the next morning I saw 36 upvotes and 6 comments. I think I might finally have a good idea.

I still want to play with it a little, maybe create a PoC and make some screenshots, before putting up a landing page.

I'm spending a lot of time deleting unread email from my mailbox, but I never get myself to open it to unsubscribe. So I decided to build a tool for it.