Keeping it Simple

At Kicksend, we send our new users confirmation emails to verify their identity. People would misspell their email addresses and be unaware of it, resulting in a delivery failure and a lost user for us. I knew we could do something about it, and set out to solve the problem with an eye on engineering and user experience simplicity.

The result was Mailcheck.js, a Javascript library that reduced our email bounces by 50%. I open sourced it, and received a great response from the community. It has since been adopted by numerous popular web applications.

My Ignite talk will explore why and how to approach problems with simplicity in mind, using the story of Mailcheck as the perfect example.

Derrick Ko


Derrick is the first employee and product engineer at Kicksend, a Y Combinator funded startup that lets you privately send large batches of photos, videos and other files to people you love. Prior to that, he was a software engineer at Pivotal Labs, where he led teams and worked with clients that ranged from startups to enterprises. A founder himself, Derrick started a company in Singapore back in 2007. He occasionally blogs about startups and product development at


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