Still Fucking Hate Email

Fred Wilson took some time this morning to go off against email. Clearly annoyed, he writes:

I write these posts occasionally to let people know. The result is hundreds of comments about how I can make email work better for me. Please don’t leave those comments. I don’t want to make email work better for me. I don’t want to hire an assistant to do email for me. I don’t want to try some new magical app that will make email better for me.

Amen.

I complain often about email as well and everyone comes out of the woodwork with some idea for how to fix my problem. The reality is that there is no fix. Trying something else is an even bigger waste of time.

Wilson says he devotes about three hours a day to email and he still can’t nearly get through it all. I’m in roughly the same boat; some days more, some days less. It’s also a boat I put myself in when I left my job as a writer (tons of email) to become a VC (shit tons of email). 

The only real “solution” is to change the way people think about email. It needs to be considered more of a stream than an inbox. That is, it needs to be more like Twitter and less like a to-do list.

On Twitter, it’s acceptable not to respond to every Tweet sent your way. With email, it’s considered rude not to respond. That’s a problem.

But there’s a problem with changing the mentality about email because most people don’t get as much email as Wilson or I do. So it just looks like we’re complaining for being popular or something. BUT the fact of the matter is that as more and more of the world spends more time online, more and more people will feel email overload. 

What isn’t a problem for you now, will eventually be a problem.

The other, smaller problems with email are the formalities and the speed at which online email services work.

"Dear", "Sincerely", "Hello" — we’ve transfered the centuries-old elements of formal letter-writing to email. And we’ve added some new nonsense: Subject Line!

Meanwhile, many of us facing email overload use online email services like Gmail. These services are great because they work anywhere thanks to the cloud and you can keep all your old emails (including those you missed) and search them for later reference! But these services are still Way. Too. Slow. 

There’s a point of nearly every morning where I want to put my fist through my monitor because it takes Gmail 30 seconds to load one email. It sounds silly, but imagine watching this happen for 80 emails a day. 

Meanwhile, native clients aren’t built to handle huge email loads. Oddly enough, my best email friend is often the iOS Mail app which is so much faster than Gmail — swipe-to-archive, swipe-to-archive, swipe-to-archive. But again, it’s not ideal if you need to search all your old email. 

Jesus. I’ve just written 500 words about email again. I fucking hate email. 

  1. hrywlms reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    This. A million times, this.
  2. jxnblk reblogged this from parislemon
  3. minnowzola reblogged this from parislemon
  4. rndmthngs reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    Intressant tanke på slutet.
  5. ohsakamoto reblogged this from parislemon and added:
    Hear, hear!!
  6. wagonmonster reblogged this from parislemon
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