Several times in the last few months, I have been burned by my electronic interactions with fellow humans. Specifically, as a Soccer (and Swimming) Dad, I communicate with other parents via email – to me, it is better than using the phone for two reasons: one, I am never in a position to claim the Extrovert of the Room award at any place or time, and two, I never know what would be a good time to call another parent (he or she might be driving, in a meeting, eating out with family, yada yada yada).
So, I whip out my laptop (most of my communication happens at home, as I don’t typically use a smartphone on the road, though I possess one … finally) and type in an email. Maybe because I am at home and typing on a laptop with all of my fingers, or maybe that is just the way I am, my emails are typically one or two paragraphs long (maybe as long as this post – up to this point).
Invariably, I have received responses that are a sentence long … or shorter! A few times I have asked a question or two in my e-mail that has not been answered. I used to wonder whether it is my email, my face, my kid or what it is that resulted in what I perceived to be failure of communication. Needless to say, more often than not, that is the last email in the chain and I do not bother to respond.
This article makes it appear that I have not been alone at the receiving end of such responses (and at least, I ought not take it to heart as much as the person in this article should).
A close friend recently forwarded me an email exchange with a startup CEO. My friend is a casual investor in startups, and works in finance.
The CEO of one of his portfolio companies sent him (along with other members of a syndicate) an email asking for introductions to venture firms.
In an effort to be helpful, my friend offered to introduce the CEO to one of the top venture firms in the world.
The CEO’s response responded with a brief email containing only two words: “please do.”
After receiving the brief response, my friend asked me an honest question: “is this how everyone in tech behaves?”