There’s been a lot of discussion lately about the proper use of email since the Sony – North Korea incident. In fact, Fred Wilson and one of our co-investors Gotham Gal got wrapped into the drama and Fred shared some great advice on limiting what you put in email.
I’ve been spending the last several years trying to examine how I interact with email and determine how this impacts my relationships, potential liability and in general, my communication skills.
It’s important to note that from my West Point and military background, it’s been ingrained that that you should always properly follow up with people whether that’s returning phone calls or emails.
I try to bring the same level of discipline to my work life. While at AOL, I found it invaluable to always send a note and tell someone how nice it was to meet them. This has served me extremely well and enabled me to build a very strong network of people in media and tech – many of whom have ascended to C-level positions.
While these tools help unclutter my inbox, I still try to invest the time into responding to entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, I know how tiresome fundraising can be so I try to exercise mutual respect and respond. Sometimes the inbound email doesn’t make it through SaneBox, so if I don’t respond, I might not have seen the email.
I think it’s important to touch on a point that Fred made in his post, which is that everyone should consider their emails as public information. Whether you get hacked or not, if you limit what you write in email, you will be thankful in the long run. I find this to be especially true when dealing with a legal matter, HR or any sensitive subject. In most cases, its better to just pick up the phone.