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I Tried Emailing Like a CEO (buzzfeednews.com)
53 points by msh 5 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 18 comments





When people say that there is a difference between Buzzfeed and Buzzfeed News, I’ll point them to this article to prove that there’s isn’t.

This article was an explicit humor piece and it was actually funny.

"I emailed Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and star of TV’s Shark Tank, because he is known for responding right away to anyone who emails him, and because now I can give this story the headline, “Mark Cuban’s Advice About Email” for LinkedIn. I wanted to know, did you always email this way, or did you only start once you became the boss? His answer (over email): “Yes.”"


Well, it’s an article, not a quiz-covered listicle with twelve exclamation points.

It's also not titled "One weird trick about email"

Seems like an anti-anxiety solution to me. Anxiety is what keeps us from answering email right away, not being too busy. Knowing you won't put more than ten seconds into it, that it's boilerplate, makes it much easier.

This. She seems to think email has to follow a strict format when in reality it's just a message.

"Dear Sir stroke Madam, I am writing to inform you of a fire that has broken out on the premises of 123 Carrendon Road--no, that's too formal. Dear Sir stroke Madam, FIRE! Exclamation mark..."

She failed right at the outset. If she wanted to really email like a CEO, her response to all of those email pitches would have simply been, "pass".

The problem with this approach for me is that, not being a CEO, much of my email requires additional action other than simply replying to the email. E.g. Please review this 30 page contract or proposal.

Once I start down that route, the emails start to pile up, and tasks arriving via email need to be managed more effectively.


People this with problem I feel like are avoiding the core problem. You can schedule this task and put it on your calendar and let the person know. Or if you don't have time, let them know. If you are consistently over-allocated you need to make choices to free up your time, ask for help, hire people, reduce scope of work, etc.

in a perfect world this would be correct. when I was younger and more rational I was brief in emails out of respect for the reader's time ( "had I more time a shorter letter would have been written") . it did me a disservice.

but in reality this only works with those of whom you have a prior relationship. CEOs can do this because (a) they have power over you and (b) you have an image of them that a short email will not tarnish.

but for you the plebian, people will judge you based on whatever perceptions they have, and for 90% of your peers it will be a curt email.


The real boss move is to not care about reaching inbox zero, or missing something important. Trying to get to inbox 0 or to be efficient is still kind of servile.

Meh, if I miss something you deal with it. BOSS.


http://two.sentenc.es/ conveys a similar idea but did so long before this story, and more succinctly:

"Treat all email responses like SMS text messages, using a set number of letters per response. Since it’s too hard to count letters, we count sentences instead."


I dunno about everyone else, but 90% of my email is things like automated alerts, team mailing lists, etc.

I reply to maybe 1% of my actual email, and I can't filter it for the once in a never that its THE WORLD IS ENDING, and they need a response.


If they world is burning, someone better tag me somewhere on slack or it will be easily missed.

This article is from 2017 and I’m sure was on HN before.

I never thought of this before. I guess the tl;dr is, in email replies, less words is better.

"fewer words are better"



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