Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

A well-written email is more powerful than many people comprehend. We used to call them letters, and they were powerful then too.

You can change a person's or a group's mind about something, even after a decision appears to have been made. You can clinch a job, win a contract, stop a lawsuit, regain a friend, woo a lover, and change history itself with just a few words.

I'm not sure if people realize quite how powerful an email can be, directed at the right audience, at the right time, with the right message. And the flip-side is true too. A badly written, poorly directed, or mis-timed email can have terrible consequences. You can make or break a company with a single email.

Regarding this memo, it's a truly inspiring, and well-timed. I think this will be a Gettysburg moment for the CEO, and may mark a turning point for Nokia.




Very well said. It's a great memo, but its main effect is to lay the groundwork for a strategy change.

This means we're going to have to decide how we either build, catalyse or join an ecosystem [...] When we share the new strategy on February 11, it will be a huge effort to transform our company [...] The burning platform, upon which the man found himself, caused the man to shift his behaviour, and take a bold and brave step into an uncertain future.

This may be a turning point for Nokia, but in the end it will come down to just what this new strategy is and how effective it proves to be.


No matter how good the strategy looks on paper, it's useless unless everyone buys in. Its effectiveness will depend to a great extent on how well the new strategy, and more importantly the need for it, can be sold internally.


Well said. If writing is like talking on paper, then a good email is like looking someone in the eyes on paper. As someone who isn't always the most articulate in real life, I feel like some of my greatest accomplishments have been largely attributable to a handful of ridiculously well-written emails.


We used to call them letters

The path from the age of the letter to the age of the one-paragraph, stream-of-consciousness email may be a fairly easy-to-follow one, given the obvious way that technology first enabled, then gradually enforced a vastly lower expected interval between missives, but I'm still curious to see a critical investigation of this process in a McLuhan-esque sort of context. Anyone have any recommended reading?


> woo a lover

And suddenly I remember Valentine's Day is almost here.




Applications are open for YC Winter 2020

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: