Email, Twitter, Blog

I exchanged emails today with someone who wanted to connect with me on LinkedIn.

I told him that “I don’t do LinkedIn.”

I have a profile there and I use it regularly as a resume database to check out people. I keep a profile there so others can do the same.

But beyond that, I don’t do LinkedIn.

So to everyone who is sending me messages via LinkedIn, please know that I am not reading them. I suspect that is obvious to anyone who has tried that approach more than a few times.

The same is true of many social platforms. I have profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and a bunch more social platforms. But I don’t use them.

For me, the trifecta is email, twitter, and this blog.

That is a pretty large surface area via which folks can connect with me.

Email is hit or miss. I get hundreds of emails into my “Important” inbox on Gmail and hundreds more than don’t get into “Important” and thus don’t get read by me. Though I try to read every message and actually do respond to hundreds every day, I don’t get to all of my email.

I am better with Twitter. I read every notification that I get and respond to many.

And this blog is yet another place people can reach me.

I understand that it is frustrating to reach me and that I can be unresponsive.

But if you stick to email, twitter, and this blog, you have the best chance of getting a response from me.


Comments (Archived):

  1. JLM

    .These are the kind of pithy, informative, educational blog posts which the community lives for. Maybe not.You deserve a Snow Day or two.Keeping it real.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. fredwilson

      i wrote this because of an email exchange with a reader who wondered why i didn’t explain that i don’t do would you suggest i get this info out there ?

      1. Brendan Riordan

        Fred, This was exactly the right way to get this info out there. I am someone who just recently sent you a pitch via email for an IoT Anesthesia needle platform that I think might fit Thesis 3.0. I knew full well it was highly unlikely that you would have a chance to review it given the high volume of e-mail you receive. I am not on Twitter and although I am a subscriber It had not occurred to me to try to reach you through the blog. I am only an N of 1 trial, but for me this was the right way to get the info out there.

      2. JLM

        .I think you did perfect, Fred. Perfect. Absolutely perfect.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        You could also put it in your LinkedIn headline (“I don’t read InMail.”)

      4. BillMcNeely

        Not everybody has earned space in your email ( companies invested in, past founders mentees) some folks rate a tweet response or a blog response and those can be done quickly and gives more folks a charge and insight that do more for them than you 🙂

      5. K_Berger

        If you want to make this crystal clear for anyone trying to contact you, maybe put it on your About page.You already have a contact link that creates an email, maybe replace with the best ways to reach you and your disclaimer/apology about not getting back to people.If people don’t find it there, they really aren’t trying hard enough to reach you.

      6. sigmaalgebra

        Somehow I suspect that you don’t miss many deals you would be really interest in!!!

  2. JimHirshfield

    Oh shit, so you didn’t get my fax?

    1. Tom Labus

      Carrier pigeon would be great!!

      1. Pointsandfigures

        I send telegrams or mailgrams

  3. Pete Griffiths

    Hundreds of emails sounds horrendous.I appreciate that this is a key element of deal origination but can’t a smart PA do a first pass?Perhaps one already does, in which case to still answer hundreds is daunting indeed.

  4. Thomas Harrison

    Is it acceptable to send multiple cold emails, and if so, at what point does it become rude or too much? I realize everyone may have a different viewpoint, but I find that the line between being perceived as “determined” as opposed to “annoying” is extremely thin.

    1. JLM

      .How bad do you need the money?I used to think of money like oxygen or water.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Thomas Harrison

        I don’t send emails asking for money. I email when I think I can provide value and hopefully receive value in return, regardless of whether money enters the conversation. That being said, some non-monetary forms of value can be just as critical as money and viewing them as oxygen certainly could help.

        1. JLM

          .I feel the need for a bit of oxygen. I am drowning in your virtue. Sorry.I like your card idea. Good luck. That is a great idea.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Thomas Harrison

            Not at all. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think that certain actions would hopefully lead to investment, but I don’t think asking for money is the most effective way to get it.Thanks, I appreciate it!

    2. falicon

      Put less in each email…eventually you’ll get through the noise (or be out of “important” things to say anyway).

    3. LE

      Is it acceptable to send multiple cold emailsLet’s look at what you asked. You said ‘acceptable’. What do you mean? If you are sending multiple emails the only question is over what time period (generally at least). So you have to allow a certain amount of time to elapse before you try again. If you don’t then it won’t be ‘acceptable’ and you might kill any chance of getting a reaction that you might have gotten if had waited a bit.That said honestly who cares what the recipient thinks other than what I said above (which I would say covers 95% of possibilities and not outliers). The person is not going to wake up (if they are busy) 5 weeks or 7 months later and go through and write back to you. That is not going to happen. They have already decided they don’t want what you have. In that case it’s good if you keep writing and annoying them. Why? Because it’s like the person who sits at home on Saturday night and doesn’t go to a bar because ‘there is little chance that I will meeting someone or I might annoy them if they don’t want me’. That is true. But who cares? Because you know what there is less chance of happening? Someone coming through your roof ‘hi I am here!’ or knocking on your door ‘hey I’m here let’s date!!!’. Get it? There is no downside with multiple attempts in this context.

      1. Thomas Harrison

        Love this! Thanks for your response!

      2. sigmaalgebra

        In some 19th Century North East garden club norms, what you are suggesting might have been considered “pushy”!!!Right:But who cares?

    4. Donna Brewington White

      I think about this a lot since I am in a profession (recruiting) that involves sending massive amounts of email. It helps if you have an app that lets you know if the email has been opened because then you know how to approach the follow-up attempts. To know this, we use MixMax for prospective candidates and for client development emails, we use a feature that comes with the Nimble CRM. Both are inexpensive and there may be a freemium version.Sometimes on the 3rd or 4th try, the person will respond “This is the first email I have seen from you.”A voicemail letting the person know that I sent an email increases the response rate. A compelling (but not gimicky) subject line is also helpful.Sometimes on the 3rd try, I acknowledge in the email or subject line that I am risking being a pest. Received good humored responses to the subject line “Persistent or Pest?” We have had success using modifiers in the subject line such as “Trying again…” “3rd Try” “Last try…” No exclamation points or all caps. :)I know that recruiting is it’s own thing and I am propelled by the fact that I am presenting someone with a great opportunity. If I am trying to develop a client or ask for a referral, I will not reach out more than twice consecutively if I know the person has read the email, or three if they have not opened.(Email is just one of our outreach methods but we are heavily reliant upon it.)Good luck!

      1. PhilipSugar

        I would say this. It is dependent on how specific the email is. If it is very specific: “Donna I follow and like your comments on AVC, I know you really work on recruiting, are you interested in this specific opportunity” Three times is fine.If it is are you interested in generic opportunity, that I can tell you are spamming me? Permanent Block.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Good advice.I did once receive a response from a prospective client with the words “unsuscribe” after sending a heartfelt intro. The CEO of a well-funded startup that ended up not making it.Out of 100s of business development emails that is the only negative response I have received. Unless lack of response is perceived as negative.Early in my career, I was doing my first search for a startup CEO and reached out to some of the leading tech CEOs of the time for referrals. I had to work up the nerve to do so and took a deep breath each time I pushed send. Almost every one of them responded kindly whether or not they offered a referral. I was quite shocked by that. We’re talking real heavy hitters. That was a different era.

    5. sigmaalgebra

      There’s a joke in the VC community that they use filters and that one of their best filters is for an entrepreneur so dumb they send “cold emails”. “Multiple cold emails”? Even dumber!With such such VC jokes, “cold” contacts are supposed to be signs of entrepreneurial, especially marketing, incompetence! Or, in Silicon Valley, any smart startup founder would know the same people the VC knows and, thus, get a “warm introduction”!!! And on Sand Hill Road, a “cold contact” is “from over the transom”, and there are pejoritive, scatelogical, excretorial hints there! If they think of a startup founder in such terms before writing a check, what treatment can the founder expect after a check!!!Uh, for most Silicon Valley VCs and well qualified startup founders, they won’t know the same people, in particular the founder wouldn’t want to know the unwashed, self-taught, inarticulate, C++ hackers and sleazy marketing bums the VCs know!!!More broadly, this “I’m swamped with deals” and “Don’t contact us. We’ll contact you.” sounds like, say, an initial negotiating tactic!!!Gee, when I was in high school and had the nerve to “cold” call a girl I saw in class at school and she said she was “busy” the next Saturday and each future Saturday, I concluded she was posturing, “stuck up”, an apprentice gold digger, or just nasty. Eventually I learned that I would get a much better response from nearly any girl at least two years younger than me and in at least the sixth grade! Boys, them’s da “rules”: It ain’t you or the car you have or even don’t have. Instead, in the sixth grade they start to get really interested in boys, and then they are interested in boys 2+ years older. With those two criteria met, the next big criterion is just that you be male! By the time they are 15, they can be fully interested in males nearly twice their age, e.g., Lady Di, and she actually married the guy, even though he was looking for the mother he never had instead of a wife!Lesson: People tend to pursue their own interests that they have for their own reasons, and that they dump on lots of people doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you. Instead, you still have your full chances, opportunities, etc. to achieve big things!!Besides, any technically competent information technology entrepreneur easily has a strong position to look down on and dump on nearly every VC in Silicon Valley! Look at their bios! Williams College history majors, lawyer or MBA educations, marketing experience!! So, these guys can’t write code! Dump them back! They can’t serve as even an adjunct prof in a STEM department. They don’t qualify for a tenure track position at a good research university. They have published zero peer-reviewed papers of original research. They could never be hired as a problem sponsor at NSF, NIH, ONR, or DARPA.

  5. awaldstein

    Nor do I Fred.But for communities outside of tech and work –art, wine, travel, conservation, animal rights charities–except for the ones I’m a member, Facebook and Instagram are where they live.

    1. jason wright

      “Facebook and Instagram are where they live”sad state of affairs. the web is dead.

    2. Alex Wolf

      I would like to streamline the presence of Na2ure to Instagram and off Facebook – but that takes informing people and maybe I loose some. Which is suboptimal since my personal followers on FB were responsive on FB and it also drove sales. And I don’t want as heavy a personal traffic on IG – I like a lighter feed. I rediscovered Twitter for na2ure since all the academic crowd I follow live there with studies and papers and conferences. That has been fun. Any thoughts on ditching FB for those groups (wine, animals)? Would they ever live anywhere else? And is the newsletter dead?

      1. awaldstein

        Opt in newsletter has and is a powerful tool.Years ago I wrote a post that was crazy popular and still true about the very thing you are talking about:You can’t airlift community…This strategy first tactics last on this question and you will find the answer.

        1. Alex Wolf

          Yes Arnold, I remember the post clearly, and have thought about the non-transferring behavior. Which is why I asked you for an update of sorts on newsletters – do you see people still reading them?I have news to send out and not wanting to either spam people or have them loose the news, and hoping not to have to do a Circus dance across platforms to deliver the news.

          1. awaldstein

            Go to where your audience is and worry not about the corner cases.Opt in newsletters are asking for it. More inchoate communities cross channels will appreciate bumping into the news.This is your personal as well as your professional brand in many ways so less to be concerned about imo.

  6. Vinish Garg

    Now the question is, how will people know about your preferred response channels if they miss this post. This is a kind of *sticky post* though I do not like sticky posts. So, you can add a note on your LinkedIn profile description as a reference to this post.Just as I have added a post URL in my LinkedIn profile, on LinkedIn etiquette:…If they still send you a LinkedIn message, that is real stupid because now you have clearly mentioned in your LinkedIn profile.

  7. Jim Haughwout

    Me too

  8. Dave Murrow

    Thanks! This underscores the more important point to use the preferred platforms of the prospects you’re pitching. I use Instagram for some people, email for others, Snapchat for others, etc….

  9. jason wright

    there has to be a better way.just publish your cell number and be done with this ‘imperfecta’.

    1. Pointsandfigures


      1. jason wright


    2. Lawrence Brass

      Ye olde phone book!

  10. LE

    I have a profile there and I use it regularly as a resume database to check out people. I keep a profile there so others can do the same.Linkedin used to be good by allowing you to get a glimpse of someone without logging in. Now because they sell via ‘who’s looking at your profile’ (premium) you need a fake identity setup so that the person you are looking at doesn’t know (if they subscribe to that feature and pay for it) that you have viewed their profile.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      In settings, under “privacy” you can opt for someone not to see your identity when you view their profile. Under: How others see your LinkedIn activityThey really should pay me.

      1. LE

        Aha. But in order to be able to see who stalks you you need to upgrade to premium otherwise you lose the ability to see who is looking at your profile (in free mode where you sometimes can see). So they sell this as a way to prevent you from operating in stealth (the way I read it and by the way thanks for pointing this out).So you can’t both see who is looking at you (in free mode) and prevent others from seeing you have viewed their profile unless you pay extra.They really should pay me.No they don’t want you to know this because they want to sell the extra service and that is why it’s not super obviously even after you pointed it out I had a hard time finding it! https://uploads.disquscdn.c

        1. Donna Brewington White

          They really should pay me.I give out a lot of LinkedIn advice. I am both fan and critic.Thanks for the clarification that the privacy feature I mentioned is only part of a premium account. I have been a premium user for so long that I forget there is a free version.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            Linked in: People give up their privacy, and Linkedin makes money. I never did much with Linked in, and finally I did all the back and forth, mud wrestling, letter writing, etc. to get OFF of Linkedin.On public, social media, I don’t use my real name. “My name is for my friends, and none of my friends is a stranger” on public, social media.

          2. PhilipSugar

            Use my name and reach out to Jeff Wiener. Ask him if in his pledge book we ever figured out if he was a Wiener or a Whiner, or a Whining Wiener.

  11. Ronnie Rendel

    Speaking of email, I spend 80% of my work day communicating in email conversations. 100% of that can and will be automated very shortly.

  12. george

    That is a nice spread you’ve developed, and appears that you’re just about active daily on each medium. I believe, these choices/forces shape one’s brand. In part, I love reading your blog and Twitter postings because you strike a great balance delivering your message (long and short form) using social media,

  13. Jan Schultink

    And now: messenger apps (WhatsApp in Israel) that people use for business1) I switched of the check marks that allow people to see whether you read something2) I have a WhatsApp window open on my desktop next to the gmail one, which I treat pretty much the same in terms of response timePersonal: instant Whatsapp response via mobileWork: Whatsapp = email in terms of responsesInteresting details: It is actually easier now to send big files (presentations, videos) via WhatsApp than email.WhatsApp groups for different contexts (holiday, home refurbishment, work projects, dinner party) actually seem to work, where all other efforts failed for me so far

  14. Dayngr

    That’s an awesome tip! Kind of you to share it with us.

  15. Andu @

    I’ve always seen LinkedIn as a public resume of sorts, so actually using it to communicate with people instead of email is just dumb. LinkedIn is not a good email tool, nor is it a good chat tool.I get that for convenience and not knowing how to reach the other party, it can be used as an alternative. But it’s for the same reason I refuse any “connection requests” as spam. Because it’s unsolicited and it is spam.People should have the capacity to start a conversation over Twitter, by knowing you from this blog, and then raise your interest as to allow them to reach your email (by sharing it on Twitter DM). Which is where conversation happens before phone calls and meetings.

  16. christy

    Excellent and professional investigative services. I hired Mr prohacker2177@gmail comm through his Whatsapp number +1 6282037264 , for a very private and difficult matter of hacking my husband’s phone, and he far exceeded my expectations. He helped me get the info( Whatsapp, Facebook, text messages, call logs etc ) I needed faster and cheaper than I had imagined. The first time we spoke, we had a very long phone consultation in which he gave me all my options that he could think of to resolve my case, and he even recommended I try other options before hiring him, which shows that he is honest. I decided to hire him and I am glad I did. He is a fantastic investigator and a great person and if you have a dishonest partner don’t hesitate to send him a mail.

  17. Guy Lepage

    For the past 4 years, Twitter has oddly become my tool of choice for business messaging. Seems to work well. I have only had one individual tell me they don’t respond to their Twitter DM’s.

  18. Donna Brewington White

    But… nvm

  19. cavepainting

    But… why are you on the blog of someone who you perceive as such?