I have a confession; I’m not even close to inbox zero.
Back when I was a manager at Adobe, I could regularly get to Inbox Zero. Now I’m lucky to get there once a year.
I think the issue is that in a “normal” business context, emails that don’t get answered “expire”. By expire I mean they take care of themselves by becoming obsolete or the sender finds the answer through another route.
But in venture, many of my inbounds have a shelf life of months. People will be fundraising for a while and so they still want to talk. Add to that the asymmetry of an email from a founder.
While the founder has spent tons of time on the deck, they will send it to several investors. Since I’ve raised money in the past, I am very sensitive to Founders time and effort, so I try to give plans a fair reading. But that takes a lot more time than their email cover letter.
Once I’ve read the plan, I try to provide feedback. All in all, a plan that came over the transom can take 30 minutes to an hour of my time. You might argue that I should read it faster, but I’m trying to provide considerate feedback.
I’ll leave it up to the reader to estimate the number of plans we get at Gotham.
What does this mean?
It means I have the best of intentions when it comes to email, but also that I regularly fall behind.
Just know that when I don’t reply I’m really not trying to be rude, I’m likely just swamped.