Photo by geralt on Pixabay

For those of you who don’t remember, I am an ancient who started using in the 1970s.

Our screen had exactly one non-black color. One (fixed width) . 80 characters. 24 lines.  No mice. No window system. No detachable keyboard.

It was then common to respond to an email by indenting the received email by four spaces (or with a combination of greater than signs (>) and space) and typing your reply starting at the left margin directly below the portion you were replying to. You would leave blank lines above and below your response.

white printer paper with heart shaped and star shaped stones 
Photo by Content Pixie on Unsplash

It looks like this

They originally said

I replied to them

They replied to me

I am replying now

or this

>>> They originally said

>> I replied to them

> They replied to me

I am replying now

To me, it really felt like a conversation. When eventually we got colors and fonts, it looked more like this

>>> They originally said

>> I replied to them

> They replied to me

I am replying now

To me, the blank line along with either and indents or carrot is really important. When I see

I said the first thing. They responded to the first thing perhaps it is a really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really long response.

In the second things I said, I was extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra, extra verbose. They responded to the second thing.

At this point, I feel really lost. If they have chosen colors badly (which they often do), I can’t even tell what is theirs and what is mine. Regardless, I have no idea what to do with my next-level response short of reformatting the entire message first.

persons left hand with yellow paint 
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I hate it. To state that very clearly.  Very, very, very clearly. To avoid even the small possibility of being misunderstood.

I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

Yup, I really don’t like it. Not one bit. Not one tiny bit. Not one itty bitty teensy weensy little bit.

As a result, I don’t respond quickly or happily. Or perhaps at all. Whatever favor they’ve asked for is less likely to be granted because handling this has taken up all the time that I would have spent granting the favor.

Perhaps it is time to hire a virtual assistant, or write a script, or ask someone to write me a script to do this reformatting? Perhaps I should ask the next person who sends me an email like that to write me that script or hire me that assistant before I read their email and try to grant their favor.

Yes, a dinosaur can dream. Hopefully not of meteorites, but rather dream of a couple of lines of code that I can somehow use in superhuman or at least a Gmail browser window. But until then, I guess it is just .

Written by Russell Brand

Entrepreneur in residence at Founder Institute, he has mentored, performed due diligence on and invested in numerous early stage companies. Hundreds of these early stage companies have described Russell’s insights and advice as the most useful thing in the history of their companies. He has always had an inborn ability to find more valuable uses of new ideas and faster ways to achieve results.

blue and white exit signage mounted on brown brick wall 

Unsubscribing Difficulties

text 

The Non-Financial Investor