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Opinion Editorials

Why a well known venture capitalist calls email an inferior form of communication

We all use email every day, some of us rely on it for our every move. But there is a growing murmur in the industry that is calling for its demise – but why!?

But we love you, email!

Communication is the key to any relationship, whether it’s a business partnership or a friendship. Think about how you talk to your friends and family. Specifically, those that might not live close to you. What medium do you use to connect? I would wager that you use Facebook chat, Skype, WhatsApp, text, or phone. Most of us wouldn’t think about using email. Why is that?

John Henderson, a venture capitalist with White Star Capital, believes email is an inferior form of communication. “Email sucks for building a relationship.” He has a WhatsApp group where he regularly discusses work and non-work related things with one of the founders of an investment.

It started out as a non-work thing, but it grew into a way to bring them together. Questions that might seem more “formal” in email format become easier to answer in the app.

So why should you listen to Henderson?

For those who haven’t heard of him, he was the COO of Summly. He supports the boards of multiple companies of White Star, Cryex, Glow Media, and Hole19. His education includes an MBA from London Business School, a Bachelor of Laws from University of Sydney, and a Bachelor in Science. He’s no stranger to entrepreneurship, having formed his own companies after college, but he’s also worked in many international brands.

Email can seem pretentious. The chat forum removes formality from the equation. Henderson says that “there is a direct correlation between my frequency of interaction and the amount I’m able to help.” The more he communicates with the company, the more he can provide direction.

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I find his statements to be accurate

I freelance for a couple of different companies. One of them sends out a weekly email with information that everyone needs, but their management team also set up a Facebook group where we can just chat about anything. A lot of times, the group relates to business information where we share links or grammar stuff. Other times, we share pictures of pets. It’s nice to have the connection to others even though we’re located across the United States. I like all the companies I write for, but I know more about this team.

There are times when email may be the better way to communicate. But when you’re building a relationship, chat can be a great medium to include. Both parties don’t necessarily need to be available at the same time, but you can still get those little details that you might miss in an email. Think about how you communicate with your stakeholders. Whether it’s employees, vendors, or your backers, if you want to build teamwork, you may need to find a new platform.


Dawn Brotherton is a Sr. Staff Writer at The American Genius with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Oklahoma. She is an experienced business writer with over 10 years of experience in SEO and content creation. Since 2017, she has earned $60K+ in grant writing for a local community center, which assists disadvantaged adults in the area.

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