Pierre-Olivier Carles

June 30, 2021

Why the email is the future of communication

I know, that's an unpopular opinion 🤷🏻‍♂️🙂

The email is probably one of the oldest valuable tools the Internet has brought to us.

Ray Tomlinson invented it in 1971, just one year after my parents invented me. I’m still looking for some causality between these 2 events.

Fast forward to 2021, the Internet has become a paramount monster that’s everywhere and good - or bad - for everything.

You’ve heard dozens of buzz words in the last decades, promising a better world, things like web, AR, IoT, VR, ML, data mining, blogs, messaging, blockchain, social media, marketplaces… and I don’t even go to the Mobile App side of the machine. Is it a better world?

But if you get over the hype, what is the ultimate and most reliable digital way to bring an information to another person?

The old but still good email.

I’ve started in the Internet in 1994, as a student of the thing, and 1996, as a young professional who wanted to "change the world".

I miss that time when everything was simpler and promising.

Trolls were monsters from the mythology and we didn’t know what cyberattacks were besides some sci-fi movies talking about hackers and nuclear arsenal. Conspiracy theories were a weirdo thing with a tiny echo among lost souls, and most of the news weren't fake for the sake of manipulating people.

This time is over now.


But luckily, even in 2021, emails are still a garden of iEden.

They are effective and private. They work fine. They carry the information from A to B, which is basically what you expect from communication.

There are pretty good chances that you are reading this post in your inbox, if you signed up for it. You don't need to look for it, it's delivered as soon as it is published.

The founders of Basecamp have launched Hey World last year and it works great, at least for the way I use it.

Substack or Ghost do a pretty good job too, offering an email platform to content creators. Recently, Twitter has acquired Revue to offer the same kind of services, harnessing the power of the communities people have built on their platform to increase your reach and email database. Very smart.

And Facebook has just launched Bulletin today, to do more or less the same.

That 50 years old technology is clearly still incredibly trendy, and "owning your audience" on a list more crucial than ever if you're a brand, personal or corporate.

I like the idea of getting back to a better more private and quieter Internet.

The digital age has brought us many blessings but also threats we don’t know how to deal with. As an - pretty concerning - example, you should read this article related to the problem that creates social media platforms’ algorithms and how it reshapes humanity much faster than ever before. Most of us can't really keep pace with everything going on, and the radical social and cultural changes that come with that.

It's eye-opening, and kind of scary.

Human beings need to express themselves, but I think we have taken that right too far with social media platforms, the tech savvy with different agendas manipulating the masses.

I know. I did it too.

We started by calling it Digital Marketing, and soon later, because we needed a sexier name to balance the guilt of inciting people to buy stuff they didn't need, we called it "Growth Hacking".

Being a growth hacker sounds more like one of the cool kids.

I'm a marketer who started marketing in the digital age, and who's considered pretty good at hacking growth... and I'm going to tell you something kind of awkward:

The day I stop being a marketer, I will delete all my social media accounts, most of the services I use online, all my email addresses and I will change my phone number for a brand new one, the public current one going to voice mail.
It doesn't mean I plan to go live in a cave.
I just want to be more in control.

Please note I haven't said "in full control" as I believe it is not possible anymore, unless you go live off the grid.

I'll keep my Twitter - the only true social media platform where conversations happen - and I will keep my @hey.com email, coming with that blog and newsletter you are currently reading. That's it.

One single and well managed email address as the ultimate communicator...

Simply reply to this email with your thoughts if you're in the mood.
I read all of the emails I receive at this address.

Peace 🤟🏻❤️


About Pierre-Olivier Carles

De mon parcours fait d’entreprises, d’investissements, de succès et d’erreurs, je tire des pensées personnelles que je partage ici, en français maintenant. Documenter ce voyage peut en inspirer d’autres, mais, à vrai dire, c’est d’abord à moi que cela apporte quelque chose.