The Dropoff

This is a pretty niche situation but it happened to me the other day it felt weird and I keep thinking about it, so I figured I’d write it down.

What happened is that I received a very nice email from someone I admire. They knew who I was and flattered me a little. They also wanted something though, they were in beta of a thing they were building and wanted feedback. It was asked for very well with an easy escape hatch for doing nothing at all, which I respect. All in all, a prime example of why I think email is great.

I took a little time to respond (thanks for the async expectations, email!) and wrote back what I hoped was an equally thoughtful, and hopefully helpful, response.

But then nothing.

To be fair, there were no action items. No lingering questions. No big obvious reason that another reply was needed.

It just felt off. Like there is a certain please-thankyou-yourewelcome cadence to communication that you sometimes get to skip with acquaintances, but not with someone you’re communicating with for the first time.

What does it matter? Well, did they get what they wanted out of it? Perhaps yes: thoughts, feedback, keeping the new thing on one more person’s mind. Perhaps no: I’m left with an uneasy, unresolved feeling that isn’t entirely pleasant, that I now associate directly with them. It’s likely to affect my dealings with them in the future. There is some possibility they were better off not emailing me at all.

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