Checking Email Isn't the First Thing Venture Capitalist David Beisel Does in the Morning


We all use email (except this guy). Most of us use it every day. Even if your job doesn’t come with other common technological denominators (Word processing software, phone, biometric iris scanners…), it probably does come with a yourname@company.com. Knowing this, I thought it would be interesting to look at how people in a variety of professions and stages in their career deal with email on the average day. Is it the driving force? Background noise? Somewhere in between? First up is David Beisel, a partner at seed-stage VC firm NextView Ventures. On his (excellent) blog GenuineVC, he writes about the culture and daily dealings of VCs and the startups that pitch them, including gems like “What a VC Order for Breakfast Says,” and “What the Founder's Email Address Says About Your Startup.” If you're actively/imminently/eventually seeking funding for your startup, you should definitely check it out.

Enough of the intro—let’s check out his email habits!

Email philosophy:  Like many people, David views his inbox as a todo list. He is always striving to reach inbox zero, though he isn’t sure he’ll ever get there.

Tools:

  • Email service: Gmail (work and personal)
  • Email interface—desktop: Gmail web client (keeps work and personal open in different tabs)
  • Email interface—phone: Native Gmail app for Android
  • Phone: Droid Incredible
  • Third party apps/tools: FollowUp.CC, which he uses to set future reminders

Activity:

  • Work Emails received 07/25/12: ~50-75. Some of these are graymail, but he’s very proactive about unsubscribing to anything he doesn’t regularly open.
  • Work emails sent 07/25/12: 35
  • Incoming email peak/nadir: None. Email flow is constant during weekdays. Entrepreneurs tend to be up late working, and since some of Next View’s portfolio companies are on the west coast, David often gets emails at 4am EST.
  • Desktop vs phone: He checks and responds to the majority of his emails from the desktop. His phone is more of a triaging tool: he uses it to read and archive or leave for later.
  • First checked email: 6am, on his phone with one hand while eating breakfast (presumably with the other). He has a baby, so checking email is not the first thing he does in the morning.
  • Morning: Was at his desk, and had email open on his desktop throughout
  • Afternoon: Was out at meetings, and checked email on his phone in between meetings.
  • Evening: Checked email on laptop and phone.
  • Last checked email: Between 8:30-9pm. There is a wider window in the evenings between when he last checks email and when he goes to bed.
  • Was Tuesday a typical day: Yes
  • Weekend use: Unless he’s putting together a deal, he doesn’t spend much time on email during the weekends.
  • Vacation use: Sporadic.
  • Overload alter: yellow

Does David's day in email look like yours? Tell me how/how not in the comments!

 [Photo credit: NextView Ventures]

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