Colin Nederkoorn's Blog

How to use Gmail to destroy your relationship with your investors, customers, service providers, and employees

To be more efficient, I started forwarding my work email running on Google Apps to my personal email at Gmail

Forwarded work to personal

This is pretty common. All of the devs at my previous company handled their email this way. Why log in to two places, right?

Then I received this email:

Check in email

And what struck me about the email was the language:

“Wanted to check in one more time”.

This person was someone who was introduced to me. At the time I wrote to them within an hour and I had never heard from them again. So this first response checking in one more time definitely seemed odd.

And then I decided to do something I hadn’t done in a couple of months.

I logged in to my Google Apps email, and I checked the spam box. There were a couple of pieces of spam in there, but there were also about 60 legitimate pieces of email.

My stomach was in knots

The spam folder contained missed emails from:

  • Our largest investor
  • Our lawyer
  • Several prospective investors
  • Important emails from a contractor
  • Several bills from a service provider

So what I realized is that I had made a fatal mistake by forwarding my email. Here’s why:

Horrible black hole

I had inadvertently created an email black hole.

A place I would never check to see if there was any legitimate email.

And why would I? Even when I accidentally logged in to my work Google Apps email, I would never notice the Spam box had a bunch of stuff in it.

But, I’m not trying to blame Google for this.

My point is that if you have relationships with people and you’re relying on Google Apps to forward email to your personal Gmail, you should be aware.

You might be destroying your relationships and not even know it.

Just wanted to spread this far and wide. I’ve got a lot of apologies to write this afternoon.

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