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Advice for General Powell -- marshal your email carefully

email.jpgJohn Doerr, one of the leading partners at venture firm Kleiner Perkins, told us Tuesday that former secretary of state Colin Powell "is the fastest responder on email of anyone we‚ve been working with."

They've been corresponding over the past few weeks, since Powell agreed to join Kleiner.

This reminded us of a recent email Kleiner Perkins mistakenly sent us, an event that summarizes the possible perils of email, and one the General might contemplate now that he's rejoined the business world -- these days abuzz with email correspondence.

Not long ago, Bill Joy, another relatively new partner at Kleiner Perkins, accidentally sent us (Matt) an email, providing us with Joy's due diligence on a company Kleiner was looking at. He'd obviously meant to send it to Matt Murphy, a partner at the fund whose name in Joy's contacts book is probably just below "Matt Marshall." We at SiliconBeat welcome the dealflow. We won't share any of the content Joy imparted, but what we can say is that Joy is at the top of his game. We were wondering how active the co-founder of Sun Microsystems would be these days, but the email -- full of insightful comments, deep analysis, and written in crisp, elegant prose -- made us realize Joy is going to be the real stuff for Kleiner.

Powell, too, confirmed that he's an avid user of email. "We have wifi in the house," he told us in the interview for this earlier story. "I live on email. Email and the Internet have essentially eliminated time and space as barriers to communication. In my days as Secretary of State, when I wanted to speak with someone in China or Europe, I always had to be sensitive to the time zone. No more!"

General, we welcome correspondence from Kleiner's newest "strategic" limited partner. Just make sure you don't send the info to anyone else!


so, would using fake names/email aliases similiar to those of VIPs be something akin to alias-squatting? Like, I get into your email address book via some harmless exchange representing myself as Bob Gatos, hoping that one day you mistakingly send me an email intended for Bill Gates?

Hunter Walk on July 14, 2005 5:24 PM
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Well, they'd have to wait a long time for those email slips, and when slips happen, more often that not they're pretty innocuous. Ironically, I made the very mistake myself today when I was sending an email to Tony Perkins, to follow up on an interview I had with him in the Mercury News today. I sent it by a mistake to Tom Perkins, who is a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the very firm we were poking a little fun at about Bill Joy's stray email. But Tom simply got a note from me thanking Tony for participating in the Q&A and a vague request to follow up on something -- hardly making his day.

Matt Marshall on July 17, 2005 7:49 PM
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