The irony of email – signal and noise!

22 Oct

Ever since I took over the fancy title, my email volume (both work and personal) has increased by about 260%. I am averaging around 230 work emails and 45 personal emails every day. But here is the ironic part

I feel I am getting more signal than noise now.

I am a BIG supporter of the signal and noise theory. Most times, people mistake noise for signal and chose to react. I don’t think I am an expert at deciphering signal, but I pick my “battles”. most things for me, work wise and personally, are noise. I don’t ignore them, I just don’t react.

But surprisingly, this has changed lately. Atleast when it comes to email. When I was expecting it to be the other way round. My response to email ratio has increased and that’s not because I am compelled to respond. I genuinely see the benefit of doing so.

Customers with feedback
Employees with concerns or suggestions
Decisions to be made
Follow up (people must hate me for the amount of follow up emails I send – thanks to boomerang)
etc etc

Yes – The big difference now, is my time to response. And that’s by design. I take time to respond. I want to. Because suddenly (atleast in my head) my words weigh a lot more than they did. So I want to make sure that I do justice to the one writing in. Give him/her what they want and solve it right then and there, so that my followup decreases.

Nothing really has changed. In me or in the world. But somehow there is suddenly more signal than noise! Fascinating. Maybe not long-lived though.

4 Responses to The irony of email – signal and noise!



October 29th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

I hope you take my comments in the fun spirit I mean it to be in. else do delete it. and apologies beforehand.

I visit your blog for some thoughts about business, gyan as one would say. signal as what others would say.

this blog post was all noise.




January 20th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Fantastic ! Didn’t think of it like that (signal and noise) its a nice way – but I am as surprised as you are.

I don’t know about how long lived but maybe your interpretations of signal and noise will change? Maybe your definitions? :)



February 7th, 2012 at 11:04 am

I just love



March 19th, 2012 at 11:49 am

I would be keen to know why this was classified as noise,(considering you did not bother to reply).do you think your customers are noise creators

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