Email is such a blunt tool.
Value creation between people comes from conversing. Email is rubbish at conversation. Blunt.
Value creation in business is increasingly about collaboration. Email is rubbish at collaboration. Blunt.
In a connected world value comes from the seamless flow of ideas. Email is far from seamless. Blunt.
With a surfeit of information, it is search and aggregation that add value. Difficult, if not impossible on email. Blunt.
Email does not do community well. Blunt.
At it's worst email hampers productivity, effective time management, prioritisation. When Russell wrote about how distraction is not always a bad thing, he pointed at a great piece in The Guardian which quotes Dr Tom Stafford from the University of Sheffield: "Both slot machines and email follow something called a 'variable interval reinforcement schedule' which has been established as the way to train in the strongest habits." Rather than reward an action every time, the theory goes, rewarding it only sometimes, and not in a predictable way, makes it disturbingly addictive. A study by Dr Thomas Jackson of Loughborough University found that people tend to respond to email as it arrives, taking an average of only one minute and 44 seconds to act upon a new email notification. 70% of emails got a reaction within six seconds. Email is a distraction, but rarely of a good kind.
In the same Guardian article Roo Reynolds says: "I use other tools, where people are more comfortable hanging out". Comfortable. It's a good word. One of the advantages that Twitter has over Facebook is that it allows for a less simplified form of relationship symmetry. Relationships take many forms. Services which are opt-in, that give more flexibility to choose who can contact you, that better reflect the context of our connections, will win.
Email. Blunt. That is all.