If you caught the promo reel for the TechStars reality show, you know Mark Suster isn’t afraid of a little crushing honesty now and again. On Both Sides of the Table, he offers some advice to “us sarcastic bastards who have slitting tongues” about how to avoid what he calls “BSAK errors” (i.e. “between seat and keyboard”).
As anyone who’s ever wished Gmail would extend their unsend button time limit knows, the ultimate BSAK error is the flaming email. When fiery flames on the side of your face meets the send button. His suggestion? Go ahead and write it out, just send it to someone else.
When I had a startup I had a method for avoiding these BSAK errors. I would write the email and be as scathing as I wanted to be. I would then send them to my business partner, Stuart Lander, so that somebody could at least read my witty prose. I would always ask, “Do you think I ought to send this?” But I didn’t really need to ask. I knew that the fact that I was sending it to Stuart meant it was likely a bad idea.
If he saved any of them it would be quite good for a laugh now, I’m sure.
Truthfully, it’s a great idea to write it if you can be disciplined and not send it. It’s cathartic. Take your most trusted colleague and have them be the recipient. Or your boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, whatever. Only people you trust. It makes for a good laugh.
Is it a good thing or a bad thing that this is already common practice at Betabeat?