You may know by now, that one of the thins I do is pro-bono work advising small businesses and early-stage startups. I do this through an association whose sole purpose is this, and all their services are provided by volunteers, just like myself.
In that peer group though, it is more common to find the seasoned, retired small business owner, or non-technical professionals with experience in other industries. This mix lends itself to have members that cannot be precisely considered “power users”.
Recently, they decided to send out a survey on how to address the low rate of email opens when contacting clients.
The survey resulted in dozens of volunteers, hitting “Reply All” to voice their opinion, and then quickly asking to be removed from the chain, while they, themselves were continuing to hit “Reply All”.
It has been a long time since I have been in one of these, and I just couldn’t believe that seasoned professional would behave this way, replying to all, expressing their frustration, demanding to be taken “off the list” and just making the whole situation more painful for everybody while doing so.
This is how price wars work. The more you try to win, the more pain everyone takes.
Be aware when your engagement just makes things worse.