I got an email today with a BOMBSHELL but had no idea where the BOMB was.

Me, earlier today.

I got an email today from the company that used to host Brevity Bowl. They’re closing down.

But I didn’t realize that until I spent some time hopping back and forth among paragraphs, questioning the meaning of whole sentences, and then cursing them for BURYING THE WHOLE POINT OF THE EMAIL somewhere in the middle.

But I’ll just focus on the opening paragraph. Here it is:

In January of this year, Company assumed ownership of XYZ (formerly ABC). Our objective with the acquisition was to clean-up infrastructure inefficiencies, introduce a new monetization path in the public cloud and bring the product back to a healthy baseline before focusing again on growth in the public cloud and enterprise platforms. As is often the case with SaaS businesses, our ability to overcome the risk inherent in the product would hinge out the outcome of a few big-bets made in mid-to-late 2016 as we were preparing to assume ownership.

Assuming you got through that wall of text, why does the company assume I care about its business strategy?

And if the company does want to discuss its business strategy, it should at least make it intelligible:

As is often the case with SaaS businesses, our ability to overcome the risk inherent in the product would hinge out the outcome of a few big-bets made in mid-to-late 2016 as we were preparing to assume ownership.

LOL. What does that even mean?

So, after reading the first paragraph of this email, this is where I stood:

  • confused about why this company emailed me (the subject was useless too)…but weakly engaged because it’s ‘important’
  • losing my attention in the first paragraph, because company strategy is irrelevant to me
  • irritating me because I can’t even understand the poorly-conveyed elements of your strategy

Then when I finally figure out what you’re trying to say, I’m EXTRA PISSED OFF because it’s BAD NEWS. Because the company closing means more work for me.

I already spent all my patience in reading your terrible message…now I have to spend even more patience handling the result of your failed business strategy?

It made me a bit angry.

Realize this anger was sparked solely by that pathetic email. Practically, the company is actually handling the situation reasonably well.

But the best business strategy in the world can’t avoid pissing off customers if it’s conveyed badly.