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Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams, Third Edition by Tim Lister, Tom DeMarco

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33. E(vil) Mail

Yes, your e-mail In-box is full. Very impressive. But what is it full of?

In Days of Yore

Before e-mail, we coordinated distant people by letter. A letter used to cost a hundred dollars or more in today’s money, to dictate, transcribe, type, correct, retype, and post. It would take three days to a week to deliver. Another hundred dollars of effort on the other end to reply and another three days to a week to send it back. Today, we effect the same two-way communication at a hundredth of the cost and a thousandth of the time. But are we better off for it? Did we pocket the savings, or did we plow them back into hundreds of times more coordination?

You know the answer to that. We’re coordinating an order of magnitude more than ...

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