When I was given a company credit card, I didn’t know that vendors would magically get a hold of my email address to try selling me something.

In just the last 7 days, I’ve gotten these cold-sales-emails:

  1. Kristen has reached out for the 4th time this month to see if I need geofencing. She hasn’t attempted to explain what it is.
  2. Catherine has reached out a 2nd time to see if I need help with bottlenecks, to turn time into dollars.
  3. Jack has reached out for the 4th time and wants to make my email marketing dreams come true.
  4. Nancy reached out on Friday because I’m leaving a huge opportunity on the table with my website. What it is, or which website, who can guess? I expect her follow up this coming Friday.
  5. John reached out for the 4th time to schedule a meeting to tell me about his Software QA/Testing services. He started a 2nd thread this time just in case the first one got lost.
  6. Don let me know about a great Ruby developer. For my PHP team. Points for potentially skimming my LinkedIn to see I have Ruby experience myself.
  7. Emily and Georgia reserved another demo slot for me for their traffic insights software. This is the 4th time. They’ve been at it since April.
  8. Kevin wanted me to consider a partner to “help through fractional digital and technology resources instead of full-time roles”. I think he’s selling developers?
  9. Andrada reached out for the 5th time to sell me IP addresses. She’s been at it since May.
  10. Francis wanted to tell me all about Minimum Viable Products and assured me his team is great at them. I wonder what we do with one of their MVPs if it worked and we needed to launch an Actual P?
  11. Ella wanted to know if I was interested in buying Joomla Software User lists. Her CMS is broken though and full of blanks where variables should have been present.

It’s interesting to spot the different patterns these people are using. Everyone acknowledges how busy I must be (of course, not so busy I can’t find 30 mins to hear their pitches). Most of them know that I have some buying power in my company, but also have no clue what decisions my team and I are actually making for the company. At least half of them have no clue what it is I, you know, do here. But, most of all, they are all persistent and annoying.

I suppose if 99 people say no and 1 says yes, that’s still a sale?

Note that this does not include all the webinar invites, random product emails from vendors I am actually using, or outright spam.

Why not keep a running list of these? How many can I get in a month?

  1. 06/21/22: Jenny wants me to check out their smart Slack app that helps DevOps and engineering teams easily manage on-call rotations (her emphasis). This one’s actually not a bad idea, but PagerDuty is already a thing I’m paying for, you know?
  2. 06/21/22: John’s timer went off and I got a 5th email about their QA Software Testing services.
  3. 06/21/22: David assures me agile growing pains are totally normal. Thankfully, at his company they “recognize the remarkable transformative potential of unleashing the Agile Ecosystem Triad of People, Framework, and Toolchain and what it can do to eliminate silos, reduce waste, enhance quality, and adapt the correct tools to drive rapid results while serving as a pillar for ongoing continuous improvements the modern Agile way.” Yes, it was all one long sentence. Seems like they’re making the world a better place.
  4. 06/21/22: Kate has virtual office hours available to help educate me on how medical providers can financially verify their patients pre-service. That is a problem that’s been keeping me awake at night.
  5. 06/21/22: Francis opened a 2nd thread to tell me more about MVPs. He seems a bit more to the point this time.
  6. 06/22/22: Diane wants to know if my team is just working hard or if they’re also working smart. She’s so confident I’ll love their forensics software’s insights into my site’s visitors, she’s gone ahead and reserved a trial for it for me. She also wants me to know they’re GDPR compliant (but it’s somehow totally cool that she’s emailing me without me having signed up for anything).
  7. 06/22/22: Derek is a reliable, US-based partner than can help with my current or upcoming projects’ development. His firm prides themselves on excellent communication and unparalleled expertise.
  8. 06/23/22: John offers his sincere apologies if he’s bothering me in my busy work schedule. He really wants to schedule a call to talk about his QA services. It’s his 6th attempt.
  9. 06/23/22: Kate is back to let me know there is still time for me to register for that patient financial verification strategy presentation.
  10. 06/23/22: David makes me laugh a second time with his long winded agile sales pitch. I don’t think I yet recognize the remarkable transformative potential of unleashing the Agile Ecosystem Triad.
  11. 06/25/22: David, David, David. It’s Sunday, my man. Take a break!
  12. 06/27/22: Scot hopes I’m doing well and has free trials for top Project Management, Construction or accounting tools.
  13. 06/27/22: Raja worked for $BigComany for 14 years as a GM, he built technology teams in India nd now leads a very strong team of technical recruiters and project managers as part of a digitalzone with a fine office facility. He is not a fan of comas.
  14. 06/27/22: Hasham has ruby services from a trustworthy development partner if I’m short handed and need help with the development needs.
  15. 06/27/22: Ioana wants to talk about my 2022 plans and show me how combining cybersecurity and data protection technologies with the cyber protection approach can help me protect my clients from data loss and cyberthreats.
  16. 06/27/22: Andres wants to help me with hiring by focusing on nearshore staff augmentation with locality and culture-fit in mind. He’s been emailing me since Jan 2021 any time a dev spot opened on our website.
  17. 06/27/22: Kathy went through my LinkedIn profile and wants to know my interest on the below. She’d love to offer “FREE 0$ POC(Proof of Concept). They develop Automation script for few complex scenarios(shared by me) on my application in any technical stack.” Kathy, I wish we had “few complex scenarios”, but these are computers.
  18. 06/27/22: Daviiiid! Are you really going to email me the same thing every two days? I guess I’ll unsubscribe when it stops being funny.
  19. 06/28/22: Grace is sharing my copy of the Maturity Model for IT Orchestration & Automation today! Their “tiered framework made up of five distinct levels of automation maturity” is one that my organization “can use to self-assess [out] automation readiness and develop a sound strategy for moving forward.” I am realizing that “framework” is probably a great way to flag the real bullshitters in my inbox. Also “triad.”
  20. 06/28/22: Kara has been working with a skilled Software Developer she thinks would be a great fit for my company. I’m not sure what those skills are. If that person’s not a good fit, she has others!
  21. 06/28/22: Edmond is thrilled to share with me that they are officially an Atlassian Cloud Specialized Partner! I think they offer consulting for Atlassian, but they really want me to read their presser about this new certification.
  22. 06/29/22: Kara is following up again. Today she has multiple devs she’s working with. I hope the person from yesterday found something!
  23. 06/29/22: Vijay hopes I’m having a great week. He saw I am hiring (I’m not) and wants me to send him my leads. He’s got offshore devs available for my next project. I guess I’m supposed to show him my leads so he can tell me that he can come in cheaper?
  24. 06/29/22: Maria’s accomplished teams have delivered software across different tech verticals such as Product Design, Custom Software Development, Fintech, CMS, Web/App Development, Machine/Deep Learning, A.I, Travel Technology, DBA, and more. She wants to collaborate. I do love me a good vertical.
  25. 06/29/22: Derek has reached out a few times but hasn’t heard back (Dear Slim…). He also wants to sell me developers.
  26. 06/30/22: Tommy writes, with the subject “No Ringo, but they are all STARRS”: “Hey Jude… sorry, Joshua!”. He’s got 3 devs who are looking for HELP! Fortunately, none of them live in a Yellow Submarine and would love to work for me in office or remotely. We can Come Together to discuss them. Let It Be known that if I need different skills, Tommy’s got ‘em. He can help me with anything with a Little Help From My Friends. Dude. I hate the Beatles — and this sales tactic. Also, wasn’t Ringo the one everyone hated?
  27. 06/30/22: Andrew found himself scrolling through my website and social channels and he must say, he loves what I’ve got going on. They specialize in SEO and are so confident in their work and ranking me on the first page of Google. I wonder how he found us if I need so much SEO work 🤔
  28. 06/30/22: Kate really wants me to join those office hours to extract value from unstructured data in healthcare. I still don’t know what that is, but the more you ask me about it, Kate, the more I feel it’s something that ought to be illegal.
  29. 07/01/22: Kara hasn’t heard back so she wanted to touch base again. She wants to sell me developers in Q3.
  30. 07/01/22: Erik wants to schedule a call to learn about my active dev projects and explore ways they can provide immediate relief to my talent needs and become and on-demand asset for my team. These recruiters and programmer sweat shops sure do love their word salads.
  31. 07/01/22: Jenna is a director at a US-based innovative business solutions firm. They have offices an resources throughout LATAM to help scale my IT and software development teams.
  32. 07/05/22: Kate has even more medical virtual office hours. I guess they do them weekly?
  33. 07/05/22: Ioana is back and says “A lot of MSPs struggle to manage a stack of vendors and still end up with unreliable protection for their clients.” I’d have no clue what she’s trying to sell if they weren’t already a vendor of ours I’ve heard about. Now that I think about it, what is she trying to sell me if we’re already their customers?
  34. 07/05/22: Ozan would like to schedule a call to talk about their “innovative platform capable of managing and optimizing exponential amounts of data all in real-time, at the edge.” He faked his email to look like the subject came from LinkedIn.
  35. 07/06/22: Sounds like Kara has gotten the point that I’m not actually hiring, but she want’s to stay in touch.
  36. 07/06/22: Francis tells me “There’s an easy solution to your problem: outsourcing.” No, I think the answer is UNSUBSCRIBE when I’m done with this little experiment.
  37. 07/06/22: Stephen wants to sell me the same stuff that Ioana does. I wonder if they’re talking to each other at all? Do they split that commish if I sign up?
  38. 07/06/22: Ken writes to tell me “Low-code app development means you can build apps and workflows faster than ever and with less complexity.” I loathe no-code solutions. I bet “low-code” ones are worse and that I’d have to learn a half-baked programming language to be semi-productive. One Size Fits None™.
  39. 07/06/22: Madhukar outlined a pull request that happened at his work and how their software removes me needing to be in a standup. He wants to know if that’s the “the silent, efficient, social collaboration of work Zen you want to bring to your life as well?” No, I don’t want to work in silence. Standups can not suck if you do them right.
  40. 07/06/22: Jenna is just floating her email back to the top of my inbox. There’s something uniquely irritating about that.
  41. 07/07/22: Lucy tells me that Ernest Hemingway said “customer experience is all about the journey—a journey that’s most effective when it includes moments of personalized, relevant content.” I’ll admit I’ve never read any Hemingway… but somehow I doubt he ever mentioned customer service. She’s trying to sell a modern CMS and DAM (she doesn’t mention what they are).
  42. 07/07/22: Shannon has good news: a key decision-maker from your ideal customer just visited your website! Bad news: they left your website without getting in touch with you. Her forensics software can help. She wants to know what day works best for me next week to talk. I like the assertiveness—don’t make me think about it!
  43. 07/07/22: Derek thought he’d try one last time to sell me developers.
  44. 07/08/22: Brandon says (demands?) “we need to talk, Joshua”. They are US based and offer flexible engagement options such as Staff Augmentation, Team Delivery and Project delivery. Their Net Promoter Score is 75%. I know enough about NPS to know you’re probably gaming things to be in the 70s, but nice flex.
  45. 07/08/22: James is following up from a thread in April. They’re a unique Software Outsourcing company that employs only the Top 1% Software Engineers in Latin America.
  46. 07/08/22: David is back. “If you’re struggling to combine your long-term planning and agile development - you’re not alone!” If I am not struggling, am I alone?
  47. 07/10/22: David! For the love of god, take the hint dude. You do not need to email me every Friday and Sunday. I promise, I am not giving you any money.
  48. 07/11/22: Kathy isn’t sure if I’ve been able to review her prior email. She still wants to collaborate with the below mentioned Testing POC for free of cost.
  49. 07/11/22: Jenna reminds me she’s from that “nearshore staff augmentation firm that provides operational and IT services to companies looking to scale in the most efficient and cost-effective way without sacrificing quality.” These people should read their emails aloud to taste the word salad for themselves.
  50. 07/11/22: Jenny is following up again and wants to know if I’m happy with my on-call rotations. Her app can still help.
  51. 07/12/22: Kate is back for at least the third time. She’s got help for me with precise coding — for medical patients. Maybe that’s how I accidentally wound up on this list?
  52. 07/12/22: Francis assures me again that outsourcing pays off even if I have my own team already.
  53. 07/12/22: Ioana says if I’m like most MSPs, I’ve seen – and perhaps experienced – the growing threat of phishing and ransomware. Still not sure what an “MSP” is.
  54. 07/13/22: Mike wants to hear about my active projects and discuss ways he can provide me with “pipelines of highly vetted senior level technology talent and on-demand engineering resources.”
  55. 07/13/22: A different Mike is reaching out about his “focused next-generation Digital and Product Engineering organization backed by Leading PE Firms.” He wants to sell me “Product Development & Testing; QA &Test Automation; IoT, Machine Learning & Data Science; Dev Ops (CI/CD); UI/UX design; and Cloud, AI & Mobile** services.
  56. 07/13/22: Christian is giving me a free video and a chance to win a FREE pair of AirPods or a $150 Amazon card in exchange for a call. He doesn’t mention what he’s selling. There’s a picture of him in the email.
  57. 07/14/22: Kara is back… even though she said she had gotten the hint. I probably triggered her CMS that I really was interested in giving her money by clicking on her email.
  58. 07/14/22: Charlotte wants to know if I caught her email last week. She even sent a copy in today’s email. Either Google caught it as spam, or she is a liar, because I did not get that email. She is selling that forensics software Diane and Shannon wanted to tell me about. Maybe Shannon forgot she is signed in to her Charlotte account? They’re very concerned that I am not adequately spying on my website visitors!
  59. 07/14/22: Kate still wants to help me out with medical stuff. She’s starting to get really annoying, mostly because of how off base she is talking to me in the first place.
  60. 07/15/22: Brandon is back again to see if I received his email last week. He’s selling developers. I wouldn’t know that from today’s email, where he ignores what he’s trying to sell and just mentions: “With the current scenario and the shift towards remote work culture, more and more organizations are undertaking a digital transformation of businesses like yours. In this transformation, companies are opting for online resources to support changing business dynamics.”
  61. 07/15/22: Ethan wants to talk so I can “see how with Salesforce, retailers can deliver intelligent and integrated shopping experiences across the entire shopping journey, building greater customer loyalty.” He’s not actually employed by Salesforce.
  62. 07/15/22: Kara is still trying to sell me developers.
  63. 07/15/22: Christian wanted to know if I’ve watched his video yet. He really wants to send me those headphones or a gift card.
  64. 07/16/22: Luke wants to join our standups. They’ll be together with us, but I’m actually not sure what they’re really trying to sell me. Presumably agile/scrum tooling.
  65. 07/18/22: Ashley was a worksheet for me to complete to accelerate my content velocity. “When it’s done well, it gets the right assets to the right audiences, capitalizing on opportunities and personalizing the experience at scale.” I lack the marketing degrees to know what this actually means.
  66. 07/18/22: Kathy has reached out a couple times already, and asks “do you 15 minutes” to discuss what testing strategy my team has been researching. She’d like to know what my calendar looks like.
  67. 07/19/22: Charlotte wants to know if I caught her email last week, what this week looks like for me, and if Thursday would work. It doesn’t.
  68. 07/19/22: Kara wanted to touch base, again. Still trying to sell those devs.
  69. 07/19/22: Oliver has two specific devs he’s trying to sell. They’re not really the skillset I need, and I’m also not hiring. But partial credit for being a bit more specific than the rest of them.
  70. 07/19/22: Kelsey read a statistic recently that states 83% of employers find it is critical to develop leaders at all levels. She wants to know how this applies at my organization.
  71. 07/19/22: Sofia knows that “finding the best team members is time consuming and costly and I’m reaching out to ask if you have explored the opportunities and benefits of hiring remote talent.” Why yes, I am familiar with that at my fully remote company.
  72. 07/20/22: Christian seems upset. He’s “never had to reach out so many times to a prospect offering a free pair of AirPods or a $150 Amazon Gift Card in exchange for 20 minutes to explain our performance-based, tactical nearshore developer staff augmentation model.”
  73. 07/20/22: Ashley wants to tell me that “the new way of looking at data is based on the premise that content and data are created equal in the eyes of the customer experience.”
  74. 07/20/22: Mike also mentions, word-for-word: “With the current scenario and the shift towards remote work culture, more and more organizations are undertaking a digital transformation of businesses like yours. In this transformation, companies are opting for online resources to support changing business dynamics.” I wonder if he and Brandon from the 15th went to business school together?
  75. 07/20/22: Kate has more office hours for healthcare things that do not apply to me.
  76. 07/22/22: Gab noticed I’m hiring for a Sales Specialist and has worked with companies like Pfizer to reduce these costs by 70%. I’m not Director of Sales, but nice flex.