Every so often I like to digress and write a blog outside my normal areas of diversity management and career development. In this blog I want to address what I believe is the most serious threat to entrepreneurs and the economic recovery today. And I hope this goes viral and is sent to President Obama and Congress to take some action!
I bet some of you are thinking that I am going to start ragging on Obamacare. Others may think I am going to write about the wholesale shipping of IT and manufacturing jobs overseas. And others may think I am going to write about the tax system or governmental paperwork that could take far too much time away from developing and selling products and services.
But it is none of these. No, in my view the biggest threat to small businesses is the astronomical explosion of spam mail and “phishing.” Let me explain.
I get about 500 emails per day, and 490 of them are unwelcome. In a typical day and I will get 20 emails from someone I don’t know telling me my credit rating has taken a dangerous plunge and how they can help restore it, and at the same time I get 20 emails telling me my credit rating has greatly improved and that they will loan me $10,000. Mixed in with those are emails offering me Russian brides, miracle diets, six-pack abs and a larger “male endowment.” Most of these are unsolicited unwanted spam from people I have never heard of. But then add to that e-mails from non-profits I do support (do I really need three updates per day?) and 20 different political organizations seeking to raise funds for a variety of causes supported by my political party, and my inbox backs up faster than airplanes trying to fly into LaGuardia airport at 5:00 PM.
So why exactly is this flood of emails harming my business? I have to spend an hour each day wading through all this junk to see if there are any legitimate business e-mails. I could set up a strict spam filter but then I could accidentally lose a key e-mail or two from potential clients asking for a “Total Engagement Career Mapping” proposal or contacting me about a speaking engagement. And when I send out my monthly e-newsletter (yes – only one per month!), many of my readers who will want the useful resources I send out will miss it amidst their 500 spam mails. And many times when I do send a personalized e-mail reaching out to a potential client, they miss it because they too get too much junk.
I call on our American Executive and Legislative Branches to do something! Perhaps pass some laws and then round up these parasites and stick them all in jail for five years. The freeing up of productive time will fuel the economy enough so that the additional collected taxes will more than pay for the additional prisons. Plus we can hire more prison personnel which will further help our stumbling economy and the unemployment rate.
Who wants to start or join a movement to stop all spam and junk e-mails?