5 Things Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Writing Emails

Just before the release of  Apple’s first IPad, James Murdoch of NewsCorp and Steve Jobs exchanged a series of emails negotiating an e-book deal.   Besides revealing some of Job’s renowned negotiating tactics,  the emails also demonstrate how Job’s simple, strong writing style helped him dominate the conversation.

Natashia Lekic explains, “Their email exchange offers insight into what to do — and what not to do — when writing business emails. Murdoch’s notes are a classic example of how most of us tend to write: long, with multiple ideas and no clear message. Jobs used simple tactics to dominate the correspondence.”

Read the article by Natashia Lekic.


Print Friendly

4 thoughts on “5 Things Steve Jobs Can Teach Us About Writing Emails

  1. The article presents a huge topic of writing emails in an efficient format that will get our points across. Even though our generation has grown with phones, Ipads and computers there is still a discrepancy between our skill with tech and how we use it. Even though we all know how to open an email, we don’t necessarily know how to write emails effectively. I think this is due to the huge gap there is between texting and writing emails. The article by Lekic reminds us of etiquette and strategy that we often overlook. The article demonstrates simply how a simpler email with less filler words and less topics can actually be much better. In short, the blog emphasizes quality of quantity. The article below expands on some common mistakes that we millennials make that I think we could easily improve.


  2. The article by Natashia Lekic is very informative about how to write effective emails which would enable a reader to catch the main idea by just scanning it. This requires the email to include just one purpose and the sentences to be simple and without word fillers. One specific purpose with concise sentences make an email seem less overwhelming to the reader and hence increase the motivation to read. The article also highlights the importance of “closing with a request”. The request should be about the main reason for which the writer is writing the email. The main idea is to increase the reader’s chance of noticing the main point even if he is very reluctant to read the email. All these techniques by Steve Jobs which Natashia Lekic has highlighted would significantly save the writer’s time and increase the probability of getting an appropriate response by the reader.

  3. In today’s age, email is the common method of communication within businesses. The article by Lekic brings up excellent points in how emails should have one purpose and be devoid of filler words. The examples of Jobs’ and Murdoch’s emails emphasized how wordiness can lead to confusion; in a worst-case scenario the recipient might completely misconstrue the message. When discussing business that could be worth thousands or millions of dollars, one must be precise yet eloquent in every email sent. I found an article by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg from TIME’s website that provides even further advice on how to efficiently use email in the business world. Along with cutting wordiness, it is recommended to focus on the most recent messages first, clean out the inbox constantly, and respond quickly. These additional points, along with others mentioned in the article, are important to utilize to improve email etiquette.


  4. This article written by Natasa Lekic exemplifies how filler words and lengthy writing can misconstrue the purpose and confuse the reader. She does an excellent job at comparing Steve Jobs’ emails against James Murdoch’s emails. While reading Murdoch’s emails, especially the email under the heading “Have one purpose”, I had to pause and take a second to think about what he was actually trying to ask or tell Jobs. The multiple questions, length, and unnecessary words create too much confusion for an email. The purpose of an email is to be direct and formulate your thoughts in a concise way to send quick information to someone. The article linked below further expands on Lekic’s ideas and offers some helpful tips: slow down, formulate the purpose, and proofread.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *