Most of the emails I get for Instapaper fall into four categories:
- “You just ruined my life because I couldn’t figure out how to install the bookmarklet in Mobile Safari, despite the step-by-step instructions, and I somehow failed at this for three or more hours of constant effort. Your app is completely useless, and you have made the world a worse place by having made it.”
- “I like Instapaper but it would be really great if you added these seventeen features, all of which are obviously worth adding, from my other favorite services that are nothing like Instapaper.”
- “I run a blog or YouTube channel and I would like to review Instapaper. You will get tons of exposure. Please send a promo code for a review copy and five to ten additional codes for a giveaway.”
- “I would like to enter a business relationship with Instapaper. I might even be credible. Here is a giant wall of text explaining why I believe this is a great idea. When can you meet me in person this week to talk about this and engage my services, take my money, or hire me?”
These are frustrating for both sides, because there’s not much I can do about most of them. Some people can never be helped enough, some people are never satisfied, some people don’t realize that I get requests for more promo codes than Apple gives me and that a promo code has never produced enough “exposure” to have been worth the time to generate and send it, and some people don’t realize how little time I have during the day to either meet with them or respond to any emails that justify more than a few words in response.
But occasionally I get the best kind of email, and it makes it all worth it: