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9/13/2007
05:21 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Is "Sent From My iPhone" The Sign Of The Doofus?

Are you impressed when you receive an e-mail with the tagline "Sent from my BlackBerry"? A writer on Slate says it "sends a subtle signal to my correspondents that I'm getting a lot done." I found the statement startling, because that interpretation never even occurred to me; I think those taglines are just a waste of time.

Are you impressed when you receive an e-mail with the tagline "Sent from my BlackBerry"? A writer on Slate says it "sends a subtle signal to my correspondents that I'm getting a lot done." I found the statement startling, because that interpretation never even occurred to me; I think those taglines are just a waste of time.

Paul Boutin writes on Slate: "An e-mail that says "Sent from my BlackBerry" gives the impression that you're on the move but still chained to work, e-mailing from the elevator."

He adds: "An e-mail that says 'Sent from my iPhone' conjures an image of a doofus who wants you to know he has an iPhone." Funny he should say that, because that's exactly what I used to think when I saw the "Sent from my BlackBerry" tagline -- it conjured an image of a doofus who wants me to know he had a BlackBerry. Now, I just think it's just an unpaid advertisement for BlackBerrys, and I'm ever-so-slightly annoyed that the person sending it didn't take the trouble to turn it off.

Boutin's reasoning is symptomatic of a workplace culture that places more emphasis on effort than results. The salesman who works fifteen hours a day and brings in $1 million revenue is less valuable to the company than the salesman who works half as hard but brings in twice as much. And yet many workplaces think it's more important to work hard -- and be seen working hard - than get results.

Boutin is, himself, the best example of the value of results over work. I'm very impressed by his performance, not because he sends e-mail from the elevator, but rather because he's written a terrific article, comparing the user experience of the BlackBerry vs. the iPhone and describing why many users are better off with the BlackBerry.

What do you think? Are you impressed by a "sent from my BlackBerry tagline?" Do you think people whose e-mails say "sent from my iPhone" are doofuses?

By the way, John Gruber of the blog Daring Fireball (the Lewis Black of Apple bloggers) notes: "One could, of course, simply change the email sig in the iPhone Settings app to read 'Sent from my BlackBerry'. Your colleagues will think you're working your [tail] off."

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