Founders@, Revisited: Email Addresses For Your Startup


(Yes, we're also hoping to come up with a better phrase than "startup," but for now, it works.)

In nifty recent post, Brad Feld (of the Foundry Group)  suggests that every startup make a “founders@” email account. A catchall for founders that forwards to the founders.

Fantastic, practical advice for startups.

Jason and I implemented this right away.

There were more uses than Brad mentioned. We had a company account for the things that we might need to both sign into.  (Like our ToutApp.Com subscription, or our EchoSign account).

It creates frictionless transparency when the merchant service and bank messages go there. We don’t have to “inform the other guy” what was going on, or whatever.

Sure, the odd password reset may bug the other founders, but the convenience and frictionless transparency makes it worth it.

Books@ Company Name – The Next Big One

We were at lunch in our first-ever company we said “how do we want to handle these receipts.”

We had no clue.  Obviously we had company expenses.  The bank account got some of ’em automatically…but we had to do something about recording them, but I’m a sales guy, Jason’s an artist. Accounting is necessary, but neither of us are working on it.  Our bank account captures a lot – but there are times when it won’t do that way.

We take a picture and email it to ourselves. Books@Company_name.Com.  Then we have a log, a date, and any other info we need (who the lunch for $61.00 was with, for example).  Done.

It also occurred to us that should might be other “boxes” places to e-mail, set and forget.  From David Allen’s GTD work, we could see:

someday@ (stuff that you want to think about)
leads@ (stuff that the sales staff can check in on)
experiments@ (things to test out on the front page)
vendors@ (stuff that goes out to key suppliers)

These are good boxes to set pup.  There are probably even more.  Getting stuff off your plate and into a place where it’ll wait can go a long way towards fighting distraction and focusing.  If you have stuff you want to think about someday, do it.  Obviously there are  more uses than this, but it’s lightweight and it’s just a modification of an already existing tool.

I started using “leads@” as we see products and stories that we want to tell.

Chris Johnson - co Founder, Simplifilm
Chris Johnson - co Founder, Simplifilm
Chris Johnson is the co-founder and CEO of Simplifilm, a motion graphics and trailer studio for bestselling authors, start ups, and Fortune 500 companies. He's a tireless entrepreneur and salesman who has tested his skills at everything from political fundraising, web development and real estate.
Since founding Simplifilm in 2010, he's become a paid advisor to leaders in many fields including New York Times bestselling authors and entrepreneurs and worked with the likes of Brad Feld, Ryan Holiday, Robert Greene, and many others.


  1. Dave Cole on December 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I like the idea of communal accounts – but I guess even then it requires someone knowing when it’s his or her turn to act on the information.

    • Chris Johnson on December 20, 2011 at 12:47 pm

      Well, some of the point is to get it the hell out of our hair. Getting “someday” as a bucket we can revisit it once a month and the “genius idea you had on the ski lift’ is preserved without bugging everyone.

      • Mat - on December 21, 2011 at 7:23 am

        You have time to ski!? UK startups are just not in the same league – just kidding :) Great post, thanks, plenty of good ideas.

  2. jcorniel on December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Love the receipts idea! Thanks! Will implement ASAP!

  3. reecepacheco on December 20, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    i’ve looked into tons of productivity apps, but the only thing that works for me is email, so i’m similarly devising a system to “tag” email and make it even more useful

    my team also uses groups a ton. we’ve got groups by location, by department, by position etc… makes emailing the right people a lot easier

    • Chris Johnson on December 20, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      Have you guys checked out Batchbook? I use it as our CRM and it makes a big difference in what we’re able to do.

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