In an effort to share more common sense advice with early stage startups, allow me to introduce Startup Stupidity. A new series of short features focused on common silly mistakes startups make, and how you can avoid them.

These won't be long-form essays, takedowns or debriefs. Instead, expect bite-size thoughts and insights to get you thinking about some of the mindless decisions you make daily.

First up. The no-reply email address. No-reply email addresses are a frustration of mine, whatever the business stage. They are in place to create friction for the recipient by making it harder to reply easily.

They are outrageous in the context of early stage startups.

Early stage startups live or die on user feedback and first customers. Making it hard for recipients to reply is a gold-class standard of stupidity.

Any extra friction could prevent a critical user pain being understood, or a first customer signing up.

Early stage startups with no-reply emails - why?!

You've just made it difficult for your early users to give you valuable feedback, ask questions, and build a relationship with you.

Stop it. pic.twitter.com/rifjH5PEri— Olly (@helloitsolly) May 2, 2020

Worse, recipients will infer that you're not fussed about hearing from them, which unless you're not very good at the whole startup thing, is almost certainly not the case.

Marketing is nothing without a meaningful and hard-earned connection to your real buyers.

Say no, to no-reply.