Email Exchanges with Steve Jurvetson

I had been pestering Steve Jurvetson, partner at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a local VC firm, with an email campaign. Each day, I would recite the day’s statistics about ONElist, and then I would talk about one aspect of the company. It finally worked. First up is ‘ONElist Update #9’.

It’s important to note that at this point in my email barrage of Steve, I knew that he was paying attention to my screeds, even though I had not yet received any direct acknowledgement from him. I knew this because I had been contacted by Ariel Polar, who Steve had referred to me.

Notice in this email how much of a punk I sound like. I wanted Steve to know that I was dedicated to the company. I guess sounding like a punk is one way of doing it… Also notice that I signed the email ‘ONElist Team’. I wanted it to sound like there were literally tons of people working at ONElist, when in fact it was just little old me.

From: Mark Fletcher
Subject: ONElist Update #9
To: Steve Jurvetson
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 22:52:23 -0400 (EDT)


ONElist update…

Number of users: 32,143
Number of emails sent in the last day: 212,033
Ad Impressions from Web Site, last 24 hours: 11,056
Number of lists: 3,897

I met with Ariel Poler this morning. I respect Ariel and think he’s a smart guy. I believe that he wants to acquire ONElist and have me work at Topica as their VP of Engineering. I think that Topica is developing something very similar to ONElist, and he is concerned because ONElist has a several month lead. We will certainly publicly announce ONElist before Topica is on-line. I am intrigued by the fact that they’ve had 5 engineers working on this for months, and don’t have anything yet.

I’ve worked very hard on ONElist and do not want to sell it, only to have it killed in favor of whatever Topica is developing. I’ve already beaten them on-line, and I will beat them in the marketplace. I need your help to do it.

In a previous email, I said I’d pester you until you saw the value in ONElist. I think you do now. Now I’m going to pester you until you invest in us and help me make ONElist the Hotmail of free mailing list services.


Mark Fletcher
ONElist Team

Now here is Steve’s response. Yes!!!!!!!!!!

Date: 22 Apr 98 14:10:33 -0700
Subject: RE: ONElist Update #9
To: Mark Fletcher
CC: JB Fox, Warren Packard
From: Steve Jurvetson


I have to give you credit; I have been reading your e-mail pitch campaign. I guess it takes 9 swings sometimes…

I would be happy to meet briefly to hear the pitch. JB Fox can set up a time on my calendar.


Steve Jurvetson
Draper Fisher Jurvetson

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One Response to “Email Exchanges with Steve Jurvetson”

  1. April, 1998 – People Take Notice « The ONElist File Says:

    […] One way to get money is from Venture Capital firms, or VCs. I didn’t know any, so I did the equivalent of a prolonged cold call to Steve Jurvetson, the VC backer of Hotmail. Every day I would send him an email, with the current […]

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