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The One-Name Email, a Silicon Valley Status Symbol, Is Wreaking Havoc

In Silicon Valley, first-name-only email addresses have long been the ultimate status symbol, indicating a techie was an early hire at a new company. Now that startups are growing, the one-namers are wreaking havoc — and the competition to snag them is fierce. From a report on WSJ: When Peter Szabo heard he and his co-workers would receive new email addresses after his tech company was launched from an incubator, he ran to his boss and confirmed he would get the “Peter” first-name email address. After years of failing to arrive at companies early enough to bag the prized address, Mr. Szabo negotiated getting the single-name email at the earliest opportunity. “As companies get bigger, if you can be the original Peter, absolutely that’s bragging rights,” said Mr. Szabo, who is chief revenue officer of mobile-entertainment network startup Mammoth Media. “It’s huge.” […] Startups are growing faster than at any time since the dot-com boom thanks to a flood of venture capital. The system of using first names is leading to more email misfires at tech companies the more successful, and larger, they get. {…] Even techies are having a hard time figuring out how to disrupt the naming convention of corporate email. The growing pains usually set in when startups reach 25 to 50 employees, as names begin to overlap, according to Josh Walter, who has designed email services for companies for the past eight years. “That’s when companies say, ‘Oh no, what do we do now?'” Mr. Walter says. He is currently IT engineer at Second Measure, a Silicon Valley startup that analyzes consumer spending.


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