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Keep Your Cool

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This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For the past four days, Entrepreneur's e-mail has been out of whack. It started innocently-sort of-when the phone company came to our building and cut some wires as they "improved" our service. (That would have been fine, if they had bothered to tell us first.)

After that situation was rectified, everything seemed to fall apart. I still don't really understand why, but due to a convergence (the anti-harmonic kind) of several factors, including equipment and worms, we couldn't send or receive with reliability. I don't think we realized how dependent we are on e-mail until this happened. Even the Luddites among us (and there are still a few) were completely thrown by this. For us at Entrepreneur, e-mail is not just a communications tool, but a vital part of our production process. Freelance writers, photographers and illustrators who send their "products" via e-mail weren't able to get through. People working at home couldn't reliably communicate with us here at the office. Newsletters we count on to keep us informed were lost in space. It's four days after the you-know-what hit the fan, and things are still not back to normal.

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