Gary Thuerk
Gary Thuerk the father of spam. What was he thinking? He has incidentally fathered a multi-billion dollar industry.  Today we spend billions of dollars, and unbelievable amounts of time simply trying to stop, what Gary Thuerk almost innocently started. Thuerk is credited as being the father of spam.  Not the greasy, slimy ham/meat like substance that our mom made us eat. Emails, that clog up our inbox’s every day.

Gary Thuerk’s accident?

Make no mistake, Gary Thuerk email was no accident. Gary simply thought this was an effective way to communicate information about an event his employer was organizing. Let’s back up a bit. On May 3, 1990 the first spam (UBE) unsolicited bulk email was sent. 393 recipients received this email over ARPENET, the predecessor to the today’s internet. It was received to both joy and disgust. In fact some of the computers crashed due to the overly extensive distribution list.

Thuerk was reprimanded and prohibited from doing it again. It seems at the time the only users were military or military contractors. And we can’t have military computers crashing due to a simple email. Fast forward to 2017, today it is estimated that 80~85% of all emails sent are considered spam. That generally translates to about 25% of all email we actually receive. Thuerk inadvertently gave rise to an entire industry of spam blocking. I personally have several friends that work at Juniper Networks, Spam Titan, Barracuda and so many more.

I also have many different email addresses that I use. All have advanced filtering and screening that is applied long before an email even hits my inbox. Today we have the ability to tighten it up, so that almost nothing gets through… but I have found, in that case I sometimes miss meaningful emails I was expecting. Yet I spend maybe ½ an hour of my day discarding emails. If you are reading this from India, and you work for a development company, apps, logos, wp sites or otherwise, quit sending me emails 🙂


Gary Thuerk created a nightmare, novelty and an innovation. At the same time his KISS (keep it simple stupid) application of emails was at the time ground breaking. However, today it is breaking the back of many small business, while helping others thrive. It is truly a conundrum. I think Jimmy Buffett said it best “we all got um, we all want um, what do we do with um”?

In conclusion

Gary Thuerk what have you done? I monitor and test all things internet.  I have noticed lately that normal email systems like Outlook for example have been tightening their email restrictions. In some cases the just don’t deliver the email at all. It doesn’t go to a spam file, it is just not delivered. Also with no return notification or rejections notice. With all of the failings of email, spam, and email marketing, this is concerning. I will keep you abreast of anything I find. In the short term look into MailGun, it is an API that seems to be working for many of my clients.

And always have  help you deliver real and relevant messages via email, and marketing.