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'Dilbert' creator: Email has 'destroyed my soul'

"Dilbert" creator Scott Adams told CNBC on Friday he doesn't see a way to get around the problem of everyone's hyper-dependence on email.

"I'm pretty sure it has destroyed my soul," he said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "But it was a tiny soul to begin with. There wasn't much there."

Adams described email correspondence as a job in and of itself, which no longer enhances worker productivity.

Source: Scott Adams

When asked about his email etiquette, Adams said he's gotten very good at saying no. "I have a 100 ways to say no. I can turn you down in more ways than you could ever imagine."

Taking on a new challenge, Adams recently made a foray into Silicon Valley's start-up scene, as the co-founder Calendartree.com, a way to create and share schedules.

"It's nice to have a day job again," said Adams. "'Dilbert' was born when I was working in the big company environment and that was fertile ground for material."

He is now leaning on his experience building a company as new material for the cartoon.

"You can build anything, but what you don't know is what people respond to," Adams said of the trial and error nature of finding success in the Valley.

He said entrepreneurs must take on a systems-oriented approach and move away from setting definitive goals. This strategy, referred to as the "pivot," is a technique that's brought incredible success to many companies.

Take eBay, for instance, Adams said. It began as a forum for Pez aficionados to trade the candy dispensers. Now, it's a $62 billion e-commerce giant where you can buy or sell anything from a Canadian Maple Leaf coin to a Lamborghini.

"The tools are so good to build software, test it, you can find out how the customer's responding real time. You can very quickly change it at a relatively low cost," Adams said.

Regarding the effervescent nature of technology, Adams said, "Pivoting is the equivalent of diversifying your portfolio in the investing world."

"Most of the investors I have spoken with aren't looking for an idea; they're looking for the one that's already working," he explained.

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