Building in Public

Everything you need to know about newsletters

May 10, 2021

We hosted a discussion with Nathan and Dan about anything and everything related to newsletters. The content was too good not to share it more widely, so help yourself to the takeaways included in this blog post!

Nathan Baschez is a writer, media entrepreneur, and programmer. He’s the co-founder of Every, a bundle of newsletters focused on business, and the author of Divinations, a newsletter on the theory and practice of business strategy. Before this, he was the VP of Product and first employee at Substack, the head of product at Gimlet Media, and the co-founder of Hardbound, a visual storytelling app.

Dan Shipper is a writer, media entrepreneur, and a worse programmer than Nathan. He’s the co-founder of Every, a bundle of newsletters focused on business, and the author of Superorganizers, a newsletter on productivity. Before this, he was a partner at the Product Co-Op, and the co-founder of enterprise software company Firefly which was acquired by Pegasystems (PEGA) in 2014.

On the concept behind Every

Every is a bundle of business focused newsletters. We have 10 main newsletters on productivity, business strategy, the passion economy, and more. The goal is to cover every topic, business, job role, industry, and company in one place and charge customers one rate for all-inclusive access.

On the similarities between writers and founders

Writers and founders need to be masters of communication. They both need to be able to clearly articulate and express their idea or argument. I think that many founders are also writers because a lot of communication is done in writing.

Advice for people creating a newsletter or product

Focus on executing the writing and worry about strategy later on. I always advise the writers we work with to write something and then we’ll see what it turns into. It’ll take several iterations to get it right but that’s the process. The kind of writer you're going to be is more likely to be revealed than planned.

On newsletters they admire

Scuttleblurb. All the posts are behind the paywall which costs about $300 per year, so it’s a commitment but it’s worth it. Scott writes for a small audience, but he loves to write. He is just the coolest guy.

On the path to success

The way that success happens in one’s career is very much a gradual shift and eventually something happens that sets you on a path to linear progress. People get into the trap of feeling like they're putting all this time and energy in but nothing is happening. If you play video games, for example, every time you play, you level up. Real life doesn’t work that way.

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