The Sunday Digest: Pulling Back the Curtain
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If you're also in the middle of a mad dash to figure out how to turn your work, belongings or pets into an NFT, think of this post as your Pomodoro time. We haven't measured it out, but we feel confident saying that however long it takes to read today's Digest is however long you should spend giving yourself a break.
That's not to say the writing we've collected for you here skims across the surface. If there's a theme to this week at Every (and there is, because, well...there has to be), it's that we wanted to show you the inner workings of everything we write about. We had Means of Creation inspecting the Three Levels of Highly Motivated Influencer Marketing, a Superorganizer who reveals the behind-the-scenes of a small software acquisition, and a fun peek into the design of our unsubscribe flow (which we hope you won't actually ever see). Plus, a roundup of the best writing on NFTs from around the web demystifies and dimensionalizes the currency everyone's talking about.
So dig in and look deep—because those are the two things the Digest is supposed to make you do, anyway.
What We Published
This week’s output: 4 articles, 3 podcasts, and a live conversation.
📝 ARTICLES 📝
by Bryant Jefferson & Nathan Baschez in Divinations
By now, influencer marketing is no secret industry. But it doesn't necessarily happen out of thin air—which is where Ian Borthwick comes in. Tracking the "influencer's influencer" over his time at SeatGeek, which he helped shift from college sports sponsorships to creator-centric marketing, this profile examines both an industry and one of its most influential figures. It's a great new written addition to the MOC lineup—and Casey Neistat appears to agree:
you’re a handsome man Ian.
Read (14 minutes)
by Justin Mares in Superorganizers
Justin's hit guest column on side businesses returns with this hyper-readable blend of personal history and business tips. Taking us along on his journey to strike out on his own in the SaaS world to stumbling across a striking ecommerce plugin to buying it for—that's right—$0, he lays out a simple rule for anyone thinking of making an offer on a small business: “my price, your terms OR your price, my terms.”
Read (6 minutes)
After you've read the news, you've got to make sense of it—particularly with something as complex and ever-shifting as the passion economy. And who better to do that with than Li and Nathan? This week, they looked at Twitter's newsletter-adjacent push, Facebook's pseudo-TikTok app, and plenty more.
Read 🔒 (10 minutes)
🎧 PODCASTS 🎧
The Long Conversation with Rachel Jepsen
Left to their own devices for a one-on-one writing chat, Rachel and Dan took the opportunity to hone in on an important question that's likely to make more appearances on TLC: How do people who don't think of themselves as "creative" find opportunities to be exactly that? It's an engaging back-and-forth—and that's before they get into Dan's secret comedy history.
Listen (30 minutes)
#61 - Designing our unsubscribe flow & #62 - How to take time off, and actually relax
Talk Therapy with Dan Shipper and Nathan Baschez
Dan and Nathan spent the week discussing their efforts to find spots of calm and clarity in what can often be a hectic job. Wednesday's discussion centers on the highlights and questions of their differing approaches to presenting new ideas, and Friday's sendoff for Nathan's vacation week leads the cofounders to question why taking a load off is easier said than done.
Listen to #61 (19 minutes) & #62 (14 minutes)
On The Nathan Barry Show this week, our own Nathan dispensed wisdom on newsletter pricing and churn, social giants' entry into the space, and much more. Give it a listen or watch!
What’s Going On
News you might have caught or missed this week.
In a Medium post this week, mold-breaking VC Indie announced it was temporarily shuttering. Founded in 2015 inside of existing firm OATV, Indie was meant to diversify the kind of businesses that receive VC investments, including modest but sturdy companies, particularly ones with founders who were traditionally underrepresented in leadership positions. With close to 40 investments, founder Bryce Roberts wrote that the announcement was "not intended to be a pity party; rather, a public acknowledgment that the initial Indie experiment has come to an end."
- Netflix has created a TikTok clone that lets people scroll through funny clips
- Facebook trains A.I. to ‘see’ using 1 billion public Instagram photos
- Instagram announces 'Live Rooms'
What We're Reading
Our favorite writing this week—from beyond Every, of course
NFTs From Several Angles
Depending where you fall on the Crypto-Adjacent Knowledge Spectrum (CAKS), you've been asking a different question about NFTs this week: What the heck are they? Are these prices ever going to chill? Who paid 6 million dollars for Grimes' angelic art?
Of course, we covered the phenomenon brought on by this development for art-commerce and authenticity in last week's Means of Creation roundup. But plenty more has happened since then, and we have some new favorite articles to make sense of it all. On the a16z blog, Chris Dixon asserted that NFTMania means "the internet is trending back to" Kevin Kelly's 1000 True Fans vision of "21st Century Patronage." Sean Blanda thought through the potential process for writers to cash in on the craze as much as some artists have. And Dark Star analyzed how NFTs will help "build a business on top of the creator economy."
- The Microwave Economy (David Perell)
- Main Character Energy (Real Life)
- In retrospect, the creator economy was inevitable (Medialyte)
- How Do You Keep a Novel Alive When It Keeps Trying To Die? (LitHub)
Tweet of the Week
the group chat: what’s the point of all of this? honestly i am so goddamn tired of living in a capitalist society. guys I’m so serious what if we all moved to Europe and learned to make pasta and all bought a farm together the tweets: I’m so excited to announce I’m joining Stri
An Invitation to Every
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The Sunday Digest was written by Babe Howard and edited by Dan Shipper.