The Sunday Digest: (Re)introducing Napkin Math
Everything we published this week + a core newsletter returns
Napkin Math returned this week with a new Lead Writer, Evan Armstrong! Evan's refocusing the newsletter around deep (and deeply funny) explainers on finance terms like revenue, COGS, net income and more.
Read his hilarious debut article below—and make sure to click the follow button so you'll get his emails directly in your inbox whenever he hits publish.
What We Published
This week’s output: 4 articles + 3 podcasts
by Evan Armstrong in Napkin Math
If the header image (we'll let you see for yourself) isn't clear enough, Evan Armstrong is easily the funniest person we know who's writing comprehensively on financial metrics. In his first post as a Napkin Math lead, Evan picks up the thread of his work on Revenue to cover Cost of Goods Sold. Beginning with the term's definition and why it matters in evaluating a company, the primer widens its scope to help us understand why COGS—despite its place in the Metrics Canon—might not be that helpful in reality. Evan's writing could only come from someone who loves finance enough to want to help others understand it better. And did we mention it's absolutely hilarious?
Read (11 minutes)
by Dan Shipper & Annaliese Griffin in Superorganizers
This week's Action Item comes courtesy of Nate Berkopec, owner of software performance company Speedshop. As his work relies on the concept of digital optimization, Nate has developed a key question to improve as much as possible, in the least time possible: What does this system require? To learn how he extends the strategy to his daily life—and how it helps him avoid productivity for productivity's sake—read this short hit of actionable wisdom.
Read (6 minutes)
by Andre Plaut in The Prediction Game
Andre delivers his monthly update on our year-predicting mega-game, jumping from upticks in vaccinations to the awards-season circuit to check in with the finer—and stranger—points of projecting world events. Even if you're not playing, you'll want to find out what exactly has brought success to the top-ranked predictors (it's more...random than you might think).
Read (4 minutes)
by Li Jin, Nathan Baschez & Yash Bagal in Means of Creation
Rather than hop between news stories for this week's news roundup from the passion economy, Li, Nathan and Yash unite developments in a few different areas of the music industry. All of them affect different zones of the creator-consumer relationship, as well as creator livelihoods—and the best way to understand them is by thinking of a funnel. To find out why, read through, and come out caught up on this momentum-gaining structural shift.
Read (13 minutes)
The Long Conversation with Rachel Jepsen
Remember that Superorganizers article that did a 180 to examine the habits of the newsletter's "Czar" himself? Our readers dug the Dan Shipper-devoted installment, so writer and editor Kieran O'Hare joined the TLC team as a special guest this week. With host Rachel and a trusty panel of Every writers, Kieran offered his own take on how to write about productivity, and why anyone who does so should also be trying to expand the field's reach and accesssibility.
Listen (46 minutes)
Talk Therapy with Dan Shipper & Nathan Baschez
After welcoming Evan Armstrong to the pod for a discussion about his Napkin Math launch and what it takes to feel like a "real writer," Dan and Nathan discussed leadership styles—particularly those chronicled in bestselling advice books. While they didn't quite decide that Every makes for a neat comparison with a football team, the conversation is worth listening to for their thoughts on how we can push each other with comfort and respect.
What’s Going On
News you might have caught or missed this week.
- Former Condé Nast Editor Plans a Vanity Fair for the Substack Era
- Dogecoin is on a run, has escaped the yard, and is headed to the moon
- How Amazon fought the union drive in Alabama
- NFT IP? First Non-Fungible Character Optioned for TV and Film
- Vox Media to Buy Owner of Preet Bharara’s Podcast
What We're Reading
Our favorite writing from beyond Every
- A Ship Got Stuck. So He Built a Website (Galaxy Brain)
- Why We’re Freaking Out About Substack (The New York Times)
- In the New Digital Economy, Are Artists Creators? (ArtNews)
- When you can see who saw your post, each viewing is a loaded message (Real Life)
Tweet of the Week
An Invitation to Every
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