I like learning about what my friends and collaborators read, what they listen to, where they get their news and what inspires them. Newsletters are now entering this conversation in full force.
A few weeks back, during an i-message exchange, a friend of mine told me his favorite Sunday read is Brain Pickings by Maria Popova. It is mine too, and he made me think that for some people Popova's newsletter has become a Sunday ritual, like the NYTimes Sunday edition and the crossword puzzle. In fact, newsletters are often the new source of news and inspiration, even though for some it is their pet peeve (another friend told me when asked, "I've canceled most of my newsletters as I find having a full mailbox overwhelming!").
1. Brain Pickings by Maria Popova
Brain Pickings is the newsletter of all newsletters. Popova calls it a "digest of the week's most interesting and inspiring articles across art, science, philosophy, creativity, children's books, and other strands of our search for truth, beauty, and meaning." Popova is one of the most brilliant critical thinkers of our time, and this is a journey into her mind that will leave you amazed and inspired by her vast knowledge and insights.
2. Quartz Daily
Quartz Daily, the news aggregator that boasts 700,000 subscribers. Every morning you get 20 important, eclectic and informative news stories from around the world. Their picks feel right on the mark--I've come to count on them for finding the kinds of stories I would want to know a little more about. Quartz Obsession is their deep-dive into topics as diverse and varied as K-Pop, the bikini, and paper-clips. Their weekly Quartz Africa is a must for any entrepreneur, who like us, is interested in this emerging market.
Finimize is finance for everyone, including me. The goal here is to bring you world financial news in 3 minutes, no jargon. Finimize breaks it down for you with questions like, What's Going On Here?, What Does This Mean?, Why Should I Care?, and concludes with the bigger picture, so that you can understand what is going on in finance without being a financial whiz.
4. NYTimes Dealbook
An excellent companion to Finimize is the Dealbook, from the NYTimes financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin. This newsletter distills top business and financial events and tells you what is really going on behind the scenes, who the powerful players involved are and, as my partner, Bibi Seck would say, who benefits from the "crime."
5. Alley Watch
If the west coast has its Silicon Valley, we in New York have our Silicon Alley. Alley Watch is the go-to newsletter for New York startups and entrepreneurs. Their readership is made up of venture capitalists, angel investors, entrepreneurs, accelerators, startup employees, thought leaders and tech enthusiasts. In a city where the Alley feels almost hidden, in comparison to the ever-present Valley, Alley Watch provides a visible, accessible,vibrant tech organization online.
6. Seth's Blog
Seth's Blog is my daily read. Seth Godin's tagline is "Blog on marketing, tribes and respect." and if you subscribe to his blog, you get to wake up every morning to Godin's unique thinking on a timely subject--can you work without a boss, is there such a thing as a born salesperson, what to do when you need to make a difficult decision.
"Seth Godin may be the ultimate entrepreneur for the Information Age. Instead of widgets or car parts, he specializes in ideas -- usually, but not always, his own." Mary Kuntz for Business Week
6. Jocelyn Glei
Glei was instrumental in building Adobe's 99U into a great resource for creatives and wrote one of the best books on how to manage email, Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done. For her namesake newsletter, Jocelyn Glei, she curates ideas on "how to find more creativity and meaning in your daily work."
7. London Review of Books
Once you subscribe, you get fun, cheeky, outrageous, informative and always impeccably written articles from the current collection or archives of the London Review of Books, written by and about fabulous writers.
I stopped at seven newsletters not to overwhelm you (or me), but there are many more where these come from. If you have a favorite, must-read newsletter, please add it to the comments.
Thank you to my Birsel + Seck team, Seda Evis, Selin Sonmez and Meltem Parlak for their recommendations.