Since the last newsletter, COVID-19 has gone from something most seemed to be dismissing to a global pandemic. These are, undoubtedly, crazy times. I hope everyone is keeping safe and taking all necessary measures to help flatten the curve. Wash those hands! And save some toilet paper for the rest of us.
❶ Q&A: Kristen Hawley, Founder of Expedite
Kristen Hawley started writing a newsletter before newsletters were cool.
Having spent time covering food and restaurants for consumer magazines in NYC, in 2009, she uprooted, moved to San Francisco, and started covering the tech industry as a journalist.
After spending time building up Chefs+Tech, a newsletter that originally started as a side project, an acquisition offer by a larger media organization fell into place through a mutual friend.
Kristen was gracious enough to answer some questions that delve into her focus on creating great content as a catalyst for organic growth, the process of selling her first newsletter, and her new newsletter project, Expedite.
You can check out the Q&A with Kristen here.
Got a question you’d like to Kristen answer? You can leave your questions in the comment section or email me and we’ll organize a time for Kristen to answer.
❷ Hack: Techstars Network
Tapping into existing networks is obviously a great way to find a new role.
So, here’s something you might consider.
I found out recently that Techstars, an international startup accelerator, has an internal network where founders can share CVs with other founders in that community.
Consider culling together a list of recent grads from all Techstars programs.
You’re looking for early-stage companies that that are pre-product/market fit.
See if they’re hiring related to a position that you’re interested in. Reach out directly with an intro/cover letter email. If you’re really interested in the problem they’re trying to solve or how they’re going about solving it, let me them know in that email.
Ideally, you want to set up a call, to learn a little about the company and how you can provide value at an early stage. Bring a couple ideas to the table or at the least showcase some stuff that you’ve worked on that might get them excited.
If the meeting has been positive but the role isn’t an exact fit, ask if they would mind sharing your CV or profile with others in the network.
There’s lots of early-stage companies that have that graduated from Techstars. Find an entry point and an advocate to help refer you to others within that network.
This isn’t necessarily a simple hack, but I think if you reach out to a few companies where you can display enthusiasm and a hustle mindset, it’s not too difficult to find an advocate within that network.
Note: I assume the same thing would be true of other startup accelerators but can only personally speak to Techstars at the moment.
❸ Newsletter Mastermind
The focus of this community isn’t remote work, per se. It’s about taking a design approach to your career. Within that framework, remote work is a tool.
If you’re currently working in-house, a remote role can help you turn your commute time into hours that you can put into building and testing something new.
If you save five hours a week, over a two year period you’re looking at over 500 hours saved. At three years, you’re nearly at 800 hours. What could you build, what could you test out, what could you prototype in 800 hours?
In addition, lots of people are worried about automation, what their future career will look like and are unhappy in their current role.
The Passion Economy is, arguably, the result of people being dissatisfied with their current roles and who are looking for more independence and creativity.
What’s difficult is when you’re in the situation where you’re dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with your current role, you’d like to build and test a niche newsletter or project, but you don’t have the asset of an existing audience.
I was certainly in this position when I started this newsletter.
For members of this community who are interested in building a paid newsletter, I can help bring together others with similar ambitions.
The idea is that you can serve as an initial catalyst to promote each other’s newsletters and offer critical early feedback.
I’d like create a separate channel where a group of you that are interested in building niche subscription newsletters can converge.
For my part, I can help organize discussions and resources like lists of other newsletters, groups, and micro-influencers to reach out to.
If building a paid newsletter is something that you’re thinking about and you’re interested in working with others to promote and offer feedback, fill out this form.
❹ Interesting Things
A reminder to Don’t Touch Ya Face.
An experimental art project that lets you create unique generative art.
Influencers, call your followers.
Putting a price tag on women’s unpaid labor.
The No CV/Open Hire approach to recruiting, from friend of the newsletter, Hung Lee; this mostly applies to retail positions, but they discuss the concept of passing a course over a month and then getting the job upon successful completion. Fascinating concept considering there are 6M unemployed and underemployed people in the US alone.
Slack group: our Slack group available exclusive to members is up and running. I’m on-boarding members in batches every week. Not a member yet? Join here.
Rebranding: The Memo was always a placeholder name. I initially launched this newsletter as sister newsletter for another project that I was working on. But the time has come to put some thought into a new name. I have a few that I’m entertaining. If you have some thoughts, I’d love hear them.
Shout out: Louis Valenzuela, UX Designer and member of the community, reached out to say that he’s in the midst of interviewing for a role that he discovered on our job board. Go Louis! Best of luck.
Influencer marketing: Got questions on how to use influencer marketing as a growth lever for your projects? Andrew Kamphey, founder of Influence Weekly, will be responding to some questions for our next Office Hours. Send over your questions. Responses to be included in a thread. Email me.
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