Last-Minute Gifting: 10 Newsletter Publishers Tell Us Their Favorite Paid Newsletters
No shipping or shopping required
This holiday season has created a perfect storm of terrible gift-procuring conditions. Supply chain issues meant both delayed and smaller runs of products, shipping and logistics companies were overrun and understaffed, ports were overwhelmed, and the late-stage Omicron surge made everything more difficult.
If you still have people you need to buy for, now that most shipping deadlines are in the past and your best bet is to pop into a local store and hope for the best, why no consider gifting a newsletter subscription? We obviously love newsletters here, and we think they can make for an amazing gift for the right person. With the recent boom, there are countless independently run newsletters doing amazing work at very affordable prices, and on top of that, you’re going to be supporting a small business (usually a lone person).
Below, we asked some of our favorite newsletter publishers across a variety of topics what their favorite paid newsletters are. (Many of them also run their own paid newsletters, which you should check out as well.)
Email newsletters to the gifting rescue.
Emily Singer, Chips + Dip
My recommendation would be 2PM. It’s described as a newsletter focused on the intersection of media and commerce, but it’s so much more. Web Smith’s essays and selection of articles address a wide range of topics and often look to the past for patterns that suggest what our future might hold.
Dave Pell, Next Draft
I’d suggest Popular Information from Judd Legum. He does deep reporting especially when it comes to finding out which corporations are putting money behind organizations with values they publicly reject. Most newsletter writers follow the media. The media follows Judd.
Walt Hickey, Numlock News
My answer just has to be Heated. I don’t think any other newsletters really nail the full promise of the medium quite as much as Emily Atkin’s climate change newsletter. Lots of newsletters are informative, lots are funny, lots break original stories and lots are constantly relevant and capital-I Important, but I really mean it when I say nobody nails all of those things quite like Heated does. It has without question changed the way I view climate change and the response to it and it genuinely covers stories nobody else is covering; you get real bang for your buck with Heated, as Emily’s operation is somehow more in-depth and sophisticated than the climate coverage at plenty of full-fledged publications. For the person who is interested in the science and the negotiations and how the sausage gets made and the actual nitty gritty of the economy, this is a great gift.
Dan Ozzi, Reply Alt
Parker Molloy put in her dues at Media Matters and has now translated her archival knowledge of political hypocrisy to her newsletter, The Present Age. Whenever some Republican shill or a bumbling media talking head trends on Twitter, Parker is reliably there with, as they say, the receipts. A great resource for reminding yourself why, exactly, you despise these overpaid political hacks.
Dan Runcie, Trapital
My choice is Cherie Hu’s Water & Music newsletter! She does a fantastic job covering music tech. She’s on the forefront of web3, both with her coverage and how she’s building her business.
Sahil Bloom, The Curiosity Chronicle
Ben Thompson’s Stratechery is definitely my favorite paid newsletter. Incredible insights and analysis on the past, present and future of technology delivered to my inbox several times per week. Consistently arms me with the information I need to feel dangerous as a technology investor and plants the seeds that spark active debate among my various friend groups and communities.
Sari Azout, Check Your Pulse
I’m obsessed with Bookbear Express by Ava. Her writing hits all the right chords, every time. I don’t know how to describe it other than it’s a short newsletter full of beautiful musings on what it means to be human. Here’s a recent thought that stuck with me: “If someone’s much better than you at something, they probably try much harder. You probably underestimate how much harder they try.”
Tim Huelskamp, 1440
My favorite is Lenny’s Newsletter. Lenny leverages his community to provide unique insights and playbooks for founders on all areas of company building including product, growth, & team-building, among other incredibly insightful topics. Some of the best content on the internet lives in his NL, it’s a must-subscribe for all business builders.
Jared Holst, Brands Mean A Lot
My recommendation is Rave New World. Michelle Lhooq, the author, takes a hands-on, first-person approach to writing about underground nightlife — dancing, drugs and the characters therein. I love the enthusiasm and openness with which she approaches her subjects. Through her eyes, and the discord she’s organized for paid subscribers, I’ve learned about new dimensions of the underground as well as the cultural forces that shape the ways in which we let loose. Michelle uses a lighthearted writing style, but don’t let it lure you into forgetting how fearlessly she approaches her subjects.
Eli London, The Breads (Yes, this is me.)
I’m a huge fan of NBA Basketball. I think it is the most fun of the American sports (soccer is still my number one love). Tom Ziller’s Good Morning It’s Basketball is a must-read for me as he discusses everything in the game from the culture, to in depth analysis to fun and weird things going on in the league. He’s got a unique voice removed from the cookie-cutter reporting you read on most of the big sites.
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