Newsletters and blogs I'm reading

27 February 2019
27 Feb 2019
Southside Berkeley
8 mins

I’m a big fan of well-curated, well-written email newsletters. I subscribe to several weekly newsletters to keep me updated on what’s happening in the world in a few different fields, where I don’t always have time to go in manually and check out everything that’s going on every week.

I also find email newsletters the perfect balance between longform editorials and short, of-the-moment news articles, where the writer curating the newsletter will have something thoughtful enough to be worth the time, so if I wanted to read more, I could go and read further elsewhere on the web. They’re also almost always free, which is helpful.

This is a list of weekly newsletters I’ve fished out of the last week’s emails in my inbox, and why I’m subscribed to each one. You probably shouldn’t subscribe to every one of these — I have my preferences, and you have yours. But some of these might be up your alley.

Technology and design

Command Line, by The Verge

The Verge does some of the best journalism in the space about the intersection of technology and culture — what’s beyond the cutting edge, and why does it matter? How are things like 5G internet, web standards, new semiconductors, and machine learning advancements going to impact the way our society lives and thrives 5–10 years from now? Command Line is a daily newsletter that highlights some of the more notable articles from them each weekday, and I use it to keep up with what they share, like this article about social media content moderators that you should read if you haven’t.

Sign up for Command Line here

The Interface

The Interface is a newsletter written and curated by Casey Newton, The Verge’s resident editor on technology and democracy. The newsletter is a perfect fit for the current zeitgeist around technology companies, speech, and democracy, and if you’re interested in how culture and technology respond to each other when things go awry, you should subscribe. It’s well-curated and well-written, even more so than others here.

Sign up for The Interface here.

Brand New, by Under Consideration

Brand New is a part of Under Consideration, a broad-focus design blog/publication. Brand New focuses on critiques of high-profile logo redesigns, and I follow the site to keep updated on design trends/brand identity work around the industry at a deeper level than what I see scroll by on my Instagram.

Read Brand New here

The CodePen Spark

Although I’m delving into different areas in software engineering these days, frontend and UI are my bread and butter, and The CodePen Spark is a short, weekly inspirational newsletter highlighting cool CSS/JavaScript tricks I always enjoy trying out. It’s also one of the most well-curated community-driven newsletters out there, and I enjoy seeing how they build value into each dispatch.

Sign up for The CodePen Spark here

Cup of Copy

Copywriting is the most underappreciated and undervalued skill in marketing. Great copy can bump up sales, and poor copy can destroy it; good copywriting is more than just good writing or good design. Cup of Copy is an occasional newsletter from Kaleigh Moore, a copywriter and freelancer heroine of mine. It’s a good glimpse into the world of freelance copywriting, and usually also contains posts from her excellent blog on freelancing and copywriting.

Check out her newsletter here

Business / venture capital

Stratechery

Stratechery is a blog and weekly (daily, if you pay) newsletter by Ben Thompson, one of the sharpest analysts in the tech+business space. Ben’s main beat is Aggregation Theory, which is his narrative about the shift of market power from aggregation of suppliers to aggregation of consumer demand in modern internet companies. Even in the free, weekly mailer, Ben delivers some thoughtful, unique perspectives on notable industry events like M&A’s, regulatory changes, and new product announcements.

Check out Stratechery here.

Snippets, from Social Capital

Social Capital is a fascinating VC fund, focusing on very-long-term, impact-driven investments. Besides having some unique perspectives on venture investing, they publish Snippets, a weekly newsletter about Silicon Valley and the VC/tech industry. They’re usually short, easy, thought-provoking reads. They usually come in series of 3–4 weeks and dig deep each series into a particular topic, like cryptocurrency, financial bubbles, and groupthink in Silicon Valley.

Sign up for Snippets here

Ben Evans’s weekly newsletter

Benedict Evans is a VC at Andreessen Horowitz, which needs no introduction. His newsletters are sent out near the beginning of each week and are a combination of links to important articles across the web from the past week, and some additional commentary from him. It’s low-commitment and always has a few good stories/links I would miss otherwise to important stories or opinions in the tech/business world.

Check out Ben’s newsletter here

Paul Graham’s blog

Paul Graham is a figure in the Valley as a well-known investor and more. I love reading his essays not just for his opinions, which are interesting, but because they’re well written pieces of writing. One of my favorite essays by Graham is “Write like you talk.” His writing is concise and clear, well-edited, well-thought out, and almost always just the right length. The way he lays out his ideas is something I try to learn from with every piece I write.

Read his essays here

Paul Jarvis’s Sunday Dispatches

Paul Jarvis is an entrepreneur who just published a book on lifestyle businesses and staying small. Paul’s opinions and writing on entrepreneurship and building good products is a nice contrast to the rest of the VC world that pushes for scale and growth and rounds and rounds of fundraising. Paul has lots and lots of ideas worth reading, about entrepreneurship, running a good business, and freelance work. His newsletter comes out on Sundays, but he’s also a good follow on Twitter @pjrvs.

Sign up for his newsletter at his site, here.

Finance and economics

WSJ Capital Journal and Markets newsletters

Wall Street Journal publishes nothing short of a full-fledged armada of newsletters around politics, finance, economics, and current events. I subscribe to three of them, two of which are daily recaps on what happened in Washington and financial markets in the last day, every morning. They’re readable and to the point, and a good way to keep in the loop without too much effort.

Sign up for WSJ’s newsletters here

WSJ Daily Shot

The Daily Shot is the third WSJ newsletter I skim every morning — it’s a long list of charts in a whole host of areas in markets. I don’t know nearly enough about finance and investing to make sense of every one of them, but I usually cherry-pick sections of interest (usually US / Equity / Crypto / China) and try to follow what’s happening in the world. I’ve gotten better at reading these charts over time at a glance.

Sign up for WSJ’s newsletters here

Money Stuff

A lot of my perspectives and reading on the business world focuses on analysis from a business strategy perspective, not from a financial perspective. But the latter is useful to have, and Money Stuff is a newsletter diving into specific topics in finance/economics in short, digestible blocks, written by Matt Levine of Bloomberg. It’s a relatively news addition to my inbox, but it’s been worth the reads so far.

Sign up for Money Stuff here

Bloomberg Businessweek’s Sunday Strategist

This is a recent addition, so I don’t have a strong opinion on the content, but I occasionally find interesting articles about business and management in these newsletters, and since it’s only one every Sunday, it’s pretty low-commitment

Sign up for Bloomberg’s newsletters here

Research

Although I don’t do much research (at all, really), I subscribe to what I consider top publications’ newsletters in each of these fields, because I wanted low-commitment ways to keep up with latest advancements in what researchers are working on in genetics and theoretical physics.

PLOS Genetics

I think genomics and genetic engineering are going to be the key enabler of an explosion in technology, entrepreneurship, and business in the next 50–60 years, the way consumer computing did through the 1980’s through 2000’s. So I like to keep up with trends that develop in the space, and how the field is approaching certain kinds of problems (a trend these days seems to be “just do a GWAS” but that’s a different blog post).

Sign up for PLOS Genetics’ weekly updates here (You’ll have to scroll down a bit)

APS Physics

For a very long time, I wanted to go in to theoretical physics and research. When my interests pivoted into technology and business, a small part of me held onto my passion in physics, so I’m subscribed to the American Physical Society’s newsletter of some of the latest published research to keep an eye on any interesting findings in the space, and keep it tuned to general trends and big problems in modern physics (these days: lots of condensed-matter physics, some particle physics, and some quantum computing here and there).

Sign up for their weekly emails here


If you enjoyed this piece, you might also enjoy my next post, What to do if you’re a high schooler interested in a career in software.

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