This was going to be the working title for the newsletter, but I’ll keep it. I’m sending this a day early as most of us try to wind down ahead of Thanksgiving.
Here are a few things on my ‘thanks’ list this year. I’d love to hear about any of yours.
Readers: We’ll cross the thousand-reader mark any day now, and a lot of you open and even respond to this weekly missive. I don’t take any of this for granted.
Members: The Slack community now has north of 700 members, which is baffling to me given that it started on a whim with a LinkedIn post last July. It remains the most supportive, positive community I’ve ever been a part of. The goal for 2020 is just continuing to add value for everyone there.
Guinea pigs: On that note, I have to thank authors Joe Jaffe and Charlene Li for coming in to discuss their books with Serial Marketers. Joe chose a group video chat, while Charlene opted for text threads right within Slack. We will keep experimenting.
Organizers: Weston Woodward and Jess Wilkeyson have become the start of my advisory board for Serial Marketers, and it helps that they’re two of the savviest connectors and practitioners I’ve worked with.
Clients: This newsletter, a passion project, couldn’t exist without them. Thanks to Five Tier and Frank O’Brien, where I’ve been camping out most of the year. There’s no better way to get targeted and cost-effective digital out-of-home (DOOH) media on a cost-per-play basis for practically any budget (really), and they have some big things in store for 2020. Meanwhile, I’ve learned a lot from others like the deep vertical expertise of Wellness Amplified and the passionate, tight-knit team at Social Studies. There are probably a few I’m missing who aren’t within a two-to-eight-minute walk from my apartment, but in the meantime, check out all of those above.
Bridge: This has become my favorite app this year after learning about it from VC Paul Sethi. Still in beta and with a waitlist, it makes it so much easier to facilitate and keep track of introductions, and at times it feels like a secret weapon.
The Most Dangerous Writing App: Acquired by Squibler, this web app lost some of its simplicity, but still, using this to write (without a prompt) has been the most helpful writing tool whenever I’ve been stuck or too slow to get started.
Editors (and entrepreneurs): Allie Smith, my colleague back in our eMarketer days, edited my Slack group newsletter for quite a few editions this year. While she had to focus on other priorities, like her WhipKnits business (these make incredible holiday gifts), I love that there are so many people I’ve been able to work with through multiple endeavors, often many years apart. Also, buy lots of dog sweaters from Allie. All of them.
Skydive Sussex: For a kid who was terrified of amusement park rides, jumping out of a plane from 14,500 feet gave me a much different perspective. For anyone who is remotely tempted, I can’t recommend this outfit in NJ highly enough.
Tous Les Jours: This Koreatown coffee shop in Manhattan has become my go-to this year. There are always tables, the lemon ginger tea is fantastic (I don’t drink coffee, so I’m useless in rating that), and the pastries taste as good as they smell. After spending too long trying to wedge myself into a tiny corner at Gregory’s or other cramped spots, this centrally located oasis checks all the boxes for a killer meeting spot.
Newsletter writers: When trying to write a half-decent one, you appreciate great ones. Two that I’ve probably spent the most time reading this year are by Darren Herman and Ann Handley. I can probably list 50 other impressive ones, but you’ve got a turkey to stuff. Read those two if you aren’t on their list yet.
Global historical fiction writers: As much as I enjoy reading works from authors like Joe and Charlene, I tend to gravitate more toward non-fiction history and biography, and then fiction with a mix of classic literature and modern historical fiction. This year, “The Old Drift” by Namwali Serpell was one of the most surprising novels I’ve ever read (actually, listened to, and then read in part to better follow some of it); I believe THE Sarah Jessica Parker liked my review of it on Goodreads. Also, I am nearly finished reading the ‘Ibis Trilogy,’ the informal name of the books set before and during the First Opium War in China starting with “Sea of Poppies” that Amitav Ghosh released from 2008 to 2015. In all, this has been 2,100 pages of some of the most inspiring writing I’ve come across.
Family: Having people around who are supportive and/or cute goes a very long way.
Thanks again and as always for reading this.
What’s one thing you’re thankful for? I’d love to hear it. And I’d love to hear what you are making of yourself.
This column was originally published in the newsletter. While I share the introductory column here, other updates such as jobs, events, and commentary on news are exclusively available to subscribers. Sign up now to make sure you receive it.