How to Stand Out as a Writer by Not Being Boring with Packy McCormick

Advice on turning "boring" topics into fun writing

Packy McCormick, founder of Not Boring, joins Stew Fortier to discuss intersecting business strategy and pop culture, exploring diverse mediums, and monetization options outside of the subscription model.

The below summary and transcript were prepared for Compound Writing, a paid invite-only community of online writers. Apply here

1. When trying to find your personal niche, lean into what truly excites you.

A self-proclaimed enthusiast of business strategy, tech, community and real estate, Packy experimented with writing about all of his interests before finding his unique niche. A common piece of advice is to find your personal monopoly, or a collection of subjects that you’re highly qualified to write about. Packy emphasized that success is dependent upon more than just personal qualifications and base knowledge. It’s important to be genuinely excited about your subject matter. “If you're going to write every week, thousands of words, spend the hours and hours, all of the nerves (I legitimately thought people thought I was an idiot for writing for the first six months that I was doing it) - if you're going to do all that, you better like what you're doing.” Despite his passion for these topics, Packy’s ah-ha moment didn’t truly surface until he started to explore the intersection of business strategy and pop culture.

2. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box in the way that you approach your subject matter.

With so many business strategy newsletters already infiltrating the market, Packy wasn’t sure how he would differentiate himself to his audience. “I realized that my unique take wasn’t going to be writing about a totally different topic, but writing about that topic in a fun and unique way.” His newsletter, Not Boring serves as a platform to explain complex business concepts with relevant pop culture examples that not only captivate and entertain the reader, but also increase the accessibility of the theories.

3. Explore mixed mediums to bring your writing to the next level.

While well developed, high-quality writing is undoubtedly the foundation of any successful publication, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other creative ways to express key concepts to your audience. In alignment with his promise to be Not Boring, Packy incorporates visual mediums like gifs and graphics into his long-form articles. “I think it's really about finding something other than just words, that fits your style. If you're writing prose, maybe it’s beautiful illustrations, just something else to mix it up, I would love to get into more video content. Anything that works with your style of writing and enhances it, I think is really good.” Of course, it’s critical to assess whether particular style elements are appropriate for the subject matter at hand. For example, in discussing newsworthy, yet sensitive topics like George Floyd’s murder and the Black Lives Matter movement, Packy refrains from using gifs and graphics out of respect for the subject.

4. Don’t underestimate the power of structured accountability.

One of Packy’s most successful essays to date, Cultivating Scenius, was the direct outcome of a writing fellowship and David Perell’s Write of Passage course. “For some reason, this essay was just so ridiculously hard for me to write. But luckily, you have this with Compound Writing, and we had it in the fellowship, there were eight other people who ultimately finished their essays. We were going through this together, meeting every week, pushing each other.” This sort of structured accountability is incredibly important, especially as you are getting started. Without the pressure of the other members of his fellowship, he probably wouldn’t have pushed himself to finish Cultivating Scenius.

5. It’s okay to own your personal style and stick with it.

Packy has never been short-spoken in his writing, and in today’s media-overloaded landscape, there can be some favor towards a condensed writing style. When questioned whether he felt the need to shift away from his 3000-4000 word format, Packy responded, “I try to do Twitter threads on everything that I write so that there's at least some more consumable, quick way to get to the information. But I think there's also something to picking your style and sticking with it.” Packy writes the way he does because he genuinely enjoys it. It’s important to remember that there are always other ways you can package your final product to meet the needs of speed readers and skimmers without undermining the integrity of your personal voice.

6. Editors exist for a reason. Take advantage of them.

During his Write of Passage fellowship, Packy was able to work with an editor for the first time. “He was really good at calling out when I was being lazy, where it was unclear, and where a whole section didn't make sense.” For Packy, sometimes this meant throwing out an entire piece of writing and starting over.

7. To get over your ego as a writer, focus on your customer.

Writing is an inherently personal endeavor, and for that reason it’s difficult to avoid getting the ego involved. Packy tries to sidestep this productivity trap by focusing instead on his passion for the topic at hand and the responsibility he feels to his larger audience. “If you write something bad, nobody's really going to care for that long. That lets the pressure off a little bit. It’s less about the ego and the particular sections that I really like, and more about making sure that I'm sending something that I'm excited to send to the group of people that have trusted me with their email addresses.”

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in growing your audience.

When Packy first launched Not Boring, he was hesitant to involve his readers in his growth process. “In the beginning, because I was a little bit shy about it. I just put a little button on the bottom that was like, ‘Hey, if you like this, please share.’ And then one time I brought that up higher in the newsletter and was like, ‘Hey, can you guys help me? I spent a lot of time writing this, could you please share this with some people?’ And they actually do.”

9. Maintain a sense of humility.

Publishing on the internet means that you’re bound to encounter a reader that knows more about your subject than you do, and Packy is no stranger to constructive feedback from industry experts. “With a lot of the reader feedback, I keep it in the back of my mind that I need to at least come across as humble enough to let people know that I'm trying something new here and playing with a new field, because I'm not going to be the expert in everything that I write about.”

10. The rumors are true. Good writing is 100% dependent upon doing the work.

Packy knows it’s cliche, but it’s not overstated. Good writing is 100% dependent upon waking up every day and doing the work, even when it’s really hard. “ I think one of the things that is frustrating about writing advice is that it's just doing the work. The most important thing that I did more than any single tactic was pick the type of topic that I was going to be writing about and just do that consistently and try to elevate the level each time that I wrote.”


Full Transcript & Highlights

Lightly edited for clarity and highlighted for key takeaways.

Stew: So I am thrilled to be talking with Packy. His newsletter is called Not Boring. He made a pledge to become not boring. So Packy, I was actually gonna start there. What does it mean to be boring? And well, how do you think about the opposite?

Packy: Thanks so much for having me here. This is really exciting and wild that you guys are all here. I'm excited for this. But yeah, I think you nailed it. I was at a company called Breather for six years. At one point that was our only employee in the US and I grew a team and led a big team. And throughout the whole process, Monday through Sunday, 7am through 9pm, my focus was on this company. The product worked around the clock, so I worked around the clock. I got really good at running a real estate startup, but that was kind of it. There's so many other things that I'm interested in. I’d love to read, but then I would read a book, think about work, and forget what I had just read. So I decided that I wanted to start just experimenting more and playing more. Writing was a really good way to do that. So I remember, I was in one of our executive team meetings last year, and I said the word “innumerate”, meaning to illiterate with numbers. And everybody on the executive team looked at me like I was crazy and didn't know what the word meant. I was like, I need to get out of here and start writing. And so I decided to take this Rite of Passage course and start going for it. I have written something every week since. So what I like about writing from the perspective of being not boring, and there's a whole lot about a social club in there around Not Boring and other stuff we can talk about, but I mean, it's heavy. It takes a lot of time and all that, but it's this really lightweight way to explore and experiment with a lot of different things. I think in a lot of ways, writing is a really good MVP for other things. So one of the things I wanted to do after leaving Breather was starting this club called Not Boring Club, which is essentially like extracurriculars for grownups in the city. And so to do that I researched about community and how social clubs work and wrote about it and whether they're investable and use that to get feedback on the ideas to get interest from people. So eventually what that would have turned into without Coronavirus was this really heavy, expensive physical club. So by writing about it, it's kind of this thing where I can experiment and see if it resonated with people first. It’s just the best possible way to test ideas.

Stew: Yeah, I'm really curious. in the context of writing, there's this idea of, not being boring on this broader scale and really having a wider range of interests and connections. I am curious, you know, a lot of folks on the call are writing their own newsletters. They're getting started maybe doing some more blogging and sharing their ideas online. And I'm curious in the context of writing, how do you think about being interesting. A lot of your work is very fun to read, and I'm just curious how you think about writing in a way that matches the name.

Packy: Totally. So I think I am doing one of the more cliche things so I think I would maybe take a step back. One of the best pieces of advice that comes out of that course is finding your personal monopoly. It's the thing that you're uniquely suited to write about. And if you're not in an industry that's very specific, then maybe pick four things that you're interested in and combine them. And for me, I tried a bunch of different things. Over the past year, I wrote about community. I wrote about real estate. I wrote a little bit about business. I wrote about books that I was reading. And none of it felt natural. I was trying to avoid writing it up as a strategy because there are so many writers who write about business strategy, and I probably read 30 people that I really love who write about business strategy. So finally, I realized that my unique take was not going to be writing about a totally different topic, but writing about that topic in a more fun and approachable way. And so to me, that's what Not Boring is about. It's taking this thing that a bunch of people write about and a bunch of people are familiar with and trying to put a unique spin on it. I actually make a really solid case in everything that I'm writing about, but I do it in a way that people are like, “Oh, I didn't expect that you're going to talk about the movie, She's All That. Now, I actually understand the Gartner Hype Cycle more, because that's what happens to characters in pretty much every movie.” So little things like that make the lesson stick, and it makes a topic that can be dry, a little bit more fun. That’s what my style has become.

Stew: Yes. Weaving in pop culture. I think it's something you do pretty brilliantly with a lot of these pieces. Would define as part of your personal monopoly and style that really works for folks?  ****I think a lot of people might be in that same bucket. They think “a lot of people write about what I talked about, but I just haven't quite found my spin.” So I would be curious to hear a bit more about that, if you could elaborate,

Packy: Sure and you said that “if you're giddy just talking about it, then you’ve found your niche.” I think that's so true. And I think more important than finding something unique is finding something that you absolutely love writing about. I think that was maybe the biggest lesson for me was coming back to the place that I probably wanted to be in in the first place. Because if you're going to write every week, every other week, thousands of words, spend the hours and hours, all of the nerves - I really legitimately thought people thought I was an idiot for writing for the first six months that I was doing it - if you're going to do all that, you better like what you're doing. That's why I like doing this so much. We have the pop culture thing. I just started doing it in a couple of different cases. And it's a way that I think I just naturally think about topics, like, “Oh, it's kind of like this thing. And wait, actually, that's like a way more fun way to describe it.” So I talked about Schumpeter's gale for creative destruction by talking about the Mickey Mouse Club. And so you can take Joseph Schumpeter, and this economic concept that's fairly dry, and then apply it to the Mickey Mouse Club and people will be like ‘Oh, cool. Yeah. I kind of get it. It's like when the Mickey Mouse Club broke up, and then it unleashes all of this potential.” So I started doing that. I'm not religious about it. If there's a topic that just makes more sense in a straightforward way, and I can just throw some memes in and throw some jokes in, then that works, too. But if there's a way to describe something in a more approachable way, I try to do it that way.

Stew: Yeah, that's actually something that I think is interesting about being an internet writer is that you can combine a lot of different mediums. I think there's a temptation to just bring the long form college essay onto a blog. And I think something that's really cool with your work is that you've really done this interesting multimedia approach, if you will, where there's really interesting hilarious gifs and there's images. You become a half graphic designer with some of these great visualizations of ideas. So I guess I'm curious how you would encourage other folks to combine these different mediums to communicate ideas and go outside of the value of the written word.

Packy: Totally, I think it really depends on what you're writing about and what your style is. If you were really going to focus on hardcore finance, I think that you could probably do interactive graphs. If I were a better coder, and I wrote more tightly about finance, I would love to have models integrated and embedded into what I write so that people can play with them to understand the concepts. That's what I would do, but because I'm writing about kind fun topics and I take a funnier approach to it, memes work really, really well. They're shareable. The combination of memes and then graphics that describe interesting things, whether that's a graph comparing two different things that you think are similar, but actually aren't, or just anything visual, I think just resonates particularly well. I write 3-4000 word essays. You need something fun in there to break it up. But I think it's really about finding something other than just words, that fits your style. If you're writing prose, maybe it’s beautiful illustrations, just something else to mix it up, I would love to get into more video, and I love this format, conversational-type podcasts. Anything that works with your style of writing and enhances it, I think is really good. Anything that maybe distracts, I think maybe isn't good. If I were writing something very serious and throwing graphics in, I wouldn't approach it that way. During the protests about George Floyd, I wrote an essay on that and didn't put any graphics in because it's not appropriate. So it really depends on what you're writing about. I think playing with mediums and seeing what works is important. I've tried a million different things over the past 15 months and have landed on this style by just messing around with it. Again, it's something that I have fun doing, so I do it. If i need a break from the writing I'll go to Figma and start just pulling together graphics.

Stew: Awesome. So I'm curious to learn more about when you sit down to actually figure out what to write. I think a lot of folks may have, over time, slowly discovered their area of competence, and maybe what they want to write about. They've got some decent idea of the Venn diagram of where they should focus their attention. But you know, presumably business and strategy, even though it's a niche, can still be fairly broad. There's a lot of stuff you could write about. I'm really curious to hear about your ideation process and basically how the heck do you pick what you're going to invest all the time to create an essay around?

Packy: Yeah, I'm open to tips on this one as well, because I'll start something early in the week. So I publish on Mondays, my longer form pieces, and then Thursday, it's more of an experimental day. But for the Monday pieces, I pretty much don't start writing until Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. And I don't know what I'm going to write about until Thursday afternoon or Friday morning. I have a backlog of ideas that I have built out over time that I want to write about . For example, I'm dying to read a piece on Mischief, the company/collective out of Brooklyn. At some point, I'll do that. But then something pops up. So like last week, I wrote about Twitter because last week, their stock popped after being pretty boring for a while. It popped on the news that they might be doing a subscription product, so that becomes timely. I wrote about Snapchat after they did the Snap Partner Summit. So I try to find things that aren't totally overdone, and too written about, but that at least have some relevance in what's going on. But, for example, there's downsides 100% to this style, because I probably spent 20 to 30 hours writing each one of these pieces, I tried to bring in somebody to help like a college student to help with the research side of it. And he did a great job researching a bunch of points for an article that I want to read at some point. But it's been sitting on the shelf for the past three weeks, because each week there's something that just grabs my attention more on Friday afternoon and then my wife is going to kill me because I then spend all of Saturday and all of Sunday and then first thing Monday morning getting this thing done. So it's really about what grabs me. I think, if I think something's interesting, at least, a good portion of the audience will think it's interesting as well.

Stew: Yeah, so this is actually something we talked about with Nathan Baschez and Dan Shipper at Everything which is how do you think about time-less content. So for anybody who hasn't read it, Packy wrote this essay called Cultivating Scenius about the communities of really sharp folks that get together throughout periods of history and help each other produce better work. And that the myth of the lone genius is often undermined by the reality of smart people getting ideas from other smart people who hang out at the same coffee shop. So to me, that's a great example of a timeless essay that I would go read 10 years from now. It would be just as relevant, while the Twitter thing, you know, might not be. Have you thought about how you think about the timely “what are people talking about right now online” -- versus the timeless pieces that you can share for 10 years.

Packy: Totally. Yeah, that one. That one I was forced to do. And I wouldn't have finished had I not been. So after the Write of Passage course. David Burrell also put together a writing fellowship. So I did that as part of the writing fellowship. So I picked this topic, which was super fascinating to me. I was launching this community and picked the topic maybe back in December, and it was the hardest. You know, it was an 11,000 word essay, and I write 3000 - 4000 words every week. But for some reason, this essay was just so ridiculously hard for me to write. But luckily, and I think you have this with Compound, and certainly we had it in the fellowship, there were eight other people who ultimately finished their essays. We were going through this together, meeting every week, pushing each other. I had as part of that, my first chance to really work with a real editor who helped me carry that through. So back to timeless pieces, I think they are really valuable because you can keep referring back to them, but also really hard to do when there're so many shiny things popping up all the time. I think one of my goals for the back half of the year is to write a few more things like that, that can be touchdowns. But it's really hard to find the time when every Monday I'm delivering something that's relevant to what's going on. So I need to probably just cut out everything else that I'm doing and spend time reading a couple more of the keystone pieces.

Stew: That's great. I'm just curious, because I know a lot of folks are thinking through this themselves. Have you noticed any difference in how it's contributed to kind of the growth in your readership. Do the timely pieces get a lot of attention? Just curious quickly about if you've done a difference in the reaction you get from readers?

Packy: A piece like the Scenius piece has a longer lasting impact. I'll still have people reach out and say that they loved the Scenius piece, that they want to talk about something. I had somebody reach out the other day and say “hey, do you want to come work with us and build our team this year?” And so that feels like it serves more as almost a resume-type piece. But I actually think for growth, the more timely ones that people are sharing, because it's an interesting take on something they were talking about, or maybe thinking about themselves, I think those have been actually better contributors to overall growth. So the Scenius pieces build up this really solid base, and then the more timely stuff, it accelerates the growth.

Stew: Yeah, it's excellent. Awesome. So that's a perfect segway into something that, I think everybody is trying to figure out for themselves that just kind of evolves over time. But you mentioned a little bit around how you pick ideas and, what I kind of heard you say is: “Where's my maximum energy? What am I really fired up about?” And so I think that's probably a framework that a lot of other folks on the call probably use as they pick their topics. I'm curious as to what happens after that, right? Maybe you don't have a bunch of research on a topic. How do you go from Thursday morning, being excited about the Twitter subscription potential feature to a 3000 word essay that you're scheduling to go out Monday morning?

Packy: It's a little bit of a roller coaster every week. And if we got my wife on the call, she would tell you that she'll look at me on Saturday morning and think “Oh, my God, you're so stressed.” I get really excited about this idea. And I won't shut up about it. She asked to hear about it 20 times. I start thinking about it and start pulling different things. Generally, I'll try to find evidence that contradicts what I'm saying. Is this a really dumb point or has somebody said already in a better way than I might say it or alread written about it and it's going to be repetitive for me to write it. I tried every note taking system. I had a bunch of structured Notion docs. I want to get good at Rome. I feel like there's potential there. But I've not figured it out yet. But really, I just open up a Google Doc. And I'll just start searching Twitter, searching Google, searching my inbox, because maybe somebody else has written a newsletter about it recently, and just start dumping the different sources of information. I'll have a random idea, and maybe, you know, it has to do with Twitter's market size or something, so I'll start building a mini model. It's really just about playing with the different pieces of what it might become, until some sort of structure around the essay emerges. Then I try to write a shitty first draft and some sections where I'll be able to write out a really fully baked section. Generally, the intros are always bad. I always get the same feedback on the intros that I don't tell the reader what's coming at all. I should at some point be smart enough to figure out that I’m going to get this feedback. I might as well just put that in there from the start, but I don't. And then some sections, I'll just leave as bullets. And then typically by Saturday afternoon, luckily, I have a younger brother who enjoys editing the stuff, and a sister who's kind of mean. So if I am worried about an essay, I'll send it to her as well. And then I’ll send it to my wife who is not as into this stuff as I am, so she'll tell me , “I fell asleep in this section,” for example, and then I'll try to cut that section. So it's my brother, who's as into this stuff as I am, my sister, who's going to tell me I'm just an idiot for even thinking about writing about this topic and I need to find a whole new angle, and then my wife who will tell me for the vast majority of your audience who doesn't care about this stuff as much as you do, here's where it gets really, really boring or here's where I want more explanation. So having that team is amazing. At some point, I'm sure they will get sick of every weekend me being like “have you read it yet?”, but for now it works. And then I'll take all that feedback back and spend most of Sunday writing until 10pm. And then Monday morning, I’m doing the final edits in Substack. And I'm sure a lot of other email tools will tell you when you've gone too long and your email is going to be cut off. Every time I’ve dumped from GoogleDocs into Substack, it says the post is too long. So then I spend lSunday night and Monday morning cutting things, and sometimes I just give up. And I'm like, my open rates are going to be totally messed up this week, because there's just no way to get this thing down.

Stew: Yeah, so I love what you said about how you have this small group of folks who know you very well and willing to give you the salty truth when you need to hear it. But it's great to hear how you found some folks to give you thoughtful feedback and have an angle that they approach pieces with, You know, that’s something that we thought a lot about at Compound - cultivating that community for everybody and kind of creating an immediate network of folks so you can plug in. Some people who are great at just copy editing, and doing that really well. Some people who are great at writing a killer introduction. Some people who are great at storytelling and narrative. And so I'm really curious how you think about that feedback, and how you've incorporated it? I’m curious about how much pieces have changed because of the feedback you've gotten, if reader feedback really morphs the work that you produce? There's a lot of talk about how to write and writing tips, but I think what often gets overlooked is this feedback and editing side of the process. So I'm just curious to hear you elaborate just a bit more on those edits and how that feedback changes your work.

Packy: Totally. So, through the fellowship, I've gotten to work with an editor, and that was the first time. Before that I hadn't even had my brother and sister edit too often. And then I had this guy, Tom White, who I was able to work with who took this hunk of garbage that I put on the page and over months patiently helped me shape it. He was really good at calling out when I was being lazy, where it was unclear, and where a whole section didn't make sense. A couple of months into the project, he was like, “dude, honestly, I think our best bet here is for you to totally start over.” And I was trying to write it with a group of people, because it was about saying “yes”, and so I thought it'd be cute to do something where I had a group of people contributing to the essay. And he was like, “I'm sorry to tell you this, but you're just clearly getting too much input here.” And you need to just get into the zone, stop accepting this kind of outside input and just go for it. So that was all incredibly valuable. And so it made me appreciate working with an editor. I think I'm willing to throw out pretty much anything . For example, this week in the Twiter piece, I had a structure to the essay. It didn't work. On Saturday morning, I threw it out and started over. So I think having sections that you can move around fairly easily is really helpful. Because you don't want to throw everything out, you just wouldn't be able to finish it, but I’m very open to cutting as much as humanly possible and rearranging things as much as possible. And then, understanding that the point of this isn't for me to be done writing. The point of this is for me to write something that people actually enjoy reading. So if it means that I wake up on Sunday morning and all three of the people have read it and said that it's not very good, then I need to spend all day in a hole, no distractions, reworking. So that's more specific to each piece, but then there's some recurring themes that come up like “your intro is always bad.” Or reader feedback, I think is really good because people call me out, generally. For example, one of the dangerous things about writing and writing about business strategy in particular is that every topic that I'm coming at, - for example, two weeks ago I wrote about education - so people who actually know what they're talking about, in terms of like the guts of working in the education system, or they have kids in school, or different things like that are gonna know, pretty clearly that I kind of know about education, and I know enough to write something, but I don't know nearly as much as them. So a lot of the reader feedback, I keep that in the back of my mind that I need to at least come across as humble enough to let people know that I'm trying something new here and playing with a new field, because I'm not going to be the expert in everything that I write about.

Stew: Yeah, it's funny. I love the point you made about having to do the hard work of killing your darlings, whatever the language is. I am just curious, at this point, have you removed the ego element and it's not too hard for you to go in on Saturday and get rid of the stuff that you loved on Friday, but maybe isn't working out? I think it can be a tough thing for people to do.

Packy: 100% but now I just feel like every week, I need to raise the bar a little bit. Because people are subscribing and it's weird. And so I remember this from the early days of Breather, you'd see somebody sign up. We saw every email address of someone who created an account or made a booking. I’d think, “oh my god, that person made a reservation, we have to make sure that the space is spotless for them.” And now I have the same thing happening where certain people will subscribe, I'm like, “Well, shit. Now it actually has to be good on Monday.” If that means throwing out whole sections or whole essays or anything. Even though you know people are gonna read this stuff and think about it for 10 minutes and that's it, I definitely am in my head about how much people actually care, generally. And I think that's good advice probably, to realize that if you write something great, you could really change the way somebody thinks about something. If you write something bad, nobody's really going to care for that long. That lets the pressure off a little bit. This is certainly a long way of saying that it’s less about the ego and the particular sections that I really like, and more about making sure that I'm sending something that I'm excited to send to the group of people that have trusted me with their email addresses.

Stew: Yeah, I actually love that framing of that, that it's almost your duty to the reader to get out of your own way and refine the work. You should treat them like a customer because they are, right?

Well, I know we're gonna switch the Q&A in a second. So if anybody has any questions, feel free to keep dropping them in the Q&A. We have a few questions from the group that I'll have regardless, but start typing in your questions now. We'll switch over in a couple minutes. I'll do one or two more questions.

We can finally get to the last thing I want to cover which I think hast been remarkable watch from a distance is the utterly amazing growth of the newsletter from writing very consistently for about a year, building up a very loyal but small following of a few hundred folks, which I think it's actually a lot bigger than most people realize. It's pretty awesome to have a few hundred people reading your stuff consistently. But now you've 10x’ed that so I'm just curious to hear about that journey. And how you would encourage people who have been consistently writing but maybe haven't done the marketing piece. How would you go about advising them on growing their list?

Packy: So I think it happened the right way. If you look at the graph, one of the things about growing slowly is that the graph looks a lot more impressive at the end, if you start growing quickly after a year of not growing at all. But the really good thing about that year is that it was mostly friends and family and people that I knew, so I could be creative and completely experimental with what I was writing about. And some weeks, I just dropped a few links in and talked about them. Some weeks I would write a long form piece on community. And some weeks, I announced that I'm starting this club. And because it's friends and family, I wouldn't get too many unsubscribes from doing that. Now, if I send something out talking about a referral program, I'll get an email back that's like, “I don't care that you're doing this referral program.” And so, still fairly friendly, but less friendly now. So I'm glad that I had a year of not writing to people that I didn't really know. But I think, I decided at some point in April, particularly when the quarantine hit and I had put a pause on the Not Boring Club, to make an effort to change the name, pick the thing that I was going to write about and get more consistent with it. And I think, one of the things that is frustrating about writing advice is that it's just doing the work. The most important thing that I did more than any single tactic was pick the type of topic that I was going to be writing about and just do that consistently and try to elevate the level each time that I wrote. And then things kind of flow from there. So I'm able to be more active on Twitter, which feels weird still, but certainly felt weird for the first year. And then more recently, I’ve been a little bit self promotional, and just talking about the stuff that I am writing about. But because Not Boring is a little bit fun, I get to have fun with it on Twitter, and I can be myself, so it's easy to talk about it and engage in conversations around the topics that I'm interested in. We've launched a referral program, which so far I think, has generated about 600 subscribers. So 10% of all the subscribers have come from that. We've launched on Product Hunt, which I highly recommend to everybody once you're ready and once you have that kind of early, loyal base. We just put together a landing page in a couple of days and then launched on Product Hunt. Because you have this amazing resource, which is a list of people who at least kind of care about you and what you're doing, you're able to direct people there. And so I think of the 6500 subscribers 2000 came from munching on Product Hunt and getting to number two, but that's not possible without, that year probably of building up people who had seen the journey and understand that I've been like struggling on this for a year. One other meta thing that's worked really well is just being open with it. So I started sharing that I want it to grow this thing, from the time that I had 100 subscribers, and then if I got to 200, I'd be like, “hell yeah, this is amazing. Thank you so much,” because I genuinely was incredibly excited that those things were happening. In the beginning, because I was a little bit shy about it. I just put a little button on the bottom that was like, “hey, if you like this, please share.” And then one time I brought that up higher in the newsletter and was like, “Hey, can you guys help me? I spent a lot of time writing this, could you please share this with some people? And they actually do. And so that was, up to that point, the biggest day of signups. And then from there, it's just been this thing where I'm very open about the things that I'm trying and why I'm trying them and I write on Substack. I try to let people in on the process. I think it also kind of works because, a lot of the things that I write about are either these really, really, really big companies are really, really, really small companies, both of which are possible to do online in a profitable way. And so I use Not Boring, it's like, pure tactics that I'm using on this newsletter that you can also use for small businesses, generally, so I'm going to be open about the things that I'm doing and I think that helps people feel more bought in.

Stew: Yeah, I love that. I feel like your story is the effect of compounding, putting in that work over the year. You built up that loyal following of whatever size and now there’s that support base for everything you do, which is really awesome to see. So with 25 minutes on the clock, the Q&A has lit up.

How do you capture and track your ideas for future writing pieces?

Jess:  Thanks for doing this today. I appreciate the way that you incorporate pop culture, because that's how I best synthesize complex ideas too. And some of my best ideas come when I'm not at my computer or phone, like in the shower or running or when I'm trying to stay focused on what a person is saying, but I start thinking about the idea anyway. How do you capture those fleeting gems and how does it fit into your overall workflow.

Packy: So I wish I had a better workflow in general. And that's probably one theme of this - is that there's the whole “building a second brain” group of people who are very organized about it, and then me. I've used every possible thing, to answer your particular question. There are very, very, very many times when my wife will be talking, or her friend will be talking, and my wife catches me in this where she's like, “oh, you're thinking about the essay, right?” And so in the middle of the conversation, I'll have a really clever idea. So I capture it in a few different ways. One, I'll send myself an email. And I won't open that email. I’m neurotic about responding to notifications and just clicking on things, but I won't open that email until I get back to my computer. And then I'll see if I still like it then, and if it's worth actually digging into. I'll do the same thing with Slack and Slack reminders. So I'll just send myself a message in Slack to remind me of it in an hour. Right now I'm in my in-laws house, and my office setup is in the basement. And so sometimes, it'll be 10 o'clock, we'll be about to go to bed, and I'll have an idea and I'll be like, “Alright, I just need to come back, give me 15 minutes,” and I'll walk down the flight of stairs, walk down to the basement, and just get like a rough version of that idea down. And then when I have more time to actually sit with something, I make sure that that's something that is still interesting and fits in the context of what I'm doing. And if it is, then I’ll actually flesh that out too, and then see how the piece fits with that image or that idea in there.

Stew: So thanks, Jess. Great to see ya. So, Sarah, I am going to promote you here.

Have you thought about doing shorter or condensed versions of longer posts?

Sarah: Yeah, thanks for doing this. I'm enjoying the newsletter a lot. My question is, these are pretty titanic posts, as you say, like 3000 4000 words. I'm just curious if you've thought about doing shorter or condensed versions of the longer posts, or do you really feel like the long form is what people come for and is most impactful in this format?

Packy: Yeah, I don't have a good counterfactual here because I end up writing pretty much everything at that length. And it's dictated by how much I can do before Substack cuts me off. I would love to try a shorter one one time. Pretty much every week, I go into it, saying that I'm going to do a shorter one this week, and then it just ends up being about that length. I'm sure that some things would be more shareable and easier for people to consume if I made them shorter, and I'd actually love your thoughts on whether you'd like to read some shorter pieces. But I think it would take me even more time to make what I write shorter - to try to pack as much into 2000 words I do into 3500 words. So that's kind of where they end up. But I started recording audio versions of each of them because I know that it's a lot for some people to read. I would love one week to be able to just do a couple thousand word piece and then call it a day, I’d love your love your thoughts on if you'd like to see some shorter stuff.

Sarah: Yeah, I personally would like it just because -- I think it probably depends on what your media diet is in general. But I do read a lot. And so I find it's the kind of thing where you open the browser tab to read it all, and then you never get to it. And so that's where I'm coming from. And just on a selfish level, I'm like, “well, what's the sweet spot?” You know? Is it 3000 words? Or is it more? I would say my stuff is mostly like 1000 to 1500 tops. So really, what holds people's attention? Weighing that with what delivers most value.

Packy: Yeah, I think it'd be a fun thing to experiment to experiment with, for sure. I try to do Twitter threads on everything that I write so that there's at least some more consumable, quick way to get to the information. But I think there's also something to picking your style and sticking with it. Fred Wilson can say more in 100 words than I can say in 3000 words. And that's amazing that he has that style. But I think part of it has just become the way that I write. So keeping some sort of consistency, even if it means maybe limiting the growth a little bit is valuable for now, but to your point, I'd love to experiment at some point, and maybe that means, hiring somebody to condense at some point in time if I ever make money off of this thing. But I'd love to be able to give more condensed versions and just different ways to interact with the material. Thank you. Absolutely.

Stew:. Great question, Sarah. I'm waiting for the Not Boring TikTok so I can get 15 second videos.

Packy: Have you seen Brett Goldstein who does tech Twitter TLDR and does something called Social Studies, where he’s experimented with condensing a bunch of tech articles down to TikToks.

Stew: That is amazing. We’ll see...until the government shuts it down. Actually this is the perfect intro to Josh Mitchell.

What are your plans for making money?

Josh: Hey, Packy, my name is Josh. I figured I’d ask, what are your plans for money? How do you plan on making money short term and long term pricing structures? I would love to hear you elaborate on that.

Packy: This is something that I've thought a lot about because I went from a well-paying job at a tech company to making zero dollars writing a newsletter, and have a kid on the way in October. So my wife also wants to know same question that you do, I think. For me the plan was to get to about 2500 people, and then start charging. Newsletters convert to paid anywhere between 5% and 10% depending on the pricing, then I can get 250 people paying and $10 a month. It's not life changing money, but something. I decided not to do that, though, for a couple of reasons. One, I'm enjoying the growth too much. I'm writing pieces that I think are generally shareable, and right now I like having the ability to have those shared. It’s not just for the growth. I think it's really fun if I'm going to put 30 hours into writing something for it not just to go to an audience of 250 people. And because the faster that I think I can get to a big number, the more options I have. I think instead of getting paid for it now, the most recent thinking that I have is once I get to about 10,000 people, I'll start turning on sponsorships. And so I have an audience that I think is fairly valuable and fairly unique. I think I've heard the Financial Times has the highest kind of CPM as of any publication at about 360, which is insane. And I don't have that audience but I think I'm probably somewhere between that and like your standard $50 to $75 CPM. So if I can get $100-$150 CPM with a 10,000 person audience and I write twice a week, it ends up looking pretty good. I think I would just do a sponsored post because I don't leave myself enough room to do too much more. advertising. So I think sponsors are certainly one way. At some point, if I can figure out how to make my process more efficient, I'll have a paid aspect of it, and maybe that is more condensed versions, maybe that is if I'm building models behind the scenes for what I end up writing, you know, releasing the models and some of the more technical stuff, and then probably a community aspect as well. And then one of the things that I'm experimenting with is I wrote an investment memo on an early stage startup and then sent people to a friend of mine’s syndicate, so they can invest potentially in the round and the syndicate leader gets carry-on. That's a longer term play, just like compounding the list and everything else, but I got a lot of good feedback on that. And so I think I'm going to start a syndicate because a lot of my audience are in tech, investors, people who have money but don't have access to start up deals. So I think a syndicate format works really well, so I can take a complex company idea - last week was about this natively integrated apartment developer that uses software and zoning laws to build low rise apartment buildings - and so I can take that kind of hairy concept and explain it better and then let people invest. I think that's kind of a fun way to do it. And so, thinking about different things like that, where I can monetize in a way that's kind of unique to the things that I'm writing about the audience that I have. Another way, I've talked to a couple companies about potentially doing like, almost an ETF or like a fund about the companies that I write about, that people can invest in, and I would get carry on that, so who knows if I'll do that. I also probably should talk to a lawyer at some point and see if I'm triggering any SCC issues with any of this, but I think there are ways to do it that are super aligned with the content that are more exciting than just the two options that every writer seems to have which is ads or paid.

Josh: Cool, thank you. It was a really elaborate response.

Packy: I never can go short.

How do you ideate your stories?

Stew: Awesome, great question. All right. Thank you, Josh. I think Charlotte said that she has a crying baby with her. So I'm gonna ask her a question that she typed in. And the question was, how do you ideate your stories? I don't know if you want to maybe elaborate a little bit on what we talked about earlier. But yeah, how do you ideate the stuff you end up writing about?

Packy:. I spend too much time online, too much time reading other newsletters, too much time on Twitter. And so certain stories will pop up that generally fit into a few of the different frameworks that I keep a running list of in my mind. If something pops up that I think that I have a unique perspective on then that's one way that I do it. Another way might be just companies that I'm personally obsessed with that I don't think are getting a fair shake in the market So Slack was one of those. And so for a couple of months, my brother and I would just be like - we both own shares in Slack - and we were both incredibly frustrated with the narrative around the company. And so finally, I was like, I just need to write this thing. And so it's a combination of either (1) there's something in the news, or (2) there's something that I can't get out of my head. And then the same kind of editorial team - my brother, my sister and my wife - I'll also throw ideas against them and see if they think that they're interesting enough to write about. And then I work with a friend of mine named Tommy on this - who is also super smart and interested in the same things that I am - so you know, on Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll be like, “o what are we writing about?”

Stew: Awesome. Cool. So I think next up is Ross. I think Ross had a question around Substack verse ConvertKit, kind of like email. No toolkit. So take away, Ross.

How would you compare Substack to some of the other products for larger newsletters and creators, like ConvertKit?

Ross: Thanks, guys. Thanks for doing this. Great to meet you both. So my questions around Substack versus what a lot of other creators are using like a ConvertKit, or something similar. So thinking, just curious around how you're thinking about Substack in relation to some of these other options for some of the larger newsletters or larger creators, and how you're thinking about migrating either in that direction or not at all.

Packy: Yeah, this is another one of those questions that's consumed a lot of my mind space. Tommy and I have talked about it a lot, particularly because we want to do things to help grow the audience. So we launched a referral program ,and we had to build a landing page. So we have our own domain actually, to tell our story on, in our own place to share old articles and to explain a little bit more than you can on Substack. Right now we're kind of just hacking things in Substack’s orbit and then sending people back to Substack. The way that our referral program and our landing page works is that at the end of each day, I'll pull down emails from each one, dump them into a Google Sheet, and then dump them into Substack, and then vice versa. When people sign up via Substack to get them a referral code, then we take them out of Substack and we dump that into Grocer, which we use for referrals. All of that is to say, there are a lot of things that we do to kind of hack it and stick with Substack. I really like it. It's easy, it's clean. I probably wouldn't have written as much without Substack being so easy. But I'm definitely considering a switch. I don't know if that's going to be something like ConvertKit or if that'll be building something ourselves, or what that ends up looking like. Potentially MailChimp like I haven't thought through that next step. Or, I've thought through a lot. I haven't gotten to the final conclusion quite yet. But I think the main things I'm looking for are (1) easy integration into other tools, and then (2) a really clean writing interface. Those are the two big things. I think one thing that's gonna bite Substack is their anti pad stance. I think, you know, for a newsletter writer to be able to monetize and whatever way you possibly can, that works for your brand is a really good thing. Whereby is building an ad network that eventually will be kind of self-serve. I think that's a really big missed opportunity on Substack’s part right now.

Stew: Awesome. Thank you so much for the answer. Absolutely. Awesome. Yeah, great question. And that's something people are constantly trying to figure out and just has evolved so much in the last couple of years. Awesome. Actually, another very timely question, a question around Substack fatigue and subscription fatigue. I think that is definitely top of mind and top of Twitter right now, so feel free. Take it away.

Substack and subscription newsletters have become incredibly popular. Do you think we will see some subscription fatigue in the market?

Ben: Yeah, basically, as the question says, it seems like the last year has been a really good time to start subscribing. But do you think people are going to get a bit sick of that if they subscribe to you? You know , 10, 20, 50 newsletters going forward?

Packy: Yeah, I mean, as someone who subscribes to 10. 20 or 50, I definitely am at the point where there's some people that I'll read every single time, their email gets to my inbox, and there's some people where I’ll certainly look at the subject line and see if it's something that I'm interested in exploring more. I don't know. I think there's definitely a bubble on Twitter, and I'm not good at breaking out of it. Most of the people who subscribe to Not Boring found it on Twitter or are onTwitter, and so I haven't practiced what I've preached here, but I also think about the number of people that have ever seen a tweet that I've that I've tweeted, and it’s maybe .01% of the world population, and of the people in America is I think there's a very small group of people who subscribe to a ton of newsletters. But a lot of people are writing about things that would be interesting to a broader group. My mom's friends will read the newsletter now, and they're actually really into the things that I'm writing about because they've heard of Twitter, they've heard of Snapchat, they want to learn more about it. So figuring out how to get to that next level of people who don't subscribe to 50 newsletters, I think is going to be something that differentiates the people who can get really, really big and the people who end up kind of competing for those same 50,000 eyeballs.

Stew: Awesome. Thanks, Ben. Yeah, that's a great point. It's easy to forget how insular Twitter is. It’s kind of a small world even though there's still millions of people on there. It's actually kind of a small world relatively speaking. Yeah, I definitely feel that I am feeling the subscription fatigue myself. Okay, Nick, I think you had a question around open rates, click rate, that kind of engagement.

How have your click rates and open rates changed as you’ve grown your audience?

Nick: Hi Packy. I'm just curious if you're comfortable sharing, like how your click rates and open rates have changed as you’ve grown your audience?

Packy: Yeah. So this, I have a bit of a good cop out answer here, which is, recently I have started writing even longer, so my tracking pixel is at the bottom of email on Substack. And so the longer I write, the less of a chance there is that it's properly tracking. So some of my recent essays have had 20% open rates and like 80% click through rates, which is not what they've actually had, but that's just what happens when the pixel is messed up and it has to track based on who clicked. The ones that I write that are shorter are still in like the 55% to 60% range after a week. I certainly see this pattern where I can see the open rate in the morning, and that's probably close to 30%, then it trickles to 40% throughout the day. And then I go from 40% to 50% in the evening, because a lot of people have just saved it because they are such long pieces. So they'll save it for a point when they have a little bit more time. But for a while there the open rates were about 60% to 68%, and now they're probably closer to 55% to 60% range. Then there’s click rates. My click rates have gone down dramatically because my format before was a lot of links and listens. I was sending people external. And now I have things linked within what I'm writing, but there are very few points and I'm like “please go read this particular thing.” So I've gone from kind of the 30% range to the 15% to 20% range.

Nick: That's super helpful.

Stew: Awesome. Thanks, Nick. We've got about four minutes or so in the clock here. So we'll try to do some rapid fire or we'll stick around for an extra minute or two, but, um, Football Guys, I'm assuming that's not your God given name. So I'll try to make a guess here but Football Guys has a question around the referral program you set up which was really spectacular. Feel free to unmute and take it away.

How do you incentivize and get people to share?

Joe: Thank you. Yeah, now my given name. Joe is my name. Thanks for doing this guys. Have you found a software or a plan or other things too, how have you incentivized people and get people to share? We're in a business where people are incentivized not to share our content. We’re fantasy football information. So we've got a little struggle there. So that's always been a challenge for us, how do we get people to share.

Packy: Yeah, so we use a program called Grocer. So Tommy, who I'm working on this with now, found Grocer and he's responsible for that and the landing page that we're doing. So we built Grocer and integrated it into a web flow landing page that we built with the help of a designer/coder/genius named James McNab. Grocer is super easy. I think the thing that I like about it is that you can just plug it in with a bit of JavaScript into a page, people will get their unique link. and then they can share it out and there's a leaderboard. So you know, at 10 we call somebody out in the newsletter and we link to their company if they want that. At 20, we give somebody a sticker and at 30, we give somebody a t- shirt that is in the middle of being designed right now. But I think really the motivation for people sharing is more the leaderboard than it is the t-shirt or the stickers. It's even the leaderboard or just wanting to be helpful, and then the t-shirt of the sticker is a nice touch. Yeah, for something like a paid service that you don't want people sharing, it's probably interesting data that you're willing to have them share or something like that, or some sort of images. We're doing everything we can to make it shareable. So one of the reasons that I didn't ultimately decide to go paid actually is that I think, for me right now, just growing is more valuable. But certainly a referral program is great. And because you're paid, you can probably offer better rewards for the people who get people to sign up than I can, so you can even offer monetary rewards or whatever else that is of higher value because you know that the LTV of the customer is $500.

Joe: Awesome. Thank you, Rocco. You're talented.

Stew: Awesome. Thanks, Joe. And yeah, it looks like Jess also mentioned viral loops is another referral service. So cool. So I know we're right on time. So if anyone has to bounce obviously feel free, but Packy if you’re available, I think we could maybe do two or three more and that would actually close it out. So, Kyle, if you're still on here you are next up.

How do you get started?

Kyle: Well, hey, so guys, I'm trying to figure out how to start writing long form. I've always had ghostwriters. So I run a company with about 100 employees. And I feel like I have this duty to start communicating my thoughts through long form writing, not just with my team, but with the public, more so than just quick Twitter posts. I mean, how do you start? I think part of my problem is that I just don't know where to begin. Right? Which is kind of funny because I started a company, so I definitely know how to start things. But it's just for some reason it is so hard. I can't figure out how to just get going. So what do you recommend Packy? Because obviously, you're crushing it. So I'm so curious how you recommend I begin.

Packy: Yeah, I mean, we're in a group right now. And I think that's the number one thing. I was able to pick up a cadence by doing the Write of Passage course where every week we had an assignment that we had to finish and then we go to a breakout on the zoom call. And if you're the guy who didn't complete something, you kind of look like an asshole. So I'd find some sort of accountability group. That could be Compound Writing, that could be a few of your friends who might want to write, but I would say give yourself an assignment and give yourself a deadline. And don't worry too much about the quality. Obviously everything is colored by what your goal is, and since yours is more professional and for your company, quality will matter a little bit more, I would assume, depending what you're doing. Just set a goal and a deadline and have people hold you accountable. If it's somebody else who's writing as well, then it's not just asking a friend to hold you accountable when they don't really care. But if you're holding somebody else accountable and they're holding you accountable, I think that's a really valuable way to start. So getting in a writing group is super valuable. I think that's the number one thing. And then if you have ghostwriters, and you have some sort of writing apparatus set up, I'm assuming you have editors involved as well. I know Tom White, if you're still on the call, Tom is a fantastic editor and is going to be doing more editing work. So maybe you guys should connect. Just write what you want to write and then assume that you can edit that down, either yourself or with a partner, with an editor later on, but just don't worry about quality as much the first time. Just give yourself a deadline to get it done.

How do you decide what to write about?

Kyle: It's super helpful. Packy, thank you so much. And then just real quick, Stu, if I can just follow that up with, how do you really decide what to write about? I know you hit on this a little bit earlier in this interview, but I mean, how have you latched on to certain topics and really like chosen the route. Because I think it's another part of this. I have these ideas around team building or culture playing or whatever. But they don't really ever kind of form in anything. I'm just kind of curious how you choose a topic and really run with that and know it's the right topic.

Packy: I would say I don't know it's the right topic almost ever. Really this week I thought my essay was dogshit on Sunday morning, and it was a topic that had been written about and that my perspective wasn't particularly unique on it or anything like that. Nothing holds you more accountable than having this growing list of people that you need to send something to on Monday mornings, I just had to put in the time to get it done. And sometimes it'll hit and sometimes it won't, it won't get to the same level. But I would say if it's interesting, if you're writing just to write because you feel like you have to for your company, then maybe like that might not be the topic you should pick. But if you think that there is something that you have insight into because you've started and run a 100 person company and you have real insights that you don't think have been said before that you're really really passionate about, then I think if you're passionate about it, you're gonna find other people who are passionate about it too. If you're confused about it or at some point were, you'll find people who are confused about it or at some point were, who will want to read it. So make sure it's actually interesting and you're doing it for the right reasons, not to sound too much like the bachelor, and be excited by it and i think it will hit.

Kyle: Thank you so much, Packy. Really appreciate the time today.

Stew:  So let's see. I think we'll do two more. And Fabri, tell me if I'm pronouncing that right, I think you had a question about building your brand of beyond writing.

Do you have any plans to build your brand beyond writing?

Fabri: Yeah, you got it perfectly, right. Yes. The idea is like you know, writing clearly, it's, like your car. But when I read the investment memp and I was like, “Ooh, this is interesting,” like, you could really translate that authority into other verticals. So beyond monetization, where do you see this going? Is it always gonna be a written thing or could it evolve into different lines of products.

Packy: I want it to evolve into so many different lines of products. I think my biggest issue is probably going to be focus. And I like having the newsletter as the anchor that focuses that, but yeah, I mean, I definitely am. Some of the stuff that sounds cliche, but I think that there's an opportunity to start a more conversational almost sports talk radio-like podcast around it. I love the idea of the syndicate investment memos because it's something that I'm passionate about and want to get more into anyway. I think there's really great opportunities to even go ecommerce depending on what you're writing about. I think that you know, online today if you can build an audience and reach an audience without having to go through Google and Facebook, that’s a really just incredible asset to have. And so one of the reasons that I like writing, is that I can test things. Like I said, I want to do a syndicate. And if I, if everybody replied, that's a really dumb idea, then I don't do a syndicate and I've wasted a little bit of time and zero dollars trying that. I think it's really interesting to just have this ongoing conversation with the audience about what they'd be interested in getting from you and then executing on that. I'm all about the idea of like an audience first business, and I want to figure out as many ways that make sense and feed off of each other as I can .

Stew: Awesome love it. Yeah. Cool. And keep it up. So I think we will wrap up Tyler, if you're still on the line. The floor is yours. I think Tyler had a question around distribution, how to avoid ever falling into something that seems spammy or overly self promotional.

What have you found to be the most successful distribution methods?

Tyler: Yeah, really just curious what you have found to be the most successful distribution methods. I mean, obviously, you kind of popped when you had your landing page hit the top of Product Hunt. And that was really cool to see. I'm curious about earlier on, in the lifecycle of your newsletter, what did you find to be the most successful distribution methods as you grew to where you are now?

Packy: I think it really depends. And it's all about trying a bunch of different things. And for me, it was all about getting over this ego and this fear that I had. At one point I mentioned that I asked my audience to share and that really helped. And that was my biggest day. At another point, it was the first time that I finally got over myself and posted on LinkedIn. That became my biggest day. There was another time that I had a guest poster. Allie Montag, who's incredible and is written for Not Boring a couple of times. She wrote about Kim Kardashian and I posted it in the Keeping Up With The Kardashians subreddit and that got more likes than I've gotten on Reddit. I'm not good at Reddit, but more likes than anything else I've gotten on Reddit and got a bunch of subscribers. So it's about finding where each piece of your content might pop and then trying it, and not being afraid to try a bunch of different things. Product Hunt was certainly big. Even just having a kind of a cadence without trying to be too formulaic because I don't like when people are like very clearly formulaic on Twitter, but I'll tweet every time I Breaking article I'll leave him like, this week I was thinking about the Twitter article asked a question that Paul Graham ended up ended up responding to. And so that tweet blows up. And it's related to the topic. And so then I can like, follow up on that tweet that I wrote the thing. Tonight, I'll do a thread on that post until like, that'll get a second week, people. But I think it's really about just like, for me, at least, it was about getting over the fear of having like being too all over the place, because you live in your own social feeds. And so I think that I'm tweeting way too much. And some people might also definitely agree with that. But then I'll have friends who are also on Twitter a lot. And you're like, Oh, I didn't realize until I read your piece that Paul Graham replied, and I was like, What do you mean, that was like, the biggest thing that happened in the past 24 hours, but I'm seeing all the replies to Paul Graham. They're not. So I think it's about realizing that like, you can't be annoying and spammy, but people are probably not seeing you nearly as much as you think they're seeing you.

Tyler: Oh, that's great. Awesome. Thank you.

Stew: Thanks, Tyler. Awesome. Yeah, I think we'll wrap up. And I just want to thank everybody who showed up. I want to thank Packy for all the awesome questions. What we're going to do is put together a recording and most likely we'll put together a transcript of the call. And we'll email it out to everybody who signed up. I was taking my own notes here and I have five pages of notes. So there's a ton of great wisdom and advice. Packy, thank you for sharing all the hard-won lessons.

Packy: Absolutely. This is amazing. Thank you.

Stew: Awesome. And then I just wanted to wrap up and say, first thing, Packy you mentioned, he's launching a syndicate. He's experimented with a syndicate where he'll pull together some investors and write about really interesting early stage startups that he's seeing. So if people are interested in that, Packy, what's the best way to reach you?

Packy: On Twitter you can find me @packyM or you know subscribe to Not Boring on Substack, and I'll once we launch this thing we'll certainly be sending out a post about the syndicate. I think that's gonna be a lot of fun. I have no idea if I'm gonna get myself in trouble with the SCC so I need to talk to a lawyer. If anybody has advice there let me know, but I think it's a cool way to tell early-stage company’s stories. So if you have one of those, let me know and if you're interested in investing, let me know.

Stew: That's awesome. So subscribe to Not Boring and reply to Packy. For anybody who's in Compound Writing, Packy is going to join the Slack, so you'll see him there in the next few days. And we're thrilled to get an occasional early look at some work. But thank you so much everybody who showed up, this was a blast. Packy, thanks again for your time, man. Thank you. This is so much fun. Thanks, everybody.


Packy McCormick is the founder of Not Boring.

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