Liberty's Business Model Change
💚 🥃 What I'm doing and why
First and most importantly, I deeply appreciate everybody’s support these past few years.
I don’t mean just financially, I’m thinking of everyone who took the time to read, listen, share it with friends, send feedback, suggestions, ideas, etc. I got to know many outstanding people who I now consider friends by going clickety-clack on my keyboard!
I want to keep doing the newsletter full-time forever. This change will make the project stronger (there’s no exit strategy, no other job I’m trying to get to through this, and no other project I’d rather be doing).
If you enjoy what I do and want access to everything, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription (💚 🥃).
⚠️ TL:DR Here’s what I’m doing:
Going forward, there will be 1 totally free Edition per week
2 Editions per week1 will be exclusive to paid supporters 🔒
They will cover: Business & Investing 🏦 💰 (quarterly earnings breakdowns, analysis, transcripts, business news, interviews, mistakes to avoid, book excerpts, podcast recommendations, links to useful financial sources and tools, and more), 🧪🔬 Science & Technology (new discoveries and cool stuff from the past, explaining software and hardware, highlights from studies on health, the latest in AI, energy, aerospace, supply chains, geeky stuff, and more), and the arts 👩🎨 🎥 (films, TV, music, visual arts, video games, generative AI, the tools and processes of creative people, and more)
I’m offering you a way to leverage my curiosity to add some exploration to your life. You’re busy, you can’t spend all day reading about 27 different topics, so let me do that for you. I’ll send the most interesting things I find straight to your inbox, still warm from the oven 👨🏻🍳 🥐
Podcasts and written interviews will remain free, though they may sometimes go out to paid supporters first 🎧
The Discord community will remain exclusive to paid supporters 🗣🗣🗣
⭐️ How to become a supporter ⭐️ 🚢 ⚓️
You can do so by clicking this button (if you don’t see the paid options, it’s because you aren’t logged into your Substack account on the device/browser you’re using. Log in here first and then click the button. On Mobile you can use Apple/Google Pay so it’s very easy):
I strongly believe that if you make just one good decision per year because of something you learn here (or avoid one bad decision — don’t forget about preventing negatives!), it'll pay for multiple years of subscriptions (or multiple lifetimes if it’s a big decision!).
Like good books, good newsletters have a high positive net value — whatever you’re paying, my goal is to give you much more back.
For the past 28 months, I’ve been working on this newsletter 6.5 days a week to turn blank pages into almost 400 editions/podcasts/written interviews. About 8 months into the project, I realized that what I thought was a fun new hobby was accidentally turning into full-time work.
I was spending so much of my time & energy on it (and what else is there to life except time and energy?) that I figured if I wanted to keep going, I had to better align it with my goals and needs.
In short, if I’m going all-in on creating this thing, giving it my all, it had to help feed my kids and pay my bills.
At the time, everybody in the biz I talked to told me I should put up a paywall — there’s no ambiguity, it makes it clear to readers what they need to do to support you and what they get in return, no need to constantly ask people to sign up, etc. 🎩
But I did not follow this advice and instead tried to do my own thing (I had reasons that I won’t bore you with). How about no paywalls + voluntary support? Let’s try it!
That has been the model for the past ˜20 months.
It worked well for the first half of that. Not a rocketship or anything, but steady progress. I figured I was trading monetization for reach, and that was ok with me. If you spend hours and hours researching and writing something, it feels better to hit “publish” and reach everyone rather than a subgroup.
But starting in 2022 — like the market — the no-paywall newsletter game got a lot harder. The general negative sentiment about everything ensured that.
I think I went about as far as I could with the model of “open up a bagel shop, give free bagels to anyone who wants them, and put up a tip jar on the counter to appeal to people’s generosity.” 🥯 💵→
If the old voluntary model was 1.0, this is 2.0. I’ll see how it does and keep tweaking and experimenting. Maybe I’ll have to update to version 2.1 at some point.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I think it will make the project stronger. I intend to keep doing it until they have to pry my keyboard from my cold dead hands.
Love 💚 🥃,
Of course, there are exceptions. Sometimes I’ll be sick or on vacation.