Last week, The Generalist turned 1. A combination of luck and hard work has led to achieving this milestone.
Prologue: How we got here
- After having always loved writing, Brunch Briefing was launched in August 2019.
- What started out as a side project evolved into a full-time gig – The Generalist, in August 2020.
Growing: Lawsuits and lotteries
- The Generalist’s audience has grown over the year (surpassed over 40,000 readers).
- This growth required a mix of:
- Consistency – Writing something that some people like, reliably.
- Experimentation – By experimenting with product lines and content formats they were able to land on differentiators that distinguish their writing from others and that cannot be easily replicated.
- Serendipity – Luck driven by social media channels.
Business model: Half-baked
- The Generalist seems to be doing a solid job creating value, but a bad job capturing it.
- On a number of metrics, The Generalist is doing a sub-par job.
- Revenue - So far, The Generalist has made money in three ways: subscriptions, sponsorships, and NFT sales. Subscriptions are the largest source of revenue.
- Expenses - Mainly merchant fees, contractor expenses, and software.
Process: Solo and multiplayer
- Ideas for pieces come from different places: Twitter, research papers, etc. When it comes to writing, there aren’t any tricks, though a kind of process is followed.
- These collaborations typically bring together 5-15 sectoral experts to work on a single briefing.
- Ideation has to occur far in advance of publication - at least 3 weeks to recruit contributors, host a discussion, and edit the piece.
- Once set, everyone begins to research and write either in the shared Google Doc or independently - only sharing their section once complete.
Community: Inchoate magic
- The caliber of members, the substance of interactions, and fearlessly creative ethos have been mind-blowing.
Future: Winning together
- The principle for the road ahead: discover and win, as a team.
- Winning together can be potentially attained through:
- Funds and syndicates
- New products
- Global hang