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A Summary of

The Generalist Turns 1

by
Mario Gabriele
The Generalist
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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

  • Solo
    • 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.
  • Multiplayer
    • 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:
    • DAO
    • Funds and syndicates
    • New products
    • Global hang
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