Enough About Me, Tell Me About You

Help me improve, grow, and 🤑 monetize 🤑 Not Boring!

Welcome to the 977 newly Not Boring people who have joined us since last Thursday! If you’re reading this but haven’t subscribed, join 10,642 smart, curious folks by subscribing here!


Hi friends 👋,

Happy Thursday!

On Monday, I wrote Part I of a two-parter about Tencent, the Chinese technology conglomerate with the most popular app in China, the biggest gaming business in the world, and stakes in many of the fastest-growing companies around the globe. I was hopped up on caffeine (see below) and said that I would be writing Part II today.

Well, I either overestimated myself, underestimated Tencent’s ambitions, or both. There’s a really fascinating story to tell about Tencent’s future, and I don’t want to sell it short by rushing it, so Part II will be coming out on Monday.

Today, I’m going to keep it short and to the point. Let’s get to it.


Monetizing Not Boring

TL;DR: Take this 5 minute survey so I can learn more about who you are, what you do, and how I can improve Not Boring.

Take the Not Boring Survey

I’ve been writing Not Boring (and Per My Last Email) for 15 months now, since May 2019. I didn’t set out to write a newsletter full time, but this has been so much more fun than I expected, so here we are.

On May 21st, I sent out an email with three goals to 1,294 people:

  1. Grow to 5,000 subscribers by Labor Day and 10,000 by May 21, 2021.

  2. Build an ecosystem of smart, talented people participating in various ways.

  3. Make enough money from the newsletter to cover rent.

✅ We’ve blown goal #1 out of the water, hitting the May 2021 10k goal a solid nine months early. That’s mind-blowing to me and I really appreciate all of you reading, giving me feedback, and sharing Not Boring with your smartest friends.

Let’s keep going! Next growth goal: 25k subscribers by the end of 2020 📈

Refer Your Friends

✅ We’re well on our way on #2, too.

Submit Your Company

💸 That leaves #3: make money so that I can keep doing this!

In time, the goal is to turn this into a paid newsletter - I want Not Boring to be both informative and entertaining enough that you’re excited to pay for it.

But going paid would mean slowing growth, and we’re not trying to slow down around here. So I want to start monetizing via sponsorships. In order to do that, I need to know a little bit more about you so I can show off just how impressive the Not Boring family is to potential sponsors.

I put together a short survey to learn a little bit more about you, and to get your feedback on Not Boring so far, and what you’d like to see in the future. It shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes of your time.

It would be a huge help if you’d fill it out so I can continue to improve the product, and find sponsors who will be relevant to you to help fuel the improvements.

All answers are anonymous!

Take the Not Boring Survey


Thanks to Dan, Puja, Tommy, and Jacob Donnelly of the excellent A Media Operator newsletter for their feedback on the survey.

If your company is interested in sponsoring Not Boring, reply and let’s chat!


Speaking of telling you about products that you’ll love… meet Nguyen Coffee Supply.

The Vietnamese Coffee Movement | Roasted in Brooklyn – Nguyen ...

This is not an ad. I just really like this coffee and got us a discount so you can try it.

I met Sahra Nguyen a couple of weeks ago and bought a bag of her Vietnamese coffee. She told me the Robusta beans had 2x the caffeine, but I was skeptical… coffee doesn’t really move the needle for me anymore. After one cup, I could legitimately tell the difference. My brain was buzzing. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Tencent essay was 1,000 words longer than usual 🤯

Sahra offered to give us 10% off by entering NOTBORING10 at checkout. Try it.

Get Caffeinated


Verified Not Boring

One of the reasons we’ve been able to grow the Not Boring family is the referral program, and it’s about to get better. Not Boring reader and creative genius Adam Chaloeicheep pitched in to design t-shirts for everyone who refers more than 30 people, and he knocked it out of the park. They’re in the mail on their way to me rn.

I’m going to be wearing mine every day, and eight all-star Not Boring folks will be rocking them in solidarity (leaderboard here). Join us.

Want to get your own Not Boring T? We’re not selling them, so referring 30 of your smartest friends is the only way to get one. Plus, you get a shout out to over 10k people when you refer 10 and a sticker at 20, so refer early and often! You can get your link at the button below, and you’ll get one point for every person who signs up with it.

Refer Your Friends

That’s all for today! See you on Monday for Tencent Part Deux.

Thanks for reading,

Packy