I want to start by saying how excited I am to be joining Oliver Charles.
I'm grateful to Oliver Charles and the community for the opportunity and can't wait to help to bring it to the next level.
Before I get into why I joined Oliver Charles and why I'm so excited for the opportunity, I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself...
I graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2000 and landed my first job as an intern in Enron's newsletter department. Needless to say, I learned a lot.
Following the collapse of Enron at the end of 2000, I moved to Silicon Valley, where I've been ever since.
I spent the next two years investing in technology and bouncing between so-called hacker houses. Then in late 2002, I was lucky enough to be accepted into Harvard's online extension program.
However, fate came knocking, and halfway through my first course, I met the visionary Elizabeth Holmes, dropped out of Harvard, and took a job running newsletters for Theranos.
As allegations of fraud began swirling around Theranos, I was reminded of my time at Enron and decided I had been at Theranos long enough. I was ready for a new challenge. Luckily, after just a few months, I landed a job at the hot new silicon valley start-up Juicero.
I stayed at Juicero for about two years and loved every minute of it. I found the direct-to-consumer business fascinating and exciting. When Doug Evans, the founder, was replaced, I figured it was time for me to look for something new as well.
I spent the next few months attending silence retreats, Burning Man, and as many fireside chats as possible.
Eventually, my perseverance paid off, and I was fortunate enough to bump into Jeffrey Katzenberg at Burning Man. He offered me the job of chief newsletter officer at a new project he was working on called Quibi.
Now I find myself at Oliver Charles, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason, this time, it feels different.
It all started when I stumbled upon the Oliver Charles Indiegogo campaign—being a proud and vocal early adopter, I had to give it a shot.
I thought to myself is Yak wool the next Facebook?
As I eagerly awaited the product, I began to do a little research. I read about the materials' incredible quality, the unique manufacturing process, and the founders' commitment to making a go-to sweater.
I was immediately impressed. So much so that I had my virtual assistant set up a call with the co-founders over Skype (I'm a bit of a contrarian).
The planned 30-minute Skype turned into a nearly 4-hour conversion, and by the end, I knew Yak wool was the next Facebook. I had to be a part of it.
After the call, I sent them an email laying out my specialty newsletter philosophy:
I've always considered myself a bit of a thought leader in the newsletter space, and over the years, I coined the term SPAC.
Every newsletter should be a SPAC. Sensible. Persistent. Amusing. Convenient.
While I was the first to coin the term, it's now being taught in business schools worldwide.
Chamath Palihapitiya has even tweeted about it...
The concept is simple. Oliver Charles wanted a way to engage with their community in a natural, informative, and humorous manner, without the pressure of buying a sweater.
I immediately saw the opportunity and jumped at the bit to play a role.
Our first attempt was The Morning Brown, a parody of The Morning Brew. Each Wednesday, we'd recap the week's most prominent news and business stories using memes. The concept was great. The name needed some work.
While hilarious, we felt it wasn't aligned with the brand, plus we didn't want to get sued by The Morning Brew.
After a few walking meetings, lots of ideas, and some help from our friends, we landed on The New Yak Times. Cause if we're going to get sued, we might as well get sued by the best.
Here's what it is:
Four big news stories explained using memes and an update on Oliver Charles. We'll cover:
- National news
- Pop culture
- An update on Oliver Charles
Each story comes with a meme and a few talking points, so you'll always be prepared for the inevitable office small talk.
The ethos of Oliver Charles has always been about the little things. My hope is that the New Yak Times will be a little thing that makes you laugh every Wednesday morning. A little hump day inspiration.
I'm excited to be taking this journey and grateful for the opportunity. Now it's time to build!
Onwards and upwards!
CMO @ Oliver Charles