A collection of newsletters, podcasts, courses and creators I consume. Don’t read. Skim.
In the frenzied world of startups, sitting still is like volunteering to be the next extinct species. As a founder or marketer, there’s this perpetual pressure to stay ahead, to evolve, to learn.
But the digital universe is like a flea market, with everyone peddling their ‘game-changing advice’ and ‘ground-breaking strategies.’
There’s just too much of everything everywhere.
Personally? Newsletters and LinkedIn are my jams. They’re the quick espresso shots to my morning routine. But, hey, I’m not dismissing the slow-brewed charm of podcasts, the classical taste of books, or the depth offered by structured courses.
Each one’s a note in the melody of gaining knowledge.
Now, this list?
It’s my attempt to offer you a flashlight in the dark expanse of the internet. Because navigating the world of startup insights should feel less like a puzzle and more like a conversation with a friend over a beer. Or chai, if that’s your thing.
Anyways. Here we go. The list of newsletters, courses, communities and LinkedIn content creators I consume.
No fluff, just the good stuff…
And mostly free.
I’ll start with people. Because…well it’s all about people.
But also because many of the newsletters, podcasts and stuff I’m going to be recommending will be the brain children of these amazing professionals.
And where do these peeps live?
When it comes to finding actionable insights and real-time examples of best practices in the industry, LinkedIn is the unsung hero.
But honestly LinkedIn is so crowded nowadays that it can be pretty hard finding quality content creators.
Not because they’re big and hard to miss, most of them aren’t hyped and huge, but damn do these people provide actionable insights!
- Elena Verna: Elena’s approach to growth isn’t just systematic; it’s almost an art form. A hobbyist she may say, but we all know she’s the Picasso of Growth.
- Leah Tharin: If there’s someone who knows product-led growth, it’s Leah. Navigating the complex crossroads of product and growth, her insights are like the GPS for anyone indulging in PLG.
- Emily Kramer: Emily doesn’t just understand marketing; she molds it. A fund manager and marketer rolled into one, her insights are worth their weight in gold.
- April Dunford: Positioning in tech can be a maze. April? She’s got the map.
- Kyle Poyar: When OpenView spills the beans on growth, you listen. When Kyle talks about it? You might want to take notes.
- Kevin Indig: The ex-Shopify, G2, Atlassian veteran serves SEO knowledge hotter than fresh java. If ranking higher is your aim, Kevin’s the game.
- Neal O’Grady: Neal’s mantra: Grow startups, then teach. It’s like having a backstage pass to the concert of startup growth.
- Maxim Poulsen: If you’ve ever needed growth hacks distilled down to their essence, Maxim is your guy. Plus, his Growth Talks are nothing short of enlightening.
- Anthony Pierri: The intersection of product and marketing is a tricky one. Anthony walks that line with the finesse of a tightrope artist.
- Robert Kaminski: Think of Robert as the sensei of early-stage B2B startups. His expertise? Getting products in the spotlight.
- Rob Lennon: With AI rapidly changing the landscape of marketing, Rob is your whisperer in the storm, guiding you through the latest in AI trends and applications.
- Sam Parr: From founding The Hustle to its sale to HubSpot, Sam’s journey is a masterclass in entrepreneurship.
- Katelyn Bourgoin: Understanding the psychology of buyers can be cryptic. Katelyn, however, seems to have the Rosetta Stone.
- Mina Mesbahi: Your go-to LinkedIn content creator for all things content marketing.
You know the feeling when you sift through your email inbox, and it’s mostly just… junk? But then there’s that one newsletter you genuinely look forward to?
Yeah, nice one.
Well, let’s multiply that feeling.
Growth, Product and Marketing
- Elena Verna – Growth Scoop: Elena delivers growth insights in an engaging and memorable way. Yes, there are memes and they’re on point! Dive deep into B2B strategies and enjoy a touch of satire along the way.
- Leah Tharin – Productea: Two decades in tech, distilled into valuable insights on product-led growth. Leah offers a refreshing mix of satire and actionable guidance that makes reading a pleasure.
- MKT1: Endorsed by Lenny Rachitsky himself, MKT1 dives into B2B marketing with strategic advice and tactical pointers. It’s a journey of becoming a better marketer.
- Kyle Poyar – Growth Unhinged: Step behind the scenes of the fastest-growing startups. Kyle’s newsletter illuminates growth, marketing, and the dynamics of product-led growth.
- Lenny Rachitsky – Lenny’s Newsletter: Need guidance on growth, product, or career-related conundrums? Lenny’s got your back with his weekly advice column.
- Julian Shapiro: Diving deep into growth marketing and beyond, Julian’s explorative handbooks take you on a journey, offering not just knowledge but wisdom.
- April Dunford: Position your product to shine. April’s extensive experience in product positioning is pure gold for anyone looking to stand out.
- Growth Memo by Kevin Indig: Dive into weekly insights on SEO and Growth. It’s your weekly guide to elevating companies to unicorn speeds.
- How They Grow by Jaryd Hermann: An in-depth analysis of world-class companies’ growth, offering actionable insights from their journeys.
- MarketerMilk: A daily dose of the latest in marketing, to declutter and inform amidst the noise.
- The Hard Parts of Growth by Ami Vora: A playbook for navigating growth challenges.
- Reforge: A treasure for product and growth enthusiasts.
- Demand Curve: Top growth and marketing strategies and tactics from rapidly growing startups.
- Copyhackers: The ultimate hub for everything copywriting.
Business, Tech and Startups
- Paul Graham: Dive into the reservoir of wisdom Paul offers in his essays. A true industry legend, his insights are invaluable.
- Commoncog by Cedric Chin: A dive into business and career decision-making, blending expertise with methods to fast-track your skill acquisition.
- Stratechery by Ben Thompson: Deep dives into the intersection of technology, media, and their societal impacts.
- Tanay’s Newsletter by Tanay Jaipuria: Reflective pieces on technology and business.
- Farnam Street by Shane Parrish: Multidisciplinary education for daily knowledge, connecting a vast community of growth-minded individuals.
- Dan Hock’s Essays by Dan Hockenmaier: Insights on scaling consumer tech businesses, published less frequently but packed with value.
- Not Boring by Packy McCormick: A blend of tech, web3, strategy, and fun.
- Digital Native by Rex Woodbury: Exploring the deep relationship between technology and humanity, in the midst of rapid innovation.
- First Round Review: A diverse range of articles exploring the minds of the most talented people in technology.
- MIT Technology Review: Trusted analysis and insights since 1899, about the impacts of the latest technologies.
Podcasts have become one of the prime channels for genuine learning. The beauty of them? You can listen on the go.
Personally, I’m not too big on podcasts probably because I listen to music 24/7.
Still there are some I listen to almost religiously:
- Productea with Leah: If you’re navigating the B2B world, this podcast offers both insights and real talk on product-led growth, product-led sales and growth.
- Positioning with April Dunford: The name says it all – positioning. Positioning can make or break a product’s success, it’s how you differentiate from the competition and how you establish yourself in your customer’s eyes.
- Growth Summit from Demand Curve: Think of this as marketing and growth leaders whispering in your ears.
- Knowledge Podcast from Farnam Street: Lessons that some very valuable people have gathered over years of experience. Why learn everything the hard way when you can stand on the shoulders of giants?
- In Depth by First Round Review: Going deeper on the advice startup leaders need to grow their teams, their companies and themselves.
If you ask me, communities are terribly underrated as a source of learning. Like, come on people, sharing a room with industry giants, being able to talk to them and ask questions, or maybe just listen in on others conversations. What’s there not to like?
Plus there’s something really gratifying about being not just a part but an active contributor of a community.
Here are my favorite four kinda exclusive communities:
- Leah Tharin’s Community Productea (Free): Leah’s created a haven on Discord for those passionate about product-led growth.
- Demand Curve Community (Free): Designed for advanced growth marketing, facilitating discussions and insights from experts across major tech companies. Some tech giants are members over here.
- Lenny Rachitsky’s Community (Paid): Lenny’s Slack community is essentially a melting pot of product managers, growth leaders, and startup founders. 12,000 members globally, mentorship programs, job board and even real-life meetups.
- Farnam Street Community (Paid): A multi-disciplinary approach to learning to help you go to bed every night smarter than you were when you woke up.
Paid Courses (ABSOLUTELY worth your money)
As startup founders and marketers, every penny and every minute counts. Here’s my handpicked list of pain courses that are worth every penny.
I’ve personally taken them and can attest to just how practical, actionable and packed with value each of them is.
You won’t find many like these:
- altMBA: Founded by Seth Godin in 2015, altMBA is a 31-day leadership workshop conducted online
- CXL: This course gets you into the elite 1% of digital marketers. CXL sources its curriculum from the world’s best practitioners.
- Foxwell: A comprehensive course of paid social marketing, from client expectations and financial calculations to expanding into new marketing channels.
- Chase Dimond: If you’re involved in eCommerce, either for your brand or as an agency, this course is your deep dive into optimizing the email marketing channel.
- Maven: A course that helps you design an impactful content strategy. Here, content isn’t just about writing—it’s a driving force for all your marketing campaigns.
- Demand Curve: My personal favorite. It’s a transformative experience, this course is a 360-degree exploration into growth marketing. Every project you complete here is tailored to your business needs.
- Reforge: Led by experts who’ve worked with giants like Meta, Lyft, and Amazon, reforge offers TONS of courses on all things growth. It’s a community, a learning platform, and a catalyst for career growth.
- Farnam Street: All about mental models and better thinking. Whether it’s parenting or making critical decisions, there’s a module here for you. I know this isn’t directly about marketing but believe me these courses are a must.
- MKT1: Aimed at B2B Marketing Leaders in their early or growth stages, this 5-week course it’s about refining your marketing approach, understanding the full funnel, and focusing on impactful strategies. Plus, you get personal feedback and resources directly from my favorite marketer Emily.
Free Academies (underappreciated value)
Not everything with a price tag has value, and not everything valuable has a price tag.
Some of the world’s leading marketing platforms have embraced this philosophy, opening the vaults of their knowledge banks for free.
Here you go:
- HubSpot Academy: Encompasses everything from marketing to sales, and service topics. Inbound marketing, CRM, content marketing, etc.
- Google Digital Garage: Basics of online marketing, data, content marketing, programming, etc.
- Ahrefs Academy: Deep-dive into SEO, backlink analysis, competitive research, etc.
- Semrush Academy: Curated by marketing professionals, covering almost all marketing subfunction with a heavy focus on SEO.
- Moz Academy: All-in-one SEO academy.
There we go, that’s it. Just about all my professional sources of information.
You might’ve noticed I haven’t recommended any books. That’s because while I absolutely love books for fiction and scientific reading I think they are absolutely terribly inefficient for professional development. Prove me wrong.
Anyways, I’m going to leave you with a mantra I keep playing in my head.
In the age of information, ignorance is a choice and there’s no room for complaining.