How to understand media

A starter pack

Hi, everyone! If you’re in the NYC area, come hang out with us next week! We’re hosting one of our famous Friends of Smooth Soirees on Wednesday. I can confirm there will be beverages, light snacks, and a cap placed on mentions of the weather in casual conversation. RSVP here!

—Kinsey, cofounder and head of editorial

The Smooth Media Media Startup Starter Pack

Say that five times fast.

We have a tradition here at Smooth—well, we have many traditions, but this is one of the best: Whenever a new team member joins (like the wonderful Delaney did last week), we use their onboarding as a chance to re-immerse the whole crew in some deep knowledge sharing about media, startups, strategy, and creativity.

As we see it, the new team member is about to learn a ton about our world, and who better to guide them through it than the people who make Smooth tick? So we all chip in—sharing podcast episodes, think pieces, favorite books, etc.

Today, we’re sharing some of the top resources we continue to turn to when welcoming someone new to Smooth Media. Hope you enjoy ✌️

1) Podcast episodes. Starting off strong with this Spotify playlist called Listen & Learn. We created this as a sort of home base for anyone who wants to…listen & learn…about the creator and media worlds we occupy. It’s over 24 hours of podcast episodes that serve as a 201-level course on everything we love: niche media, bootstrapping, and operational excellence, to name a few. I play something from this playlist every time I find myself saying, “Kinsey, you really shouldn’t listen to ‘Snow on the Beach (feat. More Lana Del Rey)’ for a 12th time today.”

2) Newsletters. Obviously we love newsletters. If you want to know why we’re so bullish on email, you can read our POV here. And once you finish that, I highly recommend subscribing to the following very well done media newsletters that our team consistently opens, reads, and discusses:

3) Books. We all have a copy of Traction by Gino Wickman (we wrote about how this book guides our business strategy here). Some other titles that have been floating around the WeWork table lately:

4) People/ideas. This section is sponsored by Josh Kaplan’s unending journey toward founder optimization. Grateful he listens to business podcasts while he works out. His recs:

#digibuzzcodevoxious is a term we coined back in our Morning Brew days—a portmanteau of Digiday, BuzzFeed, Recode, Vox, and Axios. Obviously, the year was 2018 and the interest rates were zero. But still, the sentiment of “interesting media trends and news” remains. So the name stays.

Thanks for reading! Like we shared last week, ’tis the season for focus here at Smooth Media. We are, as the most iconic line in the most iconic David Fincher film goes, wired in. But that being said, we’re perennially open to exploration, especially when it involves knowledge creators with big ideas and partners with long-term potential. 

So if you know a superb creator or brand, have an idea about the future of knowledge sharing online, or just want to offer your POV…we’re all ears. Hit reply and let’s chat.