Dear friends, family, and loved ones,
The day has finally come. My cofounder, Josh, and I are so thrilled to share with all of you our brand new business: [REDACTED BECAUSE INSTANT GRATIFICATION SUCKS AND WE’LL TELL YOU ABOUT WHAT WE’RE DOING IN MERE MOMENTS]. Wow...I just got goosebumps writing that.
For the last couple of months, Josh and I have been heads down, focused intently on building something made to last in an industry that’s anything but predictable. It’s been an enormous challenge that’s forced us to get uncomfortable, ask hard questions, and do scary things like talk to advertisers and convince our parents that quitting our cushy startup jobs was the right move. But we did it and we’re excited that we did it and now, we’re sharing it with you.
Welcome, everyone, to Thinking Is Cool.
We’ll explain a bit more about what Thinking Is Cool is (short answer: our forthcoming show with me as the host and Josh as the business guy) momentarily. But before we do, I think it’s important to explain why we feel so emboldened to strike it out on our own. By the way, if you want to watch this instead of read it, click here.
I’ve been a writer for almost a decade now...but I’ve always been writing for someone else. A boss. An editor. A professor. These days, I’m writing (and podcasting and streaming) for myself, and I’ve felt a distinct shift in the quality of my work—hopefully you have, too. When a creator is granted ownership over what he or she is crafting, that craft gets better.
That’s a huge driver of today’s booming creator economy. And I could not be more amped to participate myself. Passing the mic to Josh before I pop back in with more info on what, ya know, Thinking Is Cool actually does.
It’s Josh now. For the past few years, the two of us had the privilege of working at Morning Brew doing something similar to what we’re doing today. Kinsey was reporting on the wide world of business. I was figuring out how to launch new products and scale processes.
We came together when I launched Emerging Tech Brew, Retail Brew, and Marketing Brew, products for which Kinsey happily served as ad-hoc-turned-semi-permanent editor. The big moment, though, was when we started the Business Casual podcast with no directive other than “go start a podcast.”
When we kicked off the show, it was just the two of us. We evolved and grew and cranked out 130+ episodes that reached over 8 million listens during our tenure. It was wild.
Best of all, we got to do more than just talk about creating—we got to create. We made incredible friends, including each other. We learned and failed and asked questions. We also got to see Morning Brew grow to 75+ employees and notch a $75 million exit, which was surreal. We are so excited to see Morning Brew and the people who are or were there continue to do amazing things.
But at our core, we’re builders. That’s what we’re getting back to with Thinking Is Cool. We know that starting new things is risky, but we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again.
My grandfather taught me a lot about risk—about making sure high risk is aligned with high reward. That taking risks is a matter of listening to your gut and looking for a reason to say yes. We had different reasons for leaving Morning Brew, but we’ve come together again to do what we love—take risks and build things.
It’s Kinsey again, and I’m jazzed to get back to creating, this time on my own terms. With that, how about some insight on our content here at Thinking Is Cool?
Put bluntly, we have really good conversations with each other, our friends, and, in my case, any billionaire or CEO or founder willing to give me 15 minutes of their time. And we have the audacity (confidence? delusion?) to think those conversations are worth sharing.
Because conversations have the power to solve problems, connect people and generations, and root us in what really matters. I’ve been craving those things more than ever these last few years.
Because during that time, the ground under my feet has meaningfully shifted, and you’ve probably felt it too. We—millennials, gen z, Americans, really anyone—are staring down the barrel of some pretty unbelievable threats, from climate change to political polarization to the dissolution of trust. But we’re also existing in a time of tremendous opportunity—we have Bitcoin and OnlyFans and Dua Lipa and a seemingly genuine motivation to accomplish positive change.
Conversation is how we rig the odds in the favor of the opportunities instead of the threats. I want to lead the charge—listen to smart people, use my own voice, and do my best to make a difference.
That’s why we’re starting Thinking Is Cool—to ensure your next conversation is better than your last. By focusing on the conversations that are actually worth having, I’m going to arm this generation with nuance, context, and the time and space to recognize voices other than our own. As the host of Thinking Is Cool, I’m going to make you think harder about things that matter.
Things like this: Is Facebook really as bad as we’ve made it out to be? How amazing will it feel to go to a crowded bar again? Does working for a morally bankrupt company make you morally bankrupt? Should billionaires exist? What’s the future of America’s political parties?
To answer some of our generation’s biggest questions, I’m getting back to my roots: a podcast, a newsletter, and a community built brick by brick with each of you. Every week, you’ll join me on my personal journey to answer one of these big questions. I’ll talk to experts, do a metric shit ton of research, reflect on what I learn, and ask even more questions.
I’ll create a space for thinkers willing to go beyond the Tweets, the viral Instagram infographics, and the late-night TV diatribes. I want to make you scratch your head. Slow down, ponder. Consider other viewpoints. Look up to the clouds. Have a conversation. And be honest and have fun doing it.
It won’t be easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is.
That’s part of why Thinking Is Cool relies so heavily on all of you reading this email. Building this show has been a labor of love for both of us, and it wouldn’t have been possible without this group. Many of you have bravely fielded our panicked middle-of-the-night texts, answered our pressing questions, and given invaluable feedback on everything from “do we really need health insurance” to “is this a good merch design” and for that, we’ll always be filled with gratitude. Building a business takes a village—thank you for being ours.
But...your work doesn’t stop here. At the core of Thinking Is Cool lies a deep focus on community-driven conversations—feedback, idea sharing, hot takes, healthy disagreement, etc. I hope that you’ll reach out with any and all of the above.
If you really want to support our new venture...
Read/listen and provide honest feedback, even if you think it’s harsh. I was a competitive dancer. And I wasn’t very good. I can handle it.
Engage on all our social posts :) because the algorithms rule us all at the end of the day :) :)
Tell us about the ideas and debates and thoughts that are stuck in your head. I’m hell-bent on making episodes that you want to hear.
Josh asks for the following:
Meet each other. We’re opening up our Slack group to our community (if you’re reading this, that means you). Opt in here.
Sponsor us. Our first revenue stream is (good, native) advertising and Kinsey hosting events. If you or someone you know is interested in advertising or booking Kinsey as a host, bang our (Josh’s) line.
Company values: This is on our virtual wall. As our friends and family, we need you to hold us accountable:
Be honest—it keeps us aligned and prevents tension from boiling over.
Be nice because it's a good strategy.
Focus on doing a few things really well.
Have fun because that’s when we’re most creative.
Fail, but don’t make the same mistake twice.
Think, because it’s cool.
Our first episode will be out in a few weeks. We hope this email shows you just how thrilled we are to 1) do this and 2) have your support in doing it. Hit reply and let us know what your thoughts are off the bat.
Here’s to a bright future filled with intelligent discourse, genius ideas, and lots and lots of fun on the way to the top. Remember—thinking is cool and so are you.
Kinsey & Josh