Substack is not a mess

April 1, 2021

From the Substack Blog:

[T]oday we’re pleased to announce that we have agreed to a $65 million Series B funding round led by Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz that will allow us to make a significant investment in writers. […]

We started Substack because we were dismayed by the state of the media ecosystem. Writers were losing jobs and newspapers were going out of business. At the same time, the rise of the attention economy had locked us all in newsfeeds optimized for engagement, rewarding the types of behavior and content that harm discourse, making it harder for people to understand each other and work together. Substack is our attempt to build a new and better model. We have set out to show that platforms that put writers and readers in charge are the way forward.

Substack has had quite an impressive growth curve over the past few years. They seemingly came out of nowhere and are now the default choice for creating an independent newsletter. Unlike Medium, they seem to be firing on all cylinders these days.

A few years ago when I was creating Air Mail, we looked at Substack as a possible platform to build on. It was early days and they didn’t have very many bells and whistles as they do now. I still don’t think it would work today for a visual weekly magazine like ours, but the gap is closing quickly.