Photo: The Skimm
Tuesday marked Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin’s first day of unemployment.The two New York roommates, who met studying abroad in Rome, both recently resigned from NBC. Yesterday they launched theSkimm, a newsletter startup designed to tell subscribers everything they need to know in the morning.
theSkimm shows up in your inbox every morning around 6:00 AM. In it are a few major news stories, with content spanning from sports to tech and politics. Weisberg and Zakin frame the news in a conversational way and re-write the highlights in chunks like “The Story” “The What” and “The Why” so it’s easy to digest.
“It’s for someone who’s smart, career-minded, and social,” Zakin and Weisberg explain. “They might be going to a cocktail party or wedding, where news stories come up in conversation. We want our readers to be able to start the conversations. theSkimm is meant to be a confidence booster.”
While Zakin and Weisberg were at NBC, friends often approached them and asked about the latest news. “These were our friends who went ot the best universities — the smartest people we know — and they were asking very real questions,” theSkimm founders explain. “They weren’t living and breathing the news like we were.”
theSkimm grew organically to a couple hundred subscribers pre-launch. While it initially was catered to a female audience, Zakin and Weisberg were surprised to find that a good chunk of readers were men. Stay-at-home mothers began to Skimm as well.
“Obviously women don’t need different news than men,” the two explain. But they started with a feminine slant because they thought they’d be writing to like-minded individuals. The make it a point to cover gender-neutral news though. You’ll never find makeup tips, for example, in theSkimm.
The founders say they began a newsletter-based company because of their own morning routines. “The first thing I do when I wake up is roll over and check my inbox and Twitter,” says Weisberg. The pair were also inspired by the success of other newsletter companies including Thrillist and Daily Candy.
For now, Zakin and Weisberg are bootstrapping their startup from their apartment; they hope to close a round of financing by the end of the summer and they say there’s already been investor interest.
Here’s what a story from today’s theSkimm:
Photo: The Skimm