It’s bound to be a page turner when the story starts with a chance meeting in the streets of Rome. But this story doesn’t take the typical turn towards romance, but rather a direct path to entrepreneurship.
Meet Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, the main characters in this story and co-founders of theSkimm, an online “newsletter that simplifies the headlines for the educated professional who knows enough to know she needs more.” After their initial meeting while studying abroad in Rome, the duo reconnected when Carly came across one of Danielle’s articles on NBC’s political blog. The rest, as they say in romantic comedies, “is history.”
theSkimm launched about three months ago and has found great success thus far, with subscribers ranging from 20something working professionals to stay-at-home moms.
“It’s for someone who’s smart, career-minded and social,” Ms. Zakin and Ms. 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.”*
Originally, the idea stemmed from Weisberg and Zakin’s friends consistently approaching them for the news brief. “Our friends are who we had in mind – very busy and multitasking women – but news is gender neutral, and we are seeing a lot of loyal male subscribers.”
How do they decide what’s going to be in each issue? “We came from a hard news background and went through NBC News training. We read articles all day long because we’re interested, and by looking at a wide array we get a complete grasp of what’s going on,” share Ms. Zakin and Ms. Weisberg. “We both pick and chose stories to include, then come together to discuss our choices – nine out of ten times they’re the same stories.”
Taking the plunge from gainful employment and a consistent paycheck to self-reliance and entrepreneurship is not always an easy one, but as one of their mentors told them, “’The only way you’re going to fail is by not doing it. The regrets we would have if we didn’t do it would greatly outweigh those if we did.” The co-founders enjoy what they’re doing and wake up every day fulfilled.
Advice for future entrepreneurs:
“Go with your gut – that’s at the core of successfully launching. If you’re looking to make the jump find something you really love and you are already doing, something that makes you happy and fulfills you on an intellectual level. Make sure to network like crazy and talk to absolutely EVERYBODY!”
Read the latest theSkimm here.