Sunrise, Coffee, theSkimm: How to Start Your Day Right

November 4, 2013

There just isn’t enough time in the day. Between brushing nighttime grit off of your teeth in the morning, sitting through countless, mind-numbing strategic planning sessions all day and squeezing in a late night, caffeine-powered workout, how can you keep up with what’s important and happening in the world right now? If only professional journalists would write helpful summaries of the news you need to know and deliver them to you every morning. You may think it’s a dream, but it’s actually theSkimm, Homebrew’s newest investment. As part of Homebrew’s Bottom Up Economy focus, we love startups that are making information, technology and revenue more accessible to individuals. theSkimm has started with a compelling daily email newsletter, but it will be doing all of those things and much more over time. Here is why we invested in theSkimm:

Who: “Have they really built this enormous audience with just the two of them?” That was the question we asked ourselves after first meeting Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin. The brand, the voice and the audience that they had built in only a year with pure blood, sweat and tears truly took us by surprise. What was even more impressive was the vision that they had for how theSkimm would be a new kind of information services company, brand and habit. Coming from hard news backgrounds at NBC News, Danielle and Carly knew that people were craving news but were having a hard time digesting and engaging it in its current forms. While many had attacked old media by creating new, but more, media, these women saw an opportunity to create a better experience that helped people more easily be better informed.

What: theSkimm is a daily email newsletter that is delivered to your inbox each morning. It simplifies the day’s news headlines in a fun, fresh way so that you’re better informed (and entertained!) when you start your day. But what theSkimm will be is a new kind of information service that will help you begin each day in a more informed, efficient and delightful way while tapping into the routines you already have. If you’ve ever been part of a conversation about some current event and didn’t know what people were talking about, if you’re short on time but still want to be informed or if you just pride yourself on being on top of the news, theSkimm is for you.

How: Carly and Danielle are the editorial (and entire!) team at theSkimm. They’ve developed a voice and brand that clearly resonates with a large audience and they’ve done it while staying true to their hard news roots and fact checking training to develop their own rigorous editorial process. But they’ve done it without bylines, in a way that allows them to add writers while maintaining a single voice and brand. The result of this process is content that entertains, informs and saves you time each and every day.

Why: theSkimm began because as news junkies, Carly and Danielle knew how hard they worked to keep up with the world’s events and how difficult it was for their friends to stay in the know. They also saw that existing media companies were only making it harder to stay informed as they created ever more content and distributed it in ever more places. Although they could have stayed within their traditional roles, rising through their industry’s ranks, Carly and Danielle wanted to build a product that would grow more relevant to its audience each day; a product for their friends – smart, busy people on the go. They quickly proved that it’s possible to creating a more efficiently, informed world. And that’s their ongoing mission.

The Who, What, How and Why of theSkimm are exciting and inspiring to us. We couldn’t be happier to begin living theSkimm life with Carly and Danielle.