re/code: the very opposite of a lean startup

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Slide template recode

John Gruber commenting on re/Code’s acquisition by Vox Media:

My take is that if you’re going to go indie, you need to stay lean and mean. You don’t have to stay as lean and mean as I have — I have no employees, and to date, no one else has ever written a word for Daring Fireball. In fact, a one-person show might be too lean to get off the ground today. But then again, there’s Ben Thompson and Stratechery.

This is one of the lessons the traditional media world seems to be struggling to assimilate (and it’s worth remembering that Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher are very much of the traditional media world): the thing that used to give advantage – size and resources – is not necessarily as useful as it once was. We throw money at launches, but then burden them with overheads that the nascent business can’t support.

Gruber notes that Re/Code had 44 full-time employees – that’s bigger than the vast majority of magazines published even in the good times.

Stratechery – the one-person lean start-up mentioned – is well worth checking out. I’m a happy subscriber.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.