- Abnormal Returns: Finance and Investment news roll-up
- Andrew Chen: Blogs about Tech and VC.
- Benedict Evans: Blog about Tech and VC.
- Defense News: The Early Bird: The best roll-up of Defense and National Security News
- Shane Parish (Farnam Street) aka The Knowledge Project: Blog about thinking and decision-making.
- Fortune: Several newsletters about industry, business, and technology. All good. Lots of overlap in the selected items. Could probably start with just the CEO Daily.
- The Broadsheet
- CEO Daily
- Term Sheet
- Data Sheet
- The Ledger
- PitchBook News: M&A, PE, and VC news.
- Stratechery Ben Thompson's blog about the business of technology.
- Chain Letter from MIT Tech Review Newsletter focused on blockchain developments
- Fred Wilson Blog about Tech and VC.
- Peter Ziehan Blog about Geopolitical developments, international relations and global security.
The greatest blessing of the internet carries with it a subtle curse. The explosion of rich and interesting information created a major problem for those who want to understand what's going on in the world but are not in front of their computers all day digesting the steady information stream. On the one hand we have access to all kinds of data and analysis from the most diverse sources but on the other hand, the cost of filtering it is extremely high. This isn't even a comment on "fake news". It's just a note about the difficulty of finding items that are useful or particularly good.
I've found myself relying on intermediaries, arbiters of information, who can roll up what they believe to be interesting and useful and send it out to the world. This doesn't, at first, seem to be all that scarce or valuable a service but an information arbiter has to have a well-developed sense about what is useful and good and be able to apply the time and resources towards the collecting, filtering, and curating. It is extremely valuable.
Twitter is an interesting tool. Once I purged all politicians and political journalists from my feed it got really good and helpful. Relative to politics, people seem more willing to post and comment on the world as it is and not how they would like it to be when it comes to business, finance, technology, and defense. But, the problem with my Twitter feed is that it's another stream, a flow of information, that doesn't sort and pool. Things might get retweeted but for the most part once a story it gets deployed into the stream it is heading away from me immediately.
One of the most important open-source feeds of intelligence on military and defense matters was the daily email from the Department of Defense known as the Early Bird. Researchers pulled stories from national and international newspapers and journals and compiled them into one document. In the internet age that email document included hyperlinks to the original articles. Created in 1965 and killed off in 2013, it was then picked up by Defense News and is still widely used today by security professionals to keep tabs on what's going on. Instead of having to constantly watch an information stream or set up a system of Google Alerts a morning email is sent with a large sample of yesterday's news. Somebody does the cognitively demanding work of searching, filtering and curating for me.
Of course, there are biases of many flavors that emerge in this product. Early Bird pulls from English sources and it reflects the thoughts of Defense News researchers about what is important. It's a wide picture but not the whole picture. Keeping that in mind, the Early Bird is still extremely useful.
Thinking about the Early Bird made me look around to see what other products are out there of a similar type and value. I've only been looking for a bit and the above list reflects my bias and current interests. I'm still experimenting and I have to triage heavily with these newsletters. But, I don't need to know what is happening RIGHT NOW. I have the luxury to look at the long view on most things to orient my thinking. These newsletters help a bunch.