The Information has become one of the most read publications by Silicon Valley insiders. Its trenchant reporting and insights help everyone see the future more clearly. But Jessica wants to talk with us about her business model. She doesn’t want to exit. She’s not playing the financial game of the serial entrepreneur. She wants to build a business that lasts. If you’ve followed what Bryce Roberts and I are doing with Indie.vc, you understand that she is a role model for leaders of a whole new class of company that is pointing the way toward a more sustainable economy.
— Tim O’Reilly
News isn’t broken. The business model around news is broken.
What doesn’t scale is high-priced events businesses, where you have to sell these huge one-off deals to be profitable that month. What doesn’t scale is crossing your fingers and hoping you’ll get a big ad deal. What does scale is having a product that people are willing to pay for.
If you look at what a given publication publishes on a given day, a fraction of that is original. Even publishers doing incredible original work, more than half—and some days 80 percent—is not original. We want everything we write to be bringing a lot of new information to the table.
Jessica Lessin is the founder and CEO of The Information, a publication known for original, in-depth reporting about the technology industry, which has become a go-to daily read for business leaders through a combination of the best talent in the reporting industry, high standards for reporting and sourcing, and a focus on analysis. In addition to growing The Information’s subscriber community and team, Jessica continues to regularly report on the technology industry and writes the weekly column The Takeaway. She previously covered the biggest tech companies for the Wall Street Journal, breaking major deals, product launches, and CEO changes. In 2011, she was part of a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for a series on digital privacy. In 2014, Vanity Fair named her one of a new generation of media disruptors. Jessica is a contributor and regular guest on CNBC and has appeared on NPR, CNN, and PBS’s The Charlie Rose Show. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College.
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