MarketSnacks Founders Q&A
MarketSnacks is a daily must-read. These guys are the founders.
In a daily newsletter and podcast, MarketSnacks delivers digestible business news in an entertaining manner. Nick Martell and Jack Kramer partnered up in 2012 and haven’t missed a beat in covering the markets since inception. Get to know Nick and Jack and how MarketSnacks came to be through our Founders Q&A below (Spoiler Alert: you will be inspired and love how down-to-earth they are!)
Q: How did the two of you meet?
Freshman year roommates -- Jack was playing football, I was playing lacrosse, and we walked into our tiny 12’x12’ dorm “room” and realized we both had the same flavor protein shakes and Seinfeld DVDs. Perfect combo. And we had no idea we’d be launching a successful media company 5 years later.
Q: Describe each other in 3 words.
Jack is: Magnetic. Relentless. Vermont’s Native Son (the second coming of Ethan Allen?)
Nick is: Hilarious. Historic. Host-with-the-most.
Q: How was MarketSnacks conceived?
Working at banks full-time studying for our Series 7 exams nightly with the European Debt Crisis crushing markets, we realized business news needed to change -- It was inaccessible to our generation in its tone, jargon, and the companies it covered. So we met up for a beer at Old Town Bar in Union Square in 2012 and decided to create a new kind of business news for our generation -- And we haven’t missed a day of covering markets for MarketSnacks since those draft pale ales.
Q: How many nay sayers did you encounter on your journey to launch MarketSnacks? How did you deal with self-doubt?
Founders hear doubts from others, but never doubt themselves (“how will you monetize?” “Isn’t media broken?”). You’re constantly reevaluating what’s working and what to change about your business, so you have to doubt the business model in order to innovate it -- But when it comes to your company’s future success and yourselves as founders, that confidence never goes away. It’s the fuel powering you through every challenge.
It’s also important to recognize those in your network who respect your hustle, and seek out their advice. You need people who will push you up, and block out those who push you down.
Q: How do you determine what’s relevant/interesting news? What happens when you don’t agree with one another?
We’ve got our awesome “one-and-done” rule when we disagree -- In analyzing the industry, we noticed that what slows down media companies and breeds friction is when peers over-edit each other’s work. So with our “one-and-done” rule, as soon as one of us disagrees with what the other’s writing (Jack’s Lululemon joke didn’t make sense to me or my explanation of trade tariffs was totally off to Jack) then we edit it out. Done. That’s it. No questions asked. It keeps us moving fast and trusting that the other person is the best reflection of what works with our audience.
Q: What has been some of the most rewarding moments running MarketSnacks?
Our first TV appearance at the NYSE live at 9:30am, then jumping on the subway, wiping off our makeup, and getting to work at our full-time jobs.
Every day opening up an email from a reader saying we helped them get that job at Goldman Sachs or helped them finally care about business news or learn that they can actually buy Spotify’s stock.
Getting recognized as Forbes 30Under30 for our mission and success making business news accessible to our generation.
Every day when we finish recording the podcast we’re in awe that we get to chat about markets, be creative, and be ourselves across from our biz partners and friend.
Q: How do you manage and cope with stress?
Founders need an awesome support system -- Our wives and fiancees have been exactly that. They’re unique in that they’re happy for us at the highs, then give us feedback when we need it if a t-shirt we designed didn’t work, and they’ll text us awesome ideas for hilarious stories in the podcast or newsletter.
Fortunately we have co-founders. When one of us is exhausted, the other can carry the newsletter across the finish line. And when we need a heart-to-heart convo or to vent to one another, we always feel better after.
Q: What advice would you give someone looking to start their own podcast or business?
If you’re entering media, know that it’s a radically shifting industry and landscape -- But content is still king, so take the time to craft your voice and test your message in the market before you scale.
Q: NYC or SF?
Nick: Short-term SF, long-term NYC.
Jack: Short term SF, mid-term NYC, Long-term VT.
Q: Beach vaca or ski trip?
Nick: Ski -- You can always jump in the hot tub if you’re missing the beach.
Jack: Carpe Skiem.
Q: Work from home or work in an office?
We believe in the 3.5/1.5 ratio (that’s a MarketSnacks original) -- 3.5 days at the office, 1.5 at home. The office gives you access to peers, ideas, and engagement. But everyone needs that one day without distractions to really nail down what’s on their plates.
Q: WSJ or NY Times?
Nick: NYT -- The most innovative media reporting, styles, and formats right now in digital are coming from the NYT.
Jack: The NYT is an American Institution. But I never miss Jason Gay’s column in WSJ. Especially the 21 rules for (insert holiday weekend activity here) lists.
Q: Words you live by.
Nick: Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.
Jack: Fortune Favors The Bold.