Media Moves

Why a Fortune writer left to run a newsletter

November 13, 2020

Posted by Erica Thompson

Simon Owens talked with former Fortune writer Polina Marinova about why she left the business magazine to run her newsletter.

Owens writes, “Polina loved her magazine job, but she decided to leave it earlier this year to pursue the newsletter full-time. ‘I started thinking, ‘I’ve been at Fortune for five years. I literally learned everything I know there. I was 23 years old when I started.’ So I thought, ‘is there anything else I want to do?’ And with Substack, I saw that it was getting traction. I saw that more and more people wanted to read it.  And I had all these ideas. I just couldn’t do them because I was only working on The Profile in the evenings and on weekends and on the subway. So I asked myself, ‘what would this thing look like if I gave it a hundred percent?’ I also asked myself whether I wanted to give my job up for something where I could completely fail. And the question that I couldn’t get out of my head was, ‘will I have learned more in five years if I stayed at Fortune in my exact same role versus doing The Profile for five years?’

“This line of thinking started in January 2020. ‘I gave notice in the beginning of March, before COVID was super, super serious. My last day at Fortune was March 20th when [New York Governor] Andrew Cuomo said everybody had to stay home in New York. That’s when it hit me. This could become a depression.’ But in some ways it ended up being great timing, since people were hungry for longform content to consume.”

Read more here.

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