How Sid Jha built Sunday Snapshots newsletter to 3000+ subscribers in 18 months and how you can too :)

Intellectual Software

28-11-2020 • 41 mins

Sid Jha started a weekly newsletter in May 2019, while he was in college, sharing his observations on books and academic papers, unique business stories, and a few niche parts of the internet. He sent the first few editions to his close friends and over time has built a base of 3000+ subscribers. He's since met some very interesting people like David Perell and Packy Mccormick and learned a ton of lessons. These days, 30% of his articles are based on stuff shared by his readers, which is quite amazing. Ever since I interviewed Dickie Bush a few weeks back, I wanted to interview someone in the newsletter space again and Sid is one of the most interesting people I've met online. His tips on starting a newsletter and building distribution into the content are really valuable. We talked about a lot of interesting things - more in the show notes below. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Happy Sunday :)


01:40 - Introduction and College

02:48 - Sunday Snapshots and why I started writing the newsletter

04:01 - The habit of reading

05:41 - The American and Indian culture of entrepreneurship

07:07 - Entrepreneurship is an investment with unbounded upside

08:05 - Taking notes and breaking down the Starbucks loyalty system

10:48 - My process of writing and the value of consistency

12:55 - My process of crafting an edition of Sunday Snapshots newsletter

14:36 - When I realized people outside my friend circle had started reading the newsletter

17:05 - David Perell and Packy Mccormick

18:28 - Building a personal monopoly and the infinite leverage of the internet

20:15 - Accountability is underappreciated and why super-rich people are fit

21:27 - How I'm building my personal monopoly with observation-based writing on tech, history, or people

23:40 - How I'd grow a newsletter from scratch if I started today

26:31 - Building distribution into your content and why you should never write about Mark Zuckerberg

27:56 - Your Chief of staff would be an extension of your abilities and should complement you

30:30 - How I made sure my breakdowns of Lyndon B. Johnson's went viral

32:02 - Narvar and controlling the post-purchase experience of e-commerce

33:50 - LBJ book series and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

34:43 - My favorite newsletters - The Generalist, Femstreet, Remains if the day, Sari Azout, Eugene Wei, and Venture Desktop

36:24 - Asking users to share my content and managing scale

37:36 - I'd rather have fewer subscribers than a low email open rate

39:04 - Success according to me

39:54 - Ideas I'm playing with for the next editions of the newsletter

40:57 - Start your newsletter today, set a deadline, and commit to it

I share all the articles/podcasts/books I consume during researching my guests as well as other stuff I find interesting  in the newsletter (

You can also follow me on Twitter for similar stuff. My DMs are open (

Sunday Snapshots (

Sid's Twitter (

Sid's Longform Essays (

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