Shutting Down

Thanks for hearing me out.

The Short Version:

It’s time to read the writing on the wall. Think List is not doing well, so I'm shutting it down. Thanks for reading it if you did. Unread letters are not nothing. But they’re pretty close.

Paid Subscribers:

Your money will be refunded if it hasn't been already.

All Subscribers:

You can send your condolences and insults to sirbrianleli@gmail.com.


The Long Version:

I began Think List in April 2020. But the first Think List newsletter to go out via Substack was on December 10 last year. It went to 18 subscribers. Very slowly, that number rose to 28. When I experimented this week with writing more things about more things—i.e., doing something that I'd hoped would add more value—it appeared to have the opposite effect. I lost three subscribers and gained one angry email. The angry email is fine and didn't come as a surprise. But still, peaking at 28 subscribers, and then dropping to 25, after a year and three months, is pretty awful by any metric. And considering that a majority of subscribers don't open the emails—not judging, just saying—I imagine that you, too, can see the writing on the wall.

And who knows: maybe the directional changes I've made over the last few months just need more time. I'm very doubtful of that, but I've seen a lot of things happen that I never thought I'd see happen; many of them just in the last few years. In any event, what's going to happen now is I'm going to go into my kitchen and attempt to finish putting together the table and chairs I'd started putting together last night, as I began writing this email in my head, until I couldn't figure out how this one piece of the chair was supposed to fit where the instructions I was given told me it was supposed to fit, and it occurred to me that what I was doing was not that different from writing, nor was it that different from the things I was writing about.

It's what we're all doing all the time: trying to piece things together, trying to see where they fit, trying to see where we fit.

I'm not going to stop doing that. And I'm not going to stop writing. But I am going to stop sending Think List. Thanks for making it more than nothing.