The Girlboss Radio Exit Interview: theSkimm Founders Think You Should Take a Vacation


Last week’s Girlboss Radio episode packed a double-punch with Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, founders of theSkimm, the daily newsletter that delivers concise roundups of the must-know news for the day to 4 million subscribers (including Oprah and Hoda!). The dynamic pair discusses how they started with a few thousand bucks in their savings and have since gone on to be a shining, buzzy new model of an “audience company.” Catch up on the latest episode, and check out their quick tips and quips below:



Piece of advice you dispense most often: 
Carly Zakin: I tell this to our team all the time: Don’t be afraid to try and fail.
Danielle Weisberg: Take a coding class. Also, sign up for the Daily Skimm.

If you could give your 21-year-old self a heads up about something, what would it be? 
CZ & DW: Take a vacation.

Do you feel like you’ve “made it”? (Or conversely, haven’t “made it”?) How do you maintain a balance of celebrating the wins while still pushing for more? 
DW & CZ: Raising our last funding round and our recent #NoExcuses campaign where we registered 110K people to vote were huge moments for us. We always take time to celebrate milestones—big and small. We love popping champagne or ringing the bell in HQ to announce an accomplishment, but our team is scrappy and hungry. We’re always pushing for more. 

Best business book you’ve ever read:
DW: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
CZ:  Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Book you can’t wait to read:
DW: I'm trying to finish Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero right now.
CZ:  All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker 

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing today, what would you be doing?
DW: I would be a Flywheel instructor.
CZ: Training to be a chef.

What’s your favorite app?
DW & CZ: Skimm Ahead. It’s our subscription service that we rolled out earlier this year that can integrate directly into your iPhone calendar to make sure you never miss those big moments, from when the State of the Union is to your football team’s next game time and the premiere date of the new season of Scandal

Any travel hacks for smooth sailing?
DW & CZ: We travel a lot. For our #NoExcuses campaign this year, we traveled around the country hosting activations on college campuses to talk about the importance of getting to the polls. We’ve definitely gotten ready in an airport bathroom or two, and always keep a few essentials in our carry on. Having Pre-Check has been a lifesaver. We always travel with neck pillows and eye masks. Our cross country flight look is not cute. 

Do you believe in work-life balance? Why or why not?
DW & CZ: Absolutely. Taking time for ourselves is something that we’ve actually built into our schedules. Whether it’s building in a workout or turning off on the weekends, we make this a priority and encourage our team to do the same. But it's something that took a long time to prioritize. It wasn't until we each hit burn out that we decided things had to change. 

Five things you’d take to a deserted co-working island:
DW & CZ: Phone, Skinny Pop, our moms, Hershey’s Kisses, a couch.

The Girlboss, dead or alive, that would leave you a little tongue-tied if you got the chance to meet her:
DW & CZ: Oprah. She tweeted about theSkimm and we cried. 

Last thing that made you laugh so hard you cried:
DW & CZ: Our team is hilarious—they keep us laughing every day. Our Secret Santa this year definitely had us cracking up. Inflatable Santa suits were running around the office. 

*  // @theskimm

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