From the Editor

Introducing Advisory and the new Executive Briefing

How I’m thinking about year five of The New Consumer — and beyond.

Dan Frommer
Photo: Charles Aydlett

Hello hello! It’s Dan Frommer with a reminder that time flies: May 1 marked the start of the fifth (!) year of The New Consumer membership. Many of you have been here since the beginning — my beta launch way back in March, 2019 — and I can only say THANK YOU for your continued support.

Today I’m announcing two things I’m really excited about:

  • A new Advisory service from The New Consumer, designed around private monthly sessions and special access to my insights, data, and network.
  • A new weekly Executive Briefing newsletter — a fast-paced read covering up to ten topics — aimed at making The New Consumer more essential. I’ll continue to regularly publish in-depth feature articles, with the goal of publishing two newsletters most weeks.

More details below.

I’m also using this year’s kickoff as a Spring Pledge Drive: I’d love your help in adding 100 new members by the end of the month. If you find The New Consumer valuable — or think you might — please consider becoming a member today, either as an individual or as a team plan for your organization. Thanks in advance!


The New Consumer Advisory is a subscription to my time: Monthly private sessions where we’ll talk about what’s most important to you and your business. We can discuss opportunities, review work, refine strategy, build conviction, and figure out what’s next.

My goal here is to help entrepreneurs, executives, and investors solve problems — and get ahead of the future — with my unique expertise, point of view, and network in the tech, venture capital, media, and consumer industries.

Advisory is an extension of two services: The Office Hours I’ve offered regularly to members — always fascinating and productive conversations — and the consulting practice I’ve also operated for four years, focused on research and strategy projects for investors and founders.

Who’s this for? Some ideas:

  • Early- to growth-stage consumer, tech, or media founders looking for a trusted adviser on a variety of topics, from fundraising to content strategy
  • Investors looking for an independent thinker to help vet specific deal opportunities or explore new sectors, verticals, or models
  • Executives looking to build their profile in the business community through guided strategy in building relationships with journalists and publishing
  • Product leaders looking for ongoing feedback on new concepts, features, and strategy
  • Executive teams looking to get out of their bubble with a private, customized, data-driven monthly discussion on consumer trends
  • Agency leaders looking for an independent and confidential sounding board on clients, ideas, and pitches
  • Marketers looking to build prominence and drive leads through data storytelling
  • Editorial executives looking for a silent partner in identifying the stories, trends, models, and talent worth pursuing

Why this model? In addition to my writing and research, I’d like to spend more of my time getting closer to the metal — turning ideas into action, which is ultimately what matters. (This also necessitates some updates to my Ethics Statement — always current here.)

For the right partners, I’d be thrilled to assign you a portion of my brain, bringing creative ideas and everything (and everyone) I know to our professional relationship.

In this first phase, I’m interested in working with a very small number of people and businesses on longer-term commitments of six months or more.

Please reach out if you’re interested — I’m — and we’ll set up an introductory conversation to discuss fit, goals, process, and rates.

The Executive Briefing 2.0

I continue to spend the vast majority of my work time researching and writing The New Consumer newsletter and website you’re reading right now; that’s why we’re all here.

Today I’m introducing some improvements to the publishing format and schedule that I think will make it more useful and essential. My goal remains the same: To make you smarter, faster, and more effective through a unique and critical lens.

What’s new is a rethinking of my Executive Briefing newsletter, which will now go out on Friday mornings at 8am ET, starting this week. (Some will be available for free subscribers, courtesy of a sponsor, but most will be exclusive to members.) I’ll continue to publish in-depth feature articles; this is in addition to — not instead of — what I’m already doing.

In each Briefing, I’ll cover up to ten topics, providing fast-paced analysis and commentary, new data and research, charts, and more. I’ll follow up frequently on prior reports to show how things worked — or didn’t work — and why. I’ll summarize key podcast interviews, earnings calls, and investor presentations, getting you up to speed while saving you hours of time.

My coverage universe remains the same: An opinionated exploration of the new consumer economy, especially as it intersects with tech and innovation. But the idea is to write about a greater number of companies, trends, people, and ideas, much more frequently than I have been.

When I launched The New Consumer four years ago, I had some ideas for how this product might evolve, but I didn’t think it would become a feed of 1,400-word, single-topic reported essays. This has been mostly successful — I enjoy the depth, and I know many of you do, too — but it has severely limited my breadth. So now we’ll have both.

Btw: I continue to be blown away by the quality of my readership. You all are really impressive, fascinating people. I wouldn’t — and couldn’t — be doing this without you!

The bigger picture

It’s been a couple of years since I last wrote about the membership-supported indie publishing business and what I’m trying to build here.

One big reason is that this model has become vastly more popular than it was when I started — especially as Substack subsidized de-risking for big-name writers — so it’s a lot less weird to be doing what I’m doing. Memberships worked!

Another is that — especially as a busy dad; Fritz just turned two (!) — I’ve tried to spend my work time on actual work and less on self-reflection. I’m also not sure how much (or how frequent) a look behind the scenes most of you really want.

But while we’re here: I still strongly believe that niche, member-focused publishing like The New Consumer is the most exciting place to be operating in today’s media business.

Perhaps you’ve observed the recent collapse of many of last decade’s most drooled-over digital media and news brands. The lesson there, applicable to consumer brands as well, is that demand-side disruption — attracting zillions of eyeballs, building community, whatever you want to call it — doesn’t matter over the long run if you can’t build a solid business on it.

The incumbents, especially The New York Times, were able to learn enough of the new tricks — with long-established distribution, financial discipline, and even some creative swings — to stick it out. Funding and attention will often materialize for exciting new ideas, but gravity always wins.

I’m much more interested in expanding on this model where I can be your long-term research partner, focus on topics we find interesting and important, and where we can figure out what’s next together.

I’ve purposely kept my team small — it’s still just me! — and have chosen to partner when it makes sense, such as my Consumer Trends collaboration with Coefficient Capital.

Growth is steady — and important; thanks for your help getting the word out — and I remain most interested in maintaining agency over my attention and ownership of my work. The most satisfying part is that my best work continues to drive the best results.

In the near future, that means more newsletters, more Consumer Trends reports, and an ongoing evolution of my consultancy. I’m also working on The New Consumer audio and video projects. And tweaks to the website. And some other ideas. More on those soon.

I’m also focused on getting my work in front of more people, and, via Advisory, spending more time with a few of you.

Please reach out if it might make sense for us to work on something creative together, if I should speak at your event, spend time with your team, or if you have any ideas for how I can make The New Consumer better this year. Also, again, please consider joining as a member today.

And if you’re facing any new or specific challenges that you think your peers will also experience, send me a note — I should write about it.

Thanks again for your attention and support! I’m looking forward to many more years together.

Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my member-exclusive Executive Briefing. Thanks in advance.

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