To many subscribers, MarketSnacks is just a weekly financial newsletter. To Nick Martell and Jack Kramer, it’s a full-fledged business.
When the founders launched the newsletter in 2011, it started as a creative outlet outside of work. After the markets closed, Martell and Kramer would text each other about what they’d include in the following morning’s newsletter. They then divvied up the sections of the newsletter and took turns editing it each day.
That process hasn’t really changed in the last five years; however, the way they do business has. The duo has struck syndication deals with clients such as Fidelity Investments and appears on NYSE’s Cheddar when they have time. The newsletter has grown from a subscription base of a few close family and friends to exposure to tens of thousands of people thanks to the partnerships they’ve secured.
Martell describes this type of model as “side hustle entrepreneurship.”
“I wish I had known early on how big we could be thinking about it,” he said in an interview for Fortune’s series, Founder Friday. “We were kind of in the grains at first, but this could just be an element of being a side hustler — you’re just trying to get through the next day because you’re balancing so much.”
MarketSnacks is often compared to popular millennial women-focused newsletter, TheSkimm. While TheSkimm covers an array of topics, MarketSnacks focuses solely on finance, featuring a funny photo and humorous analysis on three to four news items. The goal is to translate financial news to anyone — even if they don’t work on Wall Street.
For instance, rather than saying Chipotle missed on earnings, you’ll read something like, “Everyone has that friend who lamely chooses ‘burrito bowl’ over ‘burrito.’ The latest earnings from Chipotle were like that friend.”
“When I was in college, the Wall Street Journal was terrifying to me,” Kramer says. “We were thinking, ‘We wish we had something else,’ so we created it intended for that audience.”