A couple of months ago I received a job opportunity I had spent the better part of a decade trying to land. At 9am on November 6th, I will walk into the offices of the South China Morning Post and begin my journey as the Production Editor for Inkstone, a special project owned by the SCMP.
Our mission is “to give you unique, unvarnished insight into a rising potential superpower”; aka China. Inkstone publishes six articles every day (no more, no less). The aim is to capture the daily happenings in China, both the good and the bad.
If you read every article you will unlock “The Last Wonton” which tends to be a cool internet-friendly viral video.
As I begin the next chapter of my life, it is a unique opportunity for some self-reflection.
I am most proud of my ability to stay patient. Media is a tough business and, as highlighted above, I have spent 10 years (in various forms) working towards this moment. That’s a long time, but because I gave the process time I was able to enjoy an exciting journey.
I will forever be grateful to e27 for providing me with an opportunity to learn and grow. My time at the company provided me with a self-confidence which was not necessarily there a few years ago. No matter where my journey goes, e27 may be the most formative experience in my professional career.
And now, it is time to look forward!
This new job means that I will need to suspend Aseophile for the foreseeable future.
There are a few reasons for this, but most important is my need to be hyper-focussed on Inkstone. I will need to give the job my full energy and attention, which means my time off will be dedicated towards personal writing, exercising, reading, hiking and spending time with my friends.
I started the newsletter for myself with no real intention of transforming it into a business. I think that’s why Aseophile worked. Readers seemed to appreciate a voice that was more concerned with curiosity than with forming opinions. I sent the first Aseophile to about a dozen people. This issue will be going out to almost 600 inboxes.
That appreciation helped me plug away on the project for 3.5 years (!!!!!). Aseophile was often the first thing people brought up when starting a conversation, which is incredibly humbling.
Thank you very much for the love and support. It means a lot to me.
One that note, I want to leave everyone with a few newsletters that either inspired Aseophile or were used heavily for research.
Inkstone: If you want to follow me, this is the place! The newsletter subscription tool is found by clicking the three bars in the upper-righthand corner.
Asia Tech Review: Jon Russel is a fantastic tech reporter for The Ken. He provided the first helping-hand that got Aseophile off the ground. I reached out to him in the early days and he was gracious enough to provide advice. Asia Tech Review covers the technology/startup industry in Asia.
Dari Mulut ke Mulut: I really like this newsletter. Erin Cook is focussed on Southeast Asia and the product is heavy on features and long reads. The reason I like Dari Mulut ke Mulut is because Cook does a fantastic job of allowing readers to get a sense of Southeast Asian culture. ‘The People’ are the stars in Dari Mulut ke Mulut.
Vietnam Weekly: The name spells it out. Mike Tatarski gives a weekly wrap of all of the news stories in Vietnam. The project is helpful for understanding an extremely interesting country.
Sinocism: The gold standard of Asia newsletters. Sinocism provides in-depth analysis of all things China. It is a must-read for people who want to dive into the weeds regarding The Middle Kingdom. (I will be diving deep into Sinocism as part of my new job.) It is a subscription-based newsletter but Bill Bishop throws out enough free issues that a sign-up is worthwhile.
Others: The following is a list of mainstream media newsletters I use frequently. Bloomberg: Various (they do a nice job with their newsletters). New York Times Morning briefing (Asia Edition) and The Interpreter. Foreign Policy China Brief.
Finally, as highlighted by the headline image, make sure to get outside 😉 .
I want to end on one final thank you. Thank you!