EDITOR’S NOTE: Technology is changing the way we work, live, eat, learn, and play. We are here to help make sense of it all — not just for the builders, but for the tech curious and anyone seeking to understand the future, now. We do this through pieces that (1) explain or argue what the future looks like (specific tech trends, key shifts, what they are and why they matter); and/or that (2) help build the future (practical advice and how-to around new business models, technologies, platform shifts). We’re committed to being the definitive, go-to place for curating and sharing all the smart, fresh voices on understanding and building the future.
We are pro-tech, pro-future, pro-change. But we are also “informed optimists”, not freewheeling futurists making predictions without any skin in the game. So even for ideas that seem like science fiction, we want to see some logic or concrete evidence — a breakthrough in science, technology, engineering, or other rationale — that could actually make the solution possible. Our bar is high: We review/edit for credibility, precision, and proportionality of claims. We don’t want normative takes — this is not a place to say “should” but rather “could” — however, sharing frameworks for how to think about things is welcome. ~Sonal Chokshi
Send us what the idea for your piece is, why it matters, and what would make your angle different from what’s already been said out there (if anything) — think of how you’d describe the idea to someone who isn’t an insider in just a few sentences. More guidelines below; and more on how/where to pitch us and other details *coming soon*!
- We like pieces to argue a strong and specific point of view. We’re especially interested in deeper analysis beyond the obvious or different takes — the kind of thing that starts, leads, or furthers conversations… not just follows them
- Try to contextualize why it matters to someone outside the industry: Why should they care, how will it affect them? Be sure to up-level your thinking outside your own interest: What’s the big picture? Who are the other players? What’s your take, specifically, and how does it fit the space overall? Most importantly, what’s your hypothesis or argument? [Oh, and we don’t like “problem-solution” op-eds. You know, where you argue for something and the conclusion is secretly the very thing you’re selling. (This applies to our own portfolio companies, too!)]
- Focus on the trends and broader category, more outward-in vs. inward-out; also be sure to check what’s already been said about a given topic and how you would contribute something new to the conversation. You don’t have to be first to argue something, but if you’re not, we expect your take to be fresh and differentiated and we will help push here as necessary
- When in doubt, go specific over general. “Grand theories of everything” are much harder to pull off well than a deep, angled slice into a broad topic
- We prefer pieces/arguments that are proactive (vs. reactively) framed; it’s fine to respond to something out there, but the piece should also be arguing for or proposing something NEW or fresh take
- Think of all this similarly to the idea maze entrepreneurs go through for startups, but you’re doing it for a piece of content. Are there other pieces that address aspects of your argument? Interesting analogies? Theories? Direct experience or anecdotes/data you can include in your writeup? This is a great way to strike what our editor in chief calls “writer-topic fit”, so you and we know that you’re the best person to write this piece
- Ideally, your piece should match your background or expertise. This is not about “credentials” per se; it’s that the opinion should draw on knowledge YOU uniquely have (details no one knows are great, especially if it’s a saturated topic); data you have access to; or other expertise, experience, or earned secret. It should also self-evidently answer the question of not just what you’re arguing but why you’re the one to be arguing it
- We love new ideas and exploratory essays, but it’s not a complete free-for-all. Pieces should be credible and defensible — backed up by references, attributions, links; data, examples, anecdotes; or other insights. We don’t believe in false equivalence, so no need to do both sides; but we do expect claims to be proportional to the data or facts out there
- Your opinion should be timely. There’s no need to force an arbitrary news hook, but the pieces should somehow be tied to what’s happening now or coming next; this also helps give your piece momentum and viral lift
- What length should it be? As long as it needs to be! We don’t arbitrarily believe in word count/ length limits, as long as every paragraph inch delivers insights. Format-wise, we will take op-eds, listicles, data graphs, just about anything written (for podcast pitches, go here); but ideally, start with the pitch so we can help determine best format to save both sides time
- We believe in editing for clarity and flow, but not editing for editing’s sake or to change your true voice. Our kind of editing isn’t just copyediting though, it’s editing-as-thought-partner to help you convey your ideas in the most powerful way to the intended audience. We have a strong track record of viral hits, influencing the influencers, or shaping the conversation in other important ways. As such, we will also release pieces based on what we think the best timing for it is
sources: early version here