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  • Writer's pictureHarshal

Anti-Stack of staying up to date with technology - Part 3, a Reject List

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

I’d primarily started a post to share my information sources as a curated list but ended up adding more of “how” and “why”, which you can read in Part 1 - Framework. In Part 2, I showed a curated list of recommended information sources. Due to email size limitations, I split the list of rejects, or an Anti-Stack to this post, a Part 3. I’ll explain the reasoning for rejecting sources.

An Anti-Stack


I want to highlight sources of information I tried but have discarded because they were inefficient, not skimmable but broad, very frequent but in-depth, expensive, or had a high percentage of overlap with other better sources. I’ve not written about every source I unsubscribed or rejected because 1) it didn’t make sense to take up a lot of space to describe rejects in detail and 2) my memory and online searchable history is biased to not show up sources I stopped consuming.


A) Functional Skills

  1. James Clear’s 3-2-1: James Clear is the author of the book Atomic Habits, which I find super helpful (will post about my takeaways separately). A colleague recommended the 3-2-1 newsletter, and after trying it out I classified it as a functional skill because time management and better habits are valuable for a rigorous role such as PM. However, I choose to unsubscribe because a large part of the newsletter was high-level sparse information. So inefficient.

B) Analysis or opinions on news

  1. Finimize: This newsletter aims to make finance more understandable for the general public. However, after having taken a few finance courses in my MBA, I do not find any value in this newsletter, so I have unsubscribed.

  2. Axios Login: The Login newsletter of Axios is very well written about tech news, but it is very US-centric and Big Tech (GAFA+M) centric. So, once I relocated from San Francisco to Ireland, I unsubscribed as I want to keep up with tech beyond the Silicon Valley bubble.

  3. WSJ website: We discussed in Part 1 - Frameworks that websites are inefficient since they are designed to encourage you to navigate to other articles and keep reading more instead of letting you focus on an area. WSJ website has great content but due to this fallacy and its subscription fees, I keep away from it.

C) Collated functional skills

  1. TechRepublic: TechRepublic collates tech news on specific topics. Since it can collate tech topic-specific news, it works to enhance functional skills. However, it is very inefficient because only half of each headline is in the email and every single headline needs a clickthrough to their website to understand even a summary of the article.

D) Collated news

  1. Tech Crunch (Daily): TC’s daily newsletter has incomplete sentences for the news summaries, which makes it inefficient as you either have no idea what the news is about or you need to click on multiple links to read the news summary.

  2. Morning Brew: Although its analysis or opinions on the news is helpful, it also tries to be funny and witty, which reduces its efficiency. It is also very US-centric. It also has overlap with TC, Quartz, and Benedict Evans newsletters. Similar reasoning to unsubscribe from TheSkimm.


Graph between depth of info and efficiency


As you can see from the visualization, the rejects have several inefficient and broad sources. Axios Login and Stratechery (Paid) are the outliers in this graph, and you can see from the descriptions that Stratechery (Paid) was rejected based on the paid axis and Axios Login due to its coverage focus relative to me.


If you want to take a look again at a sample Stack, here is part 2 and if you want to take a look again at the framework I used is in part 1.

Originally published at https://harshalpatil.substack.com on Dec 24, 2020

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