The internet is an incredible thing. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips. So much information! An unfathomable amount… Like so much that you could actually be convinced that Finland isn’t real? Okay, not that much. The internet provides, but sometimes it provides too much information.
We would be kidding ourselves if we thought that we were the first people to come to the internet party and boldly proclaim, “financial literacy is a problem and we, the righteous, the wise and knowledgeable, are going to change that.” There are literally thousands of personal finance blogs out there. So there’s no shortage of content.
There’s also no denying that you can learn anything on the internet if you’re motivated to hack at it for a few months. You listen to podcasts, read blogs, watch Youtube, maybe even buy some used books off Amazon. But as someone who did exactly that, I’m perfectly comfortable sharing that it wasn’t a great experience. It felt like a lot of flailing around in a sea of acronyms. Knowledge was gained, but at great emotional and spiritual cost. And as we all know, excessive flailing around (EFA) is a classic detrimental barrier (CDB) to the enjoyment of learning (EOL)… seriously, is it any wonder people have a hard time with this stuff?
The experience of learning about investing needs to be enjoyable
Our hypothesis (my sister is a scientist okay), is that higher quantity AND higher quality information for self-led education isn’t determinant of a better understanding of any subject.
My editor (me, 2 days after writing that) told me that last sentence felt “too academic.” All I’m saying is, no matter how important the topic, if the process of learning isn’t enjoyable, people will naturally disengage. The learning experience is what matters.
We had experience in mind from the get-go
With Big Later, we set out to create something that was simple, smart, funny, and useful. We weren’t going to cover every aspect of personal finance (although we touch on a handful). Rather, we wanted to focus exclusively on how to get started with investing.
If you’ve got the dinosaur financial institutions (old, boring, crusty) on one end of the spectrum, and the modern self-made drop-shipping YouTube gurus (young, hot, exciting, but 90% full of shit) on the other, well, we’re the sweet ‘n salty spot in the middle.
Direct to your inbox, daily (such innovation!)
Email felt like the right way to deliver because it saved people the step of having to leave the comfort and coziness of their… inbox. Plus, the newsletter is having a bit of a renaissance right now and who am I to poo-poo a bandwagon thing if it’s a sweet-ass bandwagon? Oh, btw, we skip weekends.
Right voice, right sequence, right size
We see ads for financial services all the time, and their approach to messaging 20 and 30-somethings is cringe-y. Taking a subject that is typically drier than your throat after the cinnamon challenge (that’s actually really dangerous apparently) and infusing it with some tawdry humor was a must. Also, being an actual young person helps when writing for young people. Case in point:
Get it? It’s brilliant marketing because millennials lose their shit over avocados apparently.
Back to the point. An essential part of this whole “experience” claim is that the content needs to be delivered in the right sequence. That meant making sure every bite-sized chapter built on the last and no concepts were introduced without an easy-to-follow definition. Did I mention the emails were bite-sized? It isn’t fair to ask readers to spend more than 5 minutes with us per day. We all have shit to do. Love Island isn’t going to watch itself.
Actionable, iterative, responsive
Lastly, we want our readers to feel engaged. On top of that, we want to know where our content is missing the mark. So we’ve baked in little surveys here and there. If things are confusing, we’ll fix them. If you want to chat, well, we’ll chat (so long as it’s about finance stuff… we’re not your mom). Your questions are going to be the primary subjects of exploration in our blog. We want this experience to be a good one, and for us that means being available and responsive to all the Big Laterers* out there.
*This term is admittedly not good. We’re working on it okay.
We can’t argue with the fact that the internet provides untethered access to great resources. However, we think wandering the great plains of the internet like a drunken cowboy looking for his imaginary childhood best friend isn’t the best way to develop a solid foundation for investing.
That’s where, if you’d like, we come in.