📢 Special announcement on the future of International Intrigue!
We've got big plans and we want YOU along for the ride!
🏃♂️ If you’re pressed for time, just read the bits of this email in bold and you’ll get the tl;dr.
As we foreshadowed in our regular Wednesday dispatch, we’re popping up in your inbox on a Friday for the first time since we began writing 11 months ago.
That very first edition of International Intrigue made two bold claims:
That we would ‘build in public’ - aka take you behind the scenes whenever possible and share what we’re creating, why, and how we plan to achieve it.
That Belarus was Bulgaria. Our very first piece of feedback was an email gently reminding us that while the two countries had some alphabetic similarities, they were, most assuredly, very different. Still embarrassed about that one.
We return to that first statement today to give you a glimpse into the big changes here at International Intrigue H. Put simply, we’ve been busy:
We've written 46 consecutive newsletters since last November (about 100,000 words 😲). Looking back from our first newsletter to our most recent, we think you’ll agree we’ve improved!
Over 2,200 of you have found our work. Even better, a huge proportion of you open and engage with the newsletter every week. Many of you have told us how much you love it ♥
In March, we officially founded Intrigue Media Inc as a next-gen media company designed to drag global affairs analysis kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
And in May we raised a small round of funding from some superstar investors, and hired a great team of interns to help us build that future.
In the words of Drake, we started from the… you know what, let’s just say we’re really proud of how far we’ve come.
But despite all those changes, our mission remains the same:
To make geopolitical news and high-quality analysis fun again 🥳
We believe that, now more than ever, everyone needs to understand how the world works. But we know that the next generation of ambitious leaders (and plenty of this generation’s) can’t bear to slog through more academic, esoteric geopolitical analysis that doesn’t speak to them.
We set out to fix that problem last November, and as you'll see from what follows, we've only just begun...
🗺 The Grand Plan: we’re splitting the current newsletter into two separate newsletters
We’ll start with the visual learners:
1. INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE
International Intrigue will become a daily newsletter focused on giving you a quick roundup of the most essential geopolitical news with some analysis on the side. Each day of the week covers a designated region, so by Friday you’ll have “seen the whole world”.
The new drop is designed to be short, sharp, and to the point so you can fold it right into your daily rituals. And of course it will have the trademark International Intrigue cheeky humour and rejection of all things jargony.
As for the name? Well, we bandied about a lot of new names like the Daily Dispatch or Intrigue Daily, but ultimately we like the name International Intrigue too much to retire it.
The best bit is that International Intrigue will continue to be completely free. We’ll be supporting this newsletter and the significant costs associated with creating it by offering paid sponsorships. We want to make sure that this product is available to everyone who wants to better understand how their world works.
2. THE INTRIGUE CABLES
For those of you who love the format of our current newsletter, don’t worry… it’s not going anywhere. We’ll be redesigning the look and feel of our long-form analysis newsletter, building some new features, and adding some fresh new voices to the mix. But rest assured that everything you currently love about the newsletter will stay the same.
We’re calling it The Intrigue Cables in a nod to our former lives as diplomats. Diplomatic cables are the missives diplomats send home from foreign embassies to help their country’s decision makers understand what’s really going on in the world.
We want The Intrigue Cables to be your personal foreign service; telling you what’s going on behind the geopolitical news and how it affects you.
Ultimately, The Intrigue Cables will be all about giving you the tools to see the world clearly - whether that’s to help you make better decisions at work, or just to look smart in front of your boss.
And we promise you won’t fall asleep during the first paragraph (we’re looking at you The Economist).
The Intrigue Cables will be available via paid subscription. We’ve been pouring our brains and hearts into the OG International Intrigue for almost a year now and we love doing it. That’s a lot of free, but our landlords aren’t so generous.
The simple fact is we can’t keep doing this unless we start to earn a living. So, we’ll be charging US$99/year or $9/month for access to The Intrigue Cables. The good news is that if you’ve received this email, you’ll get access as a Founding Supporter which means it will only cost you US$49 for the first year! That’s like buying us one beer every two months - aka a pretty sweet deal.
🧐 So what’s next?
Drum roll please… we’re officially ready to launch the daily newsletter 🎉
The daily newsletter will launch on Monday 11 October. It’ll be a ‘soft launch’ meaning we’re not gonna ramp up our hype machine for a few weeks while we first focus on nailing the product. But no more closed beta testing, no more surveys - we’re going live to the world in two weeks time.
We’ll stop writing the current newsletter next week. International Intrigue 1.0 will be paused as we work on getting the daily newsletter up and running. BUT FEAR NOT! The new-look The Intrigue Cables will be back with you later this year for all of your long-form, deep-dive, lolsy, geopolitical analysis needs.
✅ What you need to do
Sign up to International Intrigue by… doing nothing.
If you’ve received this email, we’ll add you to the subscriber list for our new daily newsletter. We’ve designed it specifically for you and we hope you’ll read it and love it. But if for whatever reason you don’t, it will be super duper easy to unsubscribe - you’ll find a one-click link at the bottom of every newsletter.
Sign up to The Intrigue Cables by… doing nothing.
How easy (for now at least)! We’ll be in touch when we’ve nailed down the when and the how of launching The Intrigue Cables. As mentioned above, it will become a paid subscription in the future, but if you’re getting this email, you’ll be eligible for a very nice price. We’ll give you much more detail in future updates.
Of course, if you’d rather not join The Intrigue Cables community, you’ll always have the option of subscribing to our free daily newsletter instead.
🔮 The future
To everyone who’s read even a single newsletter, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
To those of you who’ve read lots of them, shared, commented, told your friends, emailed us, or in any other way engaged with our work, we’re in your debt. We mean it - we wouldn’t still be doing this work without you.
We’re now taking a huge step towards our vision for the future. We both love building Intrigue Media - it’s by far the hardest work we’ve ever done and the most fulfilling. For now, we can’t wait to get cracking on creating even more high quality content - we hope you’ll join us!
All our best,
John, Helen, and the Intrigue Media team
PS. It was Helen’s idea to include a photo. I can only apologise - John.