Hey there, welcome to Wes Kao’s Newsletter. Each week, I share insights on how to be a sharper marketer and operator in a contemporary organization. This is actionable advice rooted in 15 years as a VC-backed founder, marketing executive, and advisor.

I’ll cover the “why” and “how” of topics like:

  • managing up

  • rigorous thinking

  • high ROI communication

  • giving/receiving feedback

  • developing your spiky POV

  • setting a high bar of excellence

  • strategic framing and messaging

  • balancing being both a manager and direct report

New issues are published on Wednesdays at 8am ET because I love a good alliteration re: Wes on Wednesdays.

Join over 230,000 readers across LinkedIn, Twitter, and Substack.

Who writes this?

I’m Wes Kao. I’ve been a 2x founder, marketer, and operator for over a decade. A few highlights:

  • Co-founded Maven, a platform for live online courses. We raised $25M from First Round and Andreessen Horowitz, and have served 27,000+ students and helped instructors earn $18M to date.

  • Co-founded the altMBA with bestselling author Seth Godin. Launched in 2014, the altMBA was one of the first cohort-based courses. I grew it fro 0 to thousands of students in 500 cities and 45 countries with a 96% completion rate.

  • Advised CEOs of companies like Section, Outlier, Poo~Pourri, and Morning Brew.

  • My work has been featured in The Information, Business Insider, TechCrunch, Entrepreneur, Fast Company

Since 2010, I’ve written on my blog to document my learnings along the way, which has evolved into this newsletter. I’m honored that Wes Kao’s Newsletter is a 2023 Substack Featured publication and is read by 16,000+ subscribers every week. I write for 215,000+ readers across Twitter and LinkedIn if you want to connect there too.

Who is this for?

This newsletter is for marketers, operators, leaders, doers. It’s for you if:

  • You are on a lean team punching above your weight class

  • You believe there’s no upper boundary to how good you can be at your craft

  • You have big ambitions, and want to sharpen your ability to execute

  • You want practical frameworks that work in contemporary organizations

It’s fun to be good at your job. I’m hoping this newsletter will help you get even better at what you do.

If you have questions you think I can help with, hit reply and let me know. I’ll keep it anonymous and share some suggestions in an upcoming newsletter.

Thanks for being here,

Wes Kao

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A weekly newsletter on how to be a sharper marketer, founder, and builder. Honest insights and tactical advice for operators in the arena. Written by an a16z-backed founder.


Wes Kao

2x founder, marketer, operator. Co-founder of Maven (First Round, Andreessen Horowitz). Co-founder of the altMBA with Seth Godin. Sharing lessons every Wednesday at 8am ET: newsletter.weskao.com