Hey there, I’m Wes Kao. My goal is to share honest insights and practical advice as an operator in a fast-moving startup. I’ve been a founder, marketer, and operator for 15+ years. A few highlights:

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

  • Co-founded the altMBA with bestselling author Seth Godin.

  • Advised CEOs of Section (Professor Scott Galloway), Outlier (co-founder of Masterclass), and Morning Brew on go-to-market, positioning, and growth.

Since 2010, I’ve written on my blog to document my learnings along the way, which has evolved into this newsletter. Over 25,000 marketers and founders read this newsletter every week. I hope you’ll join us.

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

Each week, I tackle the “why” and “how” of topics to help you drive the business:

  • managing up

  • rigorous thinking

  • communicating effectively

  • positioning, messaging, framing

  • driving growth

  • how to get people excited about what you're excited about

  • navigating organizational dynamics

  • brand building

  • setting a high bar of excellence

If you’re looking for bite-sized nuggets during the week, I write for 230,000+ readers across Twitter and LinkedIn, so feel free to follow along and learn together there.

Who is this for?

This newsletter is for marketers, operators, founders, and 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 are ambitious and you want to sharpen your ability to execute

  • You want pragmatic ideas to apply in a fast-moving organization

  • You care about quality, rigorous thinking, and setting a high bar

I’m fascinated by topics that are deceivingly basic. Topics that seem tactical or minor on the surface, and are usually spoken about in broad strokes, but underneath there’s more nuance than most people realize. I believe by unpacking what’s usually taken at face value, you’ll have a more accurate mental model of the world and gain an advantage in pulling levers other people don’t even know exist. Almost every category and function is getting increasingly competitive. Most individuals and organizations have the same growth goals and access to the same levers. So I believe the way to stand out is by learning to see and act on what others miss.

I also care a lot about judgment. As you advance in your career, variables like skills and years of experience matter less, and your judgment matters more. Judgment can be contextual, subjective, and hard to learn, so with every essay, I try to break down the “why” behind what I’m saying so you see my thought process and can better form your own perspective.

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

PS See you in your inbox this Wednesday at 8am ET.

Subscribe to Wes Kao's Newsletter

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


Founder, marketer, advisor. 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