Introducing The Foundations Newsletter

I sent my first newsletter out on February 29th, 2016. Just over 3 years ago. It was sent to 58 people. 47 of those people actually opened the email, 1 bounced.

I got the idea after reading Benedict Evans’ newsletter, which is a fantastic newsletter that is focused on general technology topics.

I wanted a newsletter that highlighted interesting news, stories, and notes about what was happening in our world. The world of data centers, connectivity, and cloud computing. A newsletter that told me what events and conferences were coming up so I wouldn’t miss one, or I could learn about a new one.

It didn’t exist. So I decided to create it.

At first I called it Back Reflection, which is actually a negative characteristic of fiber that means there is optical return loss. It did not make any sense.

In June, 2016, 16 newsletters later I changed the name to describe the content I was sending out. “Weekly Internet Infrastructure Updates”.

In November 2016, I had sent 39 emails. I learned that it was really hard to put together a weekly newsletter that didn’t pay any bills. It couldn’t even buy me a pack of gum. So I hit pause. I told myself It would just be for the rest of the year, which was only a few weeks, and that I would start up again in January 2017.

2017 passed by. There was no more newsletter. I had a couple of hours back each week. It was wonderful.

What would happen over the next year and a half was a big surprise . By the time I had pressed the pause button in 2016, There had already been 329 people that signed up to get this thing. Cool.

Every so often at a conference or other industry event, someone would ask about the newsletter. They asked what happened to it, and when would it be back, and that they really enjoyed it.

Maybe one day I will start it again.

It kept happening. Now, mind you only a little over 300 people had subscribed to my newsletter, but our industry is small. It didn’t happen frequently, but it happened enough that one day I decided that I was going to start sending the newsletter again.

That was in August 2018.

Writing a newsletter, and curating — deciding what stories and news I think others would enjoy, on a weekly basis is hard. It’s really hard. I do it now because It’s a great feeling to know that people enjoy and find it useful.

Today, there are just over 2600 (Wow!) subscribers.

If there is one thing I learned while putting this newsletter together for everyone, it’s that I’ve discovered how much fun it is to study and think about markets, business models, strategy, and what’s going to happen next in our industry.

I also know more than I ever thought I would about a lot of companies, businesses, markets, and even people.

I am a curious person. I want to know why you subscribed to my newsletter, I want to know why you like my newsletter, and I want to know why you chose to eat Raisin Bran over Rice Krispies this morning while reading my newsletter.

So, Now that you’ve got some insight into the journey to where things stand today. Let me tell you about where we’re going from here, and I say we because this newsletter is very much about you as it is me. Not to mention, without you, I’d just be talking to myself.

Going forward, The newsletter will be called: Foundations. (By Christian Koch) and is very much an individual thing, and not a business.

I chose this name because it describes what this is all about in a very simple way. Infrastructure is the foundation of the Internet. The data centers, the fiber; these are the foundations of everything that is fundamentally important when it comes to building and operating a digital business.

Other than the name, I will be trying to write more and provide new opinions and analysis. I will try and keep opinion to a minimum, and analysis objective.

Eventually, I will move this to a new domain and off of my personal email as well, but first things first.

I always welcome feedback, questions., comments, and of course, information :) If you’re a subscriber than you already have my email address, otherwise you can contact me here.

I hope you enjoyed this story, and that If you enjoy the newsletter you share with your friends and colleagues.