Luke Timmerman is a veteran biotechnology journalist who decided to launch his own subscription-based publication, The Timmerman Report, because he wanted to create a better incentive structure as a writer than advertising allows. “The advertising based model does influence the kind of content you create,” he says. “I think people are wising up to this now…The ad model just doesn’t reward quality.”
Before starting The Timmerman Report, Luke covered biotech for The Seattle Times, Bloomberg, and Xconomy. Over the years, his reporting became increasingly focused on emerging technologies and new startups. He noticed that these stories didn’t reach as wide an audience as articles on the biggest late-stage companies, but were immensely valuable for those who did read them.
“That’s how I found my place — I followed my nose for stories, and often it led me to stories that weren’t necessarily the most popular, but were super valuable to segments of the readership. And you know, I can actually make a decent business being really valuable to a small group of people.”
In this episode of The Substack Podcast, we discuss the state of biotech, starting a paid newsletter business from scratch, and Luke’s path to sustainability.
It was a fun conversation, and I hope you enjoy listening to it!