Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin of theSkimm

There are a few things consistent with my mornings:
1. The snooze button is pressed for about an hour {No, really.}
2. I sound like Darth Vader & must have coffee prior to conversing
3. Plenty of passerby laughs are muddled as my gangly limbs flail toward the bus that I always seem to encounter when I’m still a half block away.
4. I Skimm

#4 on that list used to be replaced with scrolling through news sites, which was often followed by confusion. To be honest, the news sometimes turned me off to catching up on worldly events. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, quite the opposite {I do have a B.A. in Journalism, after all}, but I often didn’t understand the meaning, background, and implications behind the stories, which made it difficult for me to keep up. The news report would drop terms like “Government shutdown” like it was describing Christmas, and I’d sit there in shock thinking, “What?! Wait. What?! What does this mean? How will this affect us? Why?“.

So, see? With having a demanding job, blog, life…the news tended to seem like another task on the “to-do” list. That all was until…drumroll please…theSkimm. Or, as I refer to it, my daily rundown so that I can be in the know without having to read in-depth news reports.

In short, theSkimm is a daily email that gives you an overview of the top headlines and stories. They simplify the complicated, explain the necessary, and infused humor throughout.

The other great part about theSkimm? It’s founded by two women entrepreneurs in their 20s, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, who left their jobs at NBC to start their dream. They’ve been on the Today Show, were featured in Forbes, are in this month’s issue of Glamour, and now here they are on Isn’t That Charming to give us insight on what it takes to be so darn fabulous.

Image created by Greta Rose

ITC :: You’ve thought of a fantastic solution to a problem every woman can identify with – not enough time – and you’ve built a strong following surrounding your newsletter. Other than having a great idea to start with as the foundation, what advice would you give someone thinking of starting their own business?
theSkimm :: Two things stand out. The first — network like crazy. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, you’re going to need help and support. To do that, you need to create a network to pull from. Our motto in starting this has been to try to meet with as many smart people across different industries, pretty much anyone who will speak to us that has built a brand.Also helpful to have a clear ask when you have these meetings. Every time you leave an event or a meeting, you should have a new connection. 

Secondly, tune out the naysayers. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework or listen to critical feedback, there’s always going to be someone who doesn’t like it. We had people tell us we would embarrass ourselves if we tried to launch without a tech co-founder. At the end of the day, you have to go with your gut. 

ITC :: What’s the best part about running a start up? The most challenging?
theSkimm :: The best part of running a start up is that every day is different. It’s also the most challenging part of running a start up. It’s pretty impossible to predict what will happen or know what to expect. That’s both exhilarating and terrifying. 

Image via Tech Crunch

ITC :: You are both clearly very smart women who are great inspirations for people everywhere to go after their dreams. Who and what inspires you?  
theSkimm :: First of all, thank you! Our moms really inspire us. They are both strong women who have carved their own paths while balancing family and career. We are always inspired by Sarah Blakely’s journey at Spanx in starting the business with around $5,000 — a true boot strapper.

ITC :: You’ve been featured on sites such as Forbes and are growing your readership everyday. What does success ultimately look like for theSkimm?
theSkimm :: That’s an evolving question. Our goal is to grow theSkimm’s user base like crazy this next year. theSkimm is our baby — our first company. We want to take it as far as it will go. As founders, we have made it a point to make sure success involves a clear balance, or as much as is possible, of our professional and personal lives.

A huge thank you to both ladies for answering my questions! ITC readers – be sure to click here and sign up for your daily dose of Skimming.


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17 thoughts on “Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin of theSkimm

  1. Alyssa

    I’m a daily Skimm reader too–it makes keeping up with things much easier. Between that and Twitter I’m usually pretty up on the news!

  2. Brenna McCarthy

    I just discovered the Skimm via Glamour – love the interview with the ladies behind it! I used to be a Need 2 Know reader (think topline news and snarky jokes), but sometimes the headlines still confused me. I think the Skimm is the perfect compliment – loved the government shutdown breakdown this morning!


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