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Standout writers are category designers.

And standout category designers are writers.

Peter Drucker is considered one of the greatest management “thinkers” of all time.

He is best known for being a distinguished teacher — first as Professor of Politics and Philosophy at Bennington College, then as Professor of Management at the Graduate Business School of New York University, and Clarke Professor of Social Science at Claremont Graduate School in California. But if there is one overarching concept Drucker is best known for, it’s his belief that every person was responsible for his or her own acquisition of learning.

How Drucker did this himself was through writing.

He is the author of 39 books…

This is an excerpt from Category Pirates: the authority newsletter on category design.

Category Design is a game of thinking.

You are responsible for changing the way a reader, customer, consumer, or user “thinks.” And you are successful when you’ve moved their thinking from the old way to the new and different way you are educating them about.

The way you do this is with words.

Which means if you can’t write what you’re thinking, then you aren’t thinking clearly. …

Nicolas Cole Twitter

Over the past 4 years, I have ghostwritten more than 2,000 articles for startup founders, C-level executives, Silicon Valley investors, and more.

Want to know a secret?

I use the same 5 templates every time.

Template #1: The mistakes & the lessons

What’s the fastest way to provide value to someone else? Point out the CAUTION signs and tell them where to go instead.

All great business writing follows this same format:

  • Decision
  • Outcome
  • Mistake
  • Lesson

I have ghostwritten for founders in every industry ranging from biotech and pharmaceuticals to sports nutrition to productivity software to enterprise sales. …

What you are about to read is an excerpt from Category Pirates, the authority newsletter on category creation & category design.

100 years ago, The Campbell’s Soup Company had a breakthrough.

For 30 years, the business sold little else besides produce, canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, condiments, minced meats, and of course, soups. Business was good, but there was nothing “radically different” about these products. Canning had been widely accepted as a method for sealing food since the early 1800s, and even when pasteurization was invented in 1864, fresh foods were difficult products to scale. …

One of the most common questions writers ask is, “Where should I be writing and publishing online?”

The answer is: anywhere.

Most people don’t know that 50 Shades of Grey, one of the best-selling novels of all time (it pains me to write that sentence) started on a little-known internet forum called Or that The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, the orange book that dominated every bookstore from 2016 to 2020, started as a viral blog post. Or that The Martian, the sci-fi novel by Andy Weir that went on to sell 3 million copies, get adapted into a film, and…

Nicolas Cole Instagram

Every writer should also be a ghostwriter.

None of my creative writing teachers told me this in college.

In fact, the few times ghostwriting ever came up in class, it was quickly equated to “selling your soul.” Some even went so far as to say that ghostwriting was “unethical.”

It wasn’t until I fell into the world of ghostwriting that I realized how wholeheartedly I disagreed with that perspective. The first guy I ever ghostwrote for reached out after reading a handful of my answers on Quora. …

Category Pirates

Category design is the strategy for dealing with the “winner take all” reality that has taken hold in business.

Only 19 percent of Fortune’s 100 fast-growing companies are category designers. And yet, they captured 51 percent (of the prior three years cumulative) of the revenue growth, and 80 percent (of the prior three years cumulative) of the market capitalization.

But how do you know when you’re looking at a category creator versus just another high-growth company fighting tooth and nail for market share in an existing category?

The Category Design Scorecard will tell you.

We created this scorecard after reviewing companies from the Fortune 100 Fastest-Growing Companies list and analyzing their 10Ks, Annual Reports, Investor Presentations, and Investor Relations websites.

Companies were scored in five key areas on…

Lemonade Insurance

This is an excerpt from our Wednesday newsletter, Category Pirates.

Every company talks about themselves to multiple audiences via several functions:

  • Talking to current and prospective customers (e.g., marketing)
  • Retaining current and recruiting future employees (e.g., human resources)
  • Informing current and reaching new investors (e.g., investor relations).
  • Communicating with your ecosystem of suppliers and partners (e.g., partner marketing)

All four audiences are critically important for a company.

With the advent of marketing mix modeling and multi-touch attribution, marketing is the furthest along in terms of using analytics to optimize its return on investment. …

Nicolas Cole Instagram

Today, I want to talk about how to never run out of ideas.

Because too often I hear writers say things like, “I don’t know what to write about” or “I feel like I’ve already written about that topic.” But the truth is, once you understand how idea generation works for creators on the Internet, you should NEVER have the problem of “running out of ideas.

If anything, you should have the OPPOSITE problem.

You should be like me, where you have an iPhone Notes folder overflowing with so many ideas you can’t fall asleep at night because of the anxiety it gives you thinking about how you…

Nicolas Cole

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