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Substack had negative revenue

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Pictured: a business I suspect is collapsing. | Image: Substack

Is there a funnier phrase in the English language than “negative revenue”?

Look, I felt pretty confident Substack was doing badly when it failed to raise from VC and went to retail investors. (Hot tip: the phrase “financial inclusion” indicates that the speaker thinks you are a sucker.) And there were other signs: the uptick last year of newsletter cross-promotions and then-spokesperson Lulu Cheng Meservey’s desperate hollering for attention. (I will assume any business that hires her going forward is in deep trouble.)

Signs are not the same as numbers, though, and according to a story from The Information this morning, the numbers are rough. Even I was surprised to see that Substack lit $25 million on fire in 2021. And though it had…

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