Issue #49 - Happy Anniversary

February 18, 2024
Free Edition
Generated with Stable Diffusion XL and ComfyUI
In This Issue

  • Intro
    • To celebrate the first anniversary of Synthetic Work, access to the online archive will not require a paid membership from Feb 18 to Feb 24!

Exactly one year ago, I sent out Issue #0 of Synthetic Work. It had no content, and it was mainly meant to show what sections would be included in each Edition of the newsletter, and what tone and style I would use to write.

Some of you have been reading since then. And over these twelve months, many thinsg have changed. In terms of style, focus, content, and even technology.

Readers of the Free Edition: thank you for your loyalty.

Readers of the Splendid Edition: thank you for your support.

All of you: thank you for the shower of praises you’ve sent my way, and the ones you have shared with others.

Here’s the most recent one:

To celebrate this first anniversary, I’ve unlocked the entire Synthetic Work archive.

You can now access all 49 issues of both the Free and the Splendid Editions online. No paid subscription required.

The archive will remain unlocked for a week, until issue #50 is published, next Sunday. Go, read, and share as much as you want.


Synthetic Work has beaten every metric I’ve ever seen about newsletter performance. In terms of average opening rate, average click-through rate, churn rate, etc.

I am very proud of those numbers, and many other things:

  • readers’ profiles
  • diversity of the companies subscribed to the newsletter
  • content quality and differentiation
  • capability to anticipate the market and economic trends
  • recognition from the readers

I am also proud of the fact that, coincidentally this week, we reached 150 companies tracked in the AI Adoption Tracker.

However, some things have to change.

From the beginning, I made three commitments:

  1. To not sell your data (even if the large number of executives among you make Synthetic Work’s readership one of the most coveted demographics on the market for advertisers).
  2. To not put banners or sponsored content in the newsletter.
  3. To not use AI to write the content.

I wanted to see if I could create enough value for all of you to justify paying for a subscription.

And while a sizable portion of the readership has subscribed to the Splendid Edition, that is not enough to support the enormous amount of research and writing required to publish the Free Edition every week.

So, I made the difficult decision to turn Synthetic Work into a paid-only newsletter.

Starting next week, there will not be a Free Edition and a Splendid Edition anymore. There will be only one weekly newsletter, with a mix of content from both Editions.

And while it’s OK to share the newsletter occasionally, the paid membership is individual and not meant to be shared with the rest of your colleagues in the company.

(but I do offer corporate discounts for companies)

If this newsletter has created enough value for you over the last twelve months, please consider upgrading your membership to the paid tier.

If you want to see what you have missed for one year by not reading the Splendid Edition, go check the unlocked archive.

I know that this will be disappointing for some of you. And I am sorry for all the people who subscribed last week.

If you have thoughts, feedback, or ideas, please reply to this email. I’m always eager to hear from you.

Thank you for your understanding and your support thus far.


Breaking AI News

Want More? Read the Splendid Edition

This week’s Splendid Edition is titled The Great Unification.

In it:

  • Intro
    • Dear Sage members, thank you.
  • What’s AI Doing for Companies Like Mine?
    • Learn what Semafor, Ito En, and Roblox are doing with AI.
  • Prompting
    • We can learn a lot from the leaked GPT-4 system prompt.