The Success Diaries:The Skimm’s Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin

Dear Danielle and Carly in 2006,

Your life is pretty, pretty good. Keep on eating that pasta because it’s going to be a while before you’re back in Italy.

You two just met on a study abroad trip in Rome. You’re having a great time not talking about the real world that comes after graduating college. And you should. Because real life gets real pretty quickly.

Now, get ready for a shock. It turns out your news internships pay off. You both end up getting jobs at NBC News after college. So breathe. But you end up quitting them. To start your own company in your mid-20s. Less than 10 years after graduation, you’re both running a new media company with 14 full-time employees. And you start it from your couch.

Oh yeah, you become roommates too.

You don’t go to business school. You don’t go to law school. And you don’t get better at math. Sorry. But you do start a media company with the experience you gained from your time at NBC News and turn it into something that your friends trust to get their news from. Life gets really busy, really fast. You end up relying on your family and friends more than ever — but you see them less.

Here are some things you should know:

Take a coding class. Now.

Computers and tech don’t go away. They just become more important. Don’t worry so much about learning to shoot and edit your own video and learn how to code.

Take that trip you’re putting off.

Life doesn’t get easier after graduation so have fun now. Be crazy. Don’t think about tomorrow.


Things end up working out, just not in the way you expect. And that’s OK.

Learn how to deal with stress. And take care of yourself.

Neither of you are great with dealing at stress in general. But you’re going to have to figure out coping mechanisms. And the sooner you try them out, the better.

You’re not always going to know what to do or what lies ahead.

And you just have to deal with it.

Be nice.

To people you just met. And to people you don’t know.  It’s a good way to live.


You’re not going to get a lot of it later in life.

That’s it. Everything else you’ll learn along the way.

Carly and Danielle first met while on a study abroad trip in Rome. Post-college they were reunited through an internship at NBC News. Self-proclaimed “news nerds,” they realized reading the news is a hobby, and not everyone has the time or interest. Bonding as colleagues, friends and roommates, they decided to start the Skimm, an email newsletter with sharp and witty editorial that’s designed to get you up to speed on current events and breaking news. Sign up for the Skimm here.

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