Now Available: The Category Design Toolkit & A Marketer's Guide To Category Design
2 new books to get you up to speed on category design in 2022.
Dear Friend, Subscriber, and Category Pirate,
We just published 2 big books!
ARRRRRR!!!!! What a terrific Monday it is.
3 years ago, almost to the day, the three of us pirates set out to write a book on Category Design together.
Pirate Christopher had already written a book called Play Bigger.
Pirate Eddie had already written a book called Superconsumers.
And Pirate Cole had already written a book called The Art & Business of Online Writing.
But even 3-5 years ago, the subject of category design was relatively new. Very few people were talking about it, and even fewer understood how to execute it. And the unfortunate truth was, almost anytime we heard someone declare themselves an expert in category creation or category design, what we found instead was just the regurgitation of business clichés that we knew, for a fact, were either wrong or massively conflated (“Building an authentic brand is all that matters!”).
So, we set out to educate people.
Our mission was to build the category of Category Design.
For the first 2 years, we went through rewrite after rewrite.
Us three pirates would have weekly Zoom calls, and on occasion would fly into SFO for a compressed in-person work session, to work on the material.
We racked up hundreds of hours of recordings.
We wrote and rewrote the same frameworks, stories, and insights to stress-test our thinking.
We even created multiple versions of the book, trying to figure out the best structure and format for all different types of readers.
Until eventually, we realized we were going about things all wrong.
It took us 2 years to realize we weren’t just writing one book. If we really believed category design to be the most powerful business skill on the planet, then we were going to write dozens and dozens of books.
In 2021, we pivoted our strategy and started this Substack instead.
We stopped trying to write one massive book and started writing a “mini-book” each week.
Until, 46 weeks later, we had written so much material that not only did we finish the first big book we set out to write, but we had enough material to create a whole second book.
And today, these books are now available to you:
The Category Design Toolkit is our BIG book.
If you are looking to get your team, your marketing department, or your portfolio companies up to speed on Category Design, this is the one we encourage you to give them. And if you are thinking of gifting a friend, relative, or entrepreneur-down-the-street a book for Christmas, give them the Toolkit.
This book is almost 400 pages and covers our 15 most foundational frameworks for thinking about and executing category design—at the small business level, the startup level, the Fortune 500 level, and even when investing in public markets.
A Marketer’s Guide To Category Design is more exclusive to marketers.
This is the book you should read if you live, breathe, and obsess over marketing—whether you are a marketer by trade or a startup founder/executive who wants to bring a category design lens to your marketing efforts.
It’s a little less than 200 pages, a quick read, and the content will change the way you think about marketing forever.
We are committed to building the category of Category Design.
Category Pirates, our paid Substack, is our primary destination.
However, we plan to compile and expand our highest-performing content into books every 6-12 months.
For three reasons:
Organization: Already in less than a year, our Substack archive has grown quite a bit. If you are brand new to Category Creation or Category Design, we want to have these big books organized by overarching topic so that you can easily find the information most relevant to you and your personal experience.
Analog Readers: Category Pirates is digital-first, but we are not naive to the fact that part of what makes reading so enjoyable is the Analog aspect. What’s better than having a new book on your desk? And since we know many of our readers are Native Analog, we want to have this option for you as well.
Gifting: Substack gives you the option to gift a subscription to a friend, but that’s not quite as easy to open on Christmas morning. Our hope is that by turning our best content into print books, this will make it easy for Pirates to gift the content to other aspiring Pirates, and bring more people aboard the pirate ship.
If you have enjoyed reading Category Pirates online, you will absolutely love seeing all the content come together in our first big book, The Category Design Toolkit.
We are so proud of the work, and so excited to share it with you.
(And of course, if you enjoy the book as much as we enjoyed putting it together, we would love to see your review on Amazon. ARRRRRR!!!!!!)
Enjoy, and as you make your way through these 2 new books, we would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to email us (or just reply to this email) and let us know what you think.