How It Actually Works

I write a weekly newsletter with a single goal: how can I make my readers smarter & more interesting?

How It Actually Works contains the best material I find anywhere – this means books, articles, podcasts, research, videos, Twitter threads... the most interesting stuff that will give you something to say.

1000s of people read it every week & tons of them say it's their favorite newsletter (check the small sampling of testimonials below)

It comes out every Monday morning – drop your email below so you don't miss it. They're only for subscribers & are never published.

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What Readers Are Saying

Trevor’s How It Actually Works newsletter is one of my favorites. As a writer and podcast host, Trevor gives me unique perspectives on familiar topics, in a format that grips my attention.
David Perell
Newsletters have largely replaced blogs for me, and Trevor's How It Actually Works is one of the best.
Tommy Collison
Great newsletter!
Saku Panditharatne
Trevor is the Mike Rowe of Silicon Valley: a tough, no-nonsense, but positive 'get off your butt and achieve your dreams' message.
Jason Crawford
I like HIAW because I'm interested in how things work and because I feel that my own surfing across topics can be so random - so rabbit hole dependent; so tied to my own priors - and so it's great to see someone else's thought process.
Anna Gát
Trevor, your's newsletter is the only one I always read from top to bottom and always looking forward to reading it. The only one.
David Vete
I read How It Actually Works because it's hand picked interesting stuff. Screw you algorithms!
Nick Walter
This was meaningful for me today, thanks Trevor. Love these more and more.
Al Doan
Trevor is a smart dude and a great writer. He's becoming the chief apologist and celebrator of Silicon Valley.
Austen Allred
Hey Trevor, I just wanted to say thanks! I've been reading your newsletter for several months now and truly enjoy it. It sparks a ton of great thought that helps me both personally and professionally.
Tyler Wanlass
Incredible newsletter & deeply sincere take on greatness. Thanks Trevor.
Edouard Harris
The post is live! Thanks a lot creating your content. As someone in Venezuela and surrounded by terrible odds and pessimism, it's truly a light in the dark.
José Salomón Acuña Caíbe
How It Actually Works is the email I most look forward to getting every Monday. It’s a nugget of inspirational wisdom that helps me remember achieving excellence & making an impact takes resilience, and reality is a lot more messy than the glossy newsprint makes it seem.
Randall Bennett
Reading this is part of my Monday morning rituals. Trevor's smart and logical perspective teaches me something each time I dive in.
Derek Andersen
Hey Trevor, just wanted to say thanks for going to the effort to put this together each week. Really is appreciated/enjoyed.
Tom O'Donahoo
How It Actually Works always seems to have a new perspective to think about; it makes you reconsider ideas you thought were obvious and contemplate ideas you never thought of.
Pearl Leff
I enjoy receiving Trevor's newsletter every Monday because I know it's going to contain something interesting to think about and fun links to check out. It's consistently good and one of the few newsletters I've directed Gmail to put into my Primary tab.
Jonathan Bennett
I read How It Actually Works because it's the best newsletter I've ever received. These days most newsletters are just glorified listicles or shallow marketing tools. HIAW is the total opposite - it's well-written, thought-provoking, and interesting. I always look forward to it in my inbox, and can't wait to read what Trevor has been thinking about all week.
Nicholas Basile
Yours is one of the few newsletters I regularly read
Emanuel Ferm
Last week's email was excellent – really enjoyed reading from you (not just links). The words were on point.
Tyler Vawser
I have never liked newsletters because I hate having anything unimportant in my inbox. How It Actually Works is the only one I will not unsubscribe to. It's some of the most logical and practical material I have read.
Matt Sutherland
Keep writing. I love your newsletters.
Brent Thomson
My favorite weekly read. Inspires me to keep working.
Dave Stevenson
Loved this article Trevor. It was a great reminder to me today
Kassidi Henrie
Surprisingly inspirational.
Katelin Cannole
This is some amazing writing, damn brother. I never read emails but this is a must now.
Scott Paul
I really enjoyed this
Zarin Ficklin
How It Actually Works has the ability to freeze time and compose simple events into a stunning Goldsworthy-like sculpture. Thanks for that!
Michal Fabinger
Honestly, regularity and brevity is a big part of my appreciation for your weekly email.
Benjamin Mercer
I read How It Actually Works because it provides a new perspective and little titbits of current news and commentary that really resonate with me. And because I can compare my own mental model with yours.
Prince Fefar
The reason I look forward to Monday morning is your email. You have had some extreme successes in your life and have questioned many things. I like finding out what makes you 'tick'.
Kathi Ware
Your issues provide me a glimpse into the world of techies. Although not all your articles are technical, there is an insight to what your world encompasses. I enjoy your interpretations and reactions to the articles
Judy Hoyt
I read How It Actually Works because I feel that it is one of the few things that imitates the way that my brain works when I take on a big project.
Kevin Kononenko
I like the mix of content sources and your commentary / lessons learned do a great job of telling me why I should care and what I will get out of the article.
Trevor Bodily
What I like about your newsletter is that you communicate in a way that seems approachable as a friend, even though we've never met. The links you send are the stories that really resonate with me through what I am personally or professionally going through. The themes around balancing professional excellence with personal management are curated through your stories (I still tell the one about Larry Ellison's cat) and links to other sites. This is the only newsletter that I routinely forward to other friends to read since you touch on things that my peer group are all going through at the same time.
Jason Gleason
So happy Trevor is finally doing a regular email – I've found his insights super valuable for years. How It Actually Works is one of the only newsletters that goes to my real inbox. Love love love love.
Eric Jorgenson
I'm a huge fan of your newsletter How it Actually Works. I even created a shortcut​ in my inbox so as I don't miss a single one of your emails. Why is this? I read one of your emails titled "Efficiency is an excuse not to do the actual work" and it has transformed the way I approach how I do things. For example, I started working out using only push-ups in my bedroom while before I always thought I needed a gym membership first
Abdul Ngoko
I’m very grateful for your emails. I love your consistency and your content. Your emails are part of the few I actually read and enjoy.
Annette Phillips
This is one of the best things I've seen in my inbox in a long time.
Vinney Cavallo
Man, I really enjoy these emails. Probably the only newsletter I've stayed subscribed to for longer than two weeks. Good stuff!
Kevin Morrill
Trevor writes about topics I wouldn’t find on my own in a way that's straight and to the point.
Carolyn Pope
I wanted you to know that this week's newsletter was awesome.
Ramsanthosh Reddy
I can't remember how or when I signed up for this, but this is an awesome newsletter. Thanks Trevor.
George Nuridzhanyan
If you don’t subscribe… duh. Subscribe. Today’s email was awesome.
Joshua Howland
This is amazing!
Cameron Wiese
How It Actually Works is one of the few weekly email newsletters that I actually look forward to. Trevor’s superpower is finding unique and insightful nuggets of wisdom, esoterica, and knowledge that are hiding right in plain sight, and sharing them in a fun and easy-to-read way. If you love learning new things, you’ll love How It Actually Works.
Dan Loewenherz
Trevor clearly has a passion for the details and it shows in his stories. He knows what actually happened and expertly weaves it into a compelling story, with lessons along the way.
Ryan Jones
How It Actually Works is great because it challenges my intuitions. Every week I get to evaluate my gut take on stories I thought I understood but look at with new information and perspective. Great way to start the week thinking in a new way.
Nathan Dallon
I just would like to thank you for your e-mails. "Future You Masturbating" specifically helped a lot in realizing certain aspects about myself that I wasn't fully aware of. I'll be looking forward to read more from you.
Osama Alraddadi
You are a strategic, practical thinker and articulate simple life truths in a consumable way.
Ken Frei
That Sam Walton story hit home for me. It’s the unsexy bits that are interesting to me. Good issue this week, Trevor. Thanks.
Russ Shanahan
This is great Trevor. I love it when you write. Your examples of how we all Future Me Masturbate (did you make this term up?) pulled it all together... +1 to Trevor's newsletter. A must subscribe. Good stuff every time.
Trent Mano
I look forward to reading the newsletter every Monday. It exposes me to material that I wouldn't otherwise see.
Connie Whitley
I know we don't know each other, and I'm not sure if you read responses to your newsletter, but I've been getting your newsletter for about a month or so now. I just wanted you to know, I really enjoy reading it. I appreciate the work that goes into writing. I just wanted to say thanks, and keep up the good work.
Michael Munsil
Superb Trevor, well written and very insightful! Saving this to review every month.
Jonathan Berkowitz
Trevor, this is really great. Thanks.
Austin Craig
Loved this week's newsletter! I too recently noticed that biographies seem very predestined, that somehow their subjects were destined for greatness regardless of the near unlimited 'could've been' that exist in a career. I love the idea of the Abyss.
Henry Brophy
Damn Trevor I'm really enjoying your newsletter but today's issue was special. In two weeks I am leaving my current job to start my second company and I definitely feel deep into the Abyss. Thanks for putting words to it.
Harrison Sanchez
Thank you for saying this!
Alex Kuang
Won't unsubscribe
Ryan Holdaway
I like How It Actually Works because you are an excellent and concise writer. The links are also solid. I have been methodically eliminating most sources of non-information from my life, including “the news”, FB, Insta, and most of Twitter. This email is one of the few things I let in because it tends to be interesting without being overwhelming.
Nick Farina
This is good stuff
Terry Feuerborn
Hey man, kudos on the newsletter. I look forward to reading stuff I wouldn’t have found otherwise
Dallen Allred
I read How It Actually Works for the same reason I listen to Tim Ferris‘ podcasts - your content exposes me to the thoughts and ideas of the people I want to be associated with and learn from in order to become a more intelligent and more worldly person.
Chris Palmieri
I have been reading your thoughts for some time now and have consistently found myself feeling inspired, confident, and enlightened. Thank you for continuing to share your fantastic insights, they have been truly helpful to me.
Mike Tromba
Nice inspiring stuff. Although given the ease of developing a site these days, creating is a great way to quickly test & see if you have potential customers to begin with. Now, to close my email and get back to building. No more distractions damnit! I was doing fine until I saw your newsletter come in!
Stefan Vonimhof
Great email this week, Trevor. Loved it. Loving the past few week's content. Very thoughtful, personal.
Jason Zook
Thank you for this week's newsletter and every other week, as always very helpful. I can't wait to dive in and read up these resources.
Daniel Adeyemi
I know it is a grind to put this together every week, but I appreciate it. I usually find an article or book that is helpful or I hadn't seen before (the Pixar book is right up my alley!)
Rhett Weller
Trevor your newsletter is a GEM. The only one probably better is Money Stuff from Matt Levine. Please keep up!
Nandino Žderić
This newsletter is so consistently good it’s crazy. I get way way too many personal newsletters and this is always one I find myself making time for. Thanks for making it.
Adam Putterman
Read my essays →