Venture Capital

Info Diet: Peanut CEO Michelle Kennedy

Info Diet offers a peek into the personally curated feeds and media habits of the people shaping the future. In each installment, a different builder spends two days chronicling all the content they consume in order to stay ahead of the curve. This time: Michelle Kennedy, founder and CEO of Peanut, an online community to connect women throughout all stages of womanhood. Michelle lives in London, where she launched Peanut five years ago. 


SUNDAY, May 29 

6 a.m.: My morning alarm is my french bulldog, Matilda, who promptly wakes me up around this time every day. Mornings are usually chaotic in my household as I’m charged with getting my two little ones ready for school, but it’s Sunday so we benefit from a short lie-in before the kids’ football mid-morning practice. I go downstairs to let Matilda outside and listen to an episode of The Daily about the baby formula shortage as I pop to the local deli for some croissants. It’s been a poignant topic on Peanut lately; I’ve been closely following the in-app Pods sessions (our live audio chats) where women have been helping one another find formula amid the shortage. For me, that’s what Peanut is all about — women supporting women when they need it most.

7 a.m.: The kids come downstairs to have breakfast and chat about the day. As they eat, I use the time to go online and catch up on what’s happening in the world. It’s a holiday weekend in the U.S., so many of my go-to newsletters have the weekend off. Instead, I open Twitter and notice people tweeting about #MenstrualHygieneDay, which was Saturday, May 28th. It leads me to an infographic by the UN, where I read up on the latest statistics and stigmas around the topic. It has me thinking about what Peanut can do in the future to further reduce menstrual stigmas globally. The tweets remind me of a viral TikTok I saw where men try a period cramp simulator. I show it to my husband. 

3 p.m.: My daughter’s at a birthday party and my son is doing homework, so I use this part of my afternoon for some self-care. I sit outside and listen to an episode of The Tim Ferriss Show with Morgan Fallon, who directed (and shot and produced) Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The interview is all about Fallon’s career, especially his projects with Bourdain. In all of Anthony Bourdain’s work, you feel fully immersed in the culture of wherever he’s filming. It makes me want to rewatch the show. (Perhaps for my evening wind-down time tonight …) My mind turns to the meetings I have scheduled for tomorrow, and I do a quick calendar check. We have a call to talk about facilitating creators on Peanut, so I turn to some of my favorite creators to understand how they’re utilizing other platforms. Lately, I’m really liking the artist @jooleeloren for her relatable illustrations and @mandanadayani, cofounder of I Am a Voter, for leading meaningful discussions about issues that affect women. 

9:30 p.m.: Bedtime for the little ones. I’ve been using Calm on my phone for their bedtime stories and they love it. I pick their favorite sleep story, “Expedition to Antarctica.” It helps put them in a peaceful state of mind to wind down. (Sometimes, it even makes me doze off too.)

And now for my ideal Sunday night: Sitting in bed with a cup of tea, watching Anatomy of a Scandal on Netflix. After two episodes, I call it a night. I’m ready for the week ahead and asleep by 11:30.   

MONDAY, May 30

6 a.m.: Another wake-up call from Matilda. I check my phone to realize it’s Memorial Day in the U.S., which means another slow day for newsletters. Usually, I check out two daily Fortune newsletters, The Broadsheet (about powerful women) and Term Sheet (about deals, exits, and other venture news). Lately, I’ve also been loving Kaya Yurieff’s Creator Economy newsletter, from The Information. We recently launched “Peanut Pro,” a way to connect our community with creators and experts like therapists, doulas, and sleep consultants. It’s our first foray into a creator economy model, and it’s been exciting to see it unfold. This morning, I lean on U.K.-based newsletters and check out Best of Times, The Times’ daily newsletter for top stories. Then I do a quick scan of the WSJ homepage to catch the latest headlines there too. 

9 a.m.: The kids are at school and I’m at the Peanut offices in London, getting up to speed on emails. The team is talking on Slack about an AdAge article called “How Advertisers Can Change Outdated Motherhood Narratives.” Varying types of motherhood is a big theme at Peanut. The consensus of our Slack chat: Brands and consumers alike are sick of a one-size-fits-all approach to what motherhood looks like today and, frankly, most of the ads we see are insulting. 

2 p.m.: I’ve been following news about the funding landscape over the past few weeks. I read the latest coverage on the issue from CNBC. Even with many articles telling startups to prepare for the worst, I feel optimistic about the future. I received a helpful deck from Sequoia on how businesses can prepare for the period ahead. I’m in lots of meetings today so I don’t have much time to discuss the deck with my team, but I make sure to post it on Slack so the team can digest when it suits them. Collectively, it’s important that we’re aware of what’s happening in venture capital and how we can set ourselves up for stability. 

6 p.m.: Time to head home. On my commute, I listen to an episode of the podcast Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman. It’s about Ukraine’s Victoria Yampolsky, an entrepreneur and mentor for startups, and the benefit concert she organized without any experience in entertainment or events. It gets into her strategy behind fundraising and securing talent, and how she negotiated a streaming deal. I’m inspired by her drive and tenacity. 

9 p.m.: With the kids fed and put to bed, I have a few spare minutes to check my email. U.S. newsletters hit my inbox later in the day here, and I see WSJ’s Economy Week Ahead come through. It’s all about hiring trends in the U.S., which is interesting for me as we think about expanding the team. We’re a very global company, so it’s important to stay in touch with local shifts in economies. I finish up the quick read and start to unwind myself. 

10 p.m.: It was a busy Monday. In London we have a three-day workweek ahead of the Jubilee weekend, which leaves less time to get a lot done. Another night, another sleep story on Calm. But this time it’s for me.

***

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