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The Business of Content


Jun 28, 2023

Today, Android is the number one operating system for smartphones, but when Google launched the product in 2008, the iPhone already had a huge head start. Most consumers didn’t know it existed, and even the tech press didn’t take it super seriously.

 

But JR Raphael was an early fan. A freelance tech journalist who wrote for publications like Fast Company and The Verge, JR pitched his editors at Computerworld on a regular column about Android,  and though they were skeptical at first, they gave him the green light.

 

As Android grew into a major mobile operating system and eventually overtook the iPhone, JR became one of the leading authorities on the product. In 2018, he launched Android Intelligence, a supplementary newsletter that mostly linked to his column and other news items, but as it picked up steam, he began to introduce more and more monetization features. By 2023, Android Intelligence was generating the majority of his annual income.

 

In our interview, JR explained to me why he was such an early fan of Android, what motivated him to launch the newsletter, and how he turned it into a thriving business.