Foundr: How to Launch a Wildly Successful Digital Magazine like Nathan Chan

Foundr Magazine: How to Launch a Wildly Successful Digital Magazine like Nathan Chan - Let's Reach Success blog

I’m a big fan of Foundr Magazine – one of the most successful digital publications for young entrepreneurs and startup founders.

Its creator, Nathan Chan, started from nothing, and built it up to a 6-figure business, and brough people like Richard Branson, Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, and more, on the cover.

I talked about this successful business venture on the podcast a few episodes ago, but will now bring up the question again.

Let’s see how all this started, and what it takes to launch such a magazine in today’s competitive world.

Why and How Nathan Chan Started Foundr Magazine?

He started Foundr back in 2013 and it was his first real business.

The main thing people ask him, is why a magazine. That wasn’t one of the most popular formats, especially for newbies in the startup scene. What’s more, the field was conquered by names like Entrepreneur, Forbes, Time, and a few others you’re familiar with.

While still on his day job, he was listening to podcasts and reading stuff on entrepreneurship, just like anyone else. But nothing was exactly what he was looking for, so he decided to build such a product in the form of a magazine.

As we know, some of the best businesses are based on their founder’s passion or a problem he struggled with. That’s when you can be sure the product is great as there’s something personal involved, and it always reaches the right audience.

Such was the case with Instagram, where one of the founders – Kevin Systrom – pursued his passion for photography and his desire to give people a way to share their photos and make them even more beautiful. Well, millions of users are loving him for that every single day.

So, back to Nathan Chan.

He knew podcasts were quite a trend at that time, but mostly because of 1 element – the interview with a successful person and the life lessons he shared in an episode.

So, he kept that part, but used another medium.

That’s one of the ways he differentiated him, by not creating yet another blog, YouTube channel or podcast. He truly felt the need for such a product too.

But what about the tech side of all this?

Well, his area of expertise was IT, but he knew nothing about publishing, design and apps before he started. But he took the leap anyways.

He created the magazine using a special software that enables anyone to start one – MagCast.

The Early Days of Foundr

foundr magazine issues

Things weren’t easy in the beginning.

Nathan Chan actually used a different name for the magazine but got sued by a big American company. So he changed it, and anything else about the brand, and basically pivoted.

He chose Foundr without an E, not because there’s a competitor with that name, but because he wanted to make sure that no other product would be similar to his. Plus, it sounded better.

Design is one of the elements that make the magazine so successful. It’s easy to read and pleasant to look at. But Nathan had to try 3 different graphic designers until he found the right one.

It Wasn’t a Success in The Beginning

There weren’t only hardships for Nathan himself when he started, but the magazine wasn’t an overnight success either.

No one really knew about him and on the first issue cover, there was a stock image. But he followed the advice of Seth Godin who says ‘just ship it’ and launched anyways.

So, when talking about what it takes to become a successful startup founder, no matter what your product or niche is, it’s about persistence and patience before anything else.

Nathan didn’t consider the podcast an option in the beginning, it’s something that just happened naturally once things took off. And now the Foundr Podcast is big part of the brand and leads to many new prospects.

As for how long it took him to replace his regular job, that’s 1 year.

After that, he simply started making more from Foundr magazine and entered the world of digital publishing full-time.

Distributing The Magazine

Many people assume that when having a magazine, coming up with content would be the most difficult part. Well, it turns out it’s not.

Foundr is a monthly edition. Each month they have 3 interviews and around 7 or 8 articles. All that is turned into a PDF file.

Nathan and the team distribute it on the Apple and Google Play stores, and anything else is handled by the platforms from then on.

Something else worth mentioning, is that Nathan Chan was a true hustler. I don’t think there’s any other way to make it, build a great product and make millions.

After all, he built his way up to a well-known publisher.

No one wanted to be interviewed for a magazine they didn’t know about, but he took tens of steps to reach out to Richard Branson and get him on the cover, which is actually the issue he offers for free that hooks people.

He had to work on his project before and after work while at his 9-to-5 job, and even shares in an interview with Pat Flynn for the SPI podcast that he was doing it during his lunch break too.

Another thing worth mentioning is the message of Foundr magazine.

Nathan Chan started it because he wanted a publication that would resonate with a specific group of people – young entrepreneurs and early stage startup founders.

Since then, with every issue of the magazine, every blog post and podcast episode, every Instagram image quote that’s part of their social media strategy, design element on the site or product, he’s been following the same values and vision.

What’s Different About Foundr?

The main elements that make it great are:

  • design;
  • smart strategies;
  • having a strong message and staying true to it;
  • different medium;
  • reaching influencers that are usually hard to get;
  • dominating the right social media platform for their audience;
  • practical and motivational content that speaks to the reader;
  • doing all the necessary hard work in the beginning to create a fantastic product.

What do you think about the success story of Foundr magazine?




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5 Convincing Reasons to Start a Business in Your 20s and 30s

5 Convincing Reasons to Start a Business in Your 20s and 30s

Every day we hear about brilliant minds who have made their first million before the age of 25. There are even businessmen who reach success and experience the advantages of self-employment before they turn 21. This influx of young gifted entrepreneurs makes you think there is no room for startupers over a certain age in any industry. But is it really the case?

Seasoned business analytics and researchers say there is no ideal age to start a business. You can be a successful entrepreneur fresh out of high school, but it’s also not uncommon for people in their 40s to finally find their entrepreneurial path. However, 20s and 30s remain the most popular age for starting a business, and that’s what we’ll focus on today.

Why Start a Business in Your 20s and 30s

1. Risk-taking

The importance of taking risks and accepting the outcome of your decision doesn’t need any explanation for entrepreneurs. As a startup founder, you will face risks every day, and this is where a person with more business expertise can encounter their first difficulties.

When someone is over 40, they’ve likely already taken big risks and failed. It means that they’ll be much less inclined to do it again. This is how older businessmen think they avoid complications, but that is also how they miss opportunities.

People in their 20s and 30s normally don’t have that kind of experience. They understandably have qualms about risk-taking. However, in the end, they usually decide to make a risky move, and there is a very good chance the risk will pay off.

Related: 4 Ideas for Side Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

2. Knowledge

Those who launch their business after 40, usually have certain business experiences under their belt. They may have taken part in starting their own business or witnessed the birth of a business of a friend or coworker.

When you’re in your 20s or 30s, you may not have the same real-life knowledge of how businesses begin. Nevertheless, you have something much more important: the knowledge and skills you received at college.

The importance of college education for launching a prospering business is often overlooked. Yet there are essential things you can only learn in college, and that’s exactly the foundation you need for building a viable business.

3. Responsibilities

By the time they are 40, people accumulate a lot of financial responsibilities. Families, mortgages, car payments, and medical expenses not only eat up a large part of your budget but also make you much less flexible.

It’s a popular thought that businessmen in their 20s and 30s have nothing to lose. That may not be completely true, as some people start families when they’re fairly young. However, when you’re under 40, you have more freedom for making choices.

If you’re a forty-something father of three, your business decisions will be dictated by the risks you’re able to take. Young people have fewer things restricting them from making bold decisions and, ultimately, succeeding.

Related: How to Start a Profitable Blog – This step-by-step guide to starting a blog is a must for everyone who wants to start earning online and become self-employed. Having your own blog is the first step to selling products, making money from affiliate marketing, building a name for yourself, getting traffic and monetizing that attention.

4. Resilience

How To Turn Fear into Power and Create Personal Breakthrough

If there is one thing experienced entrepreneurs would like every beginner to know, it’s that launching a business will be a journey filled with ups and downs. If you look at business success stories, you’ll see that each of them comes with their share of failures.

Impressionable young businessmen don’t react great to failures. Their initial reaction can differ, but it always includes disappointment, resentment, and even a desire to quit. If they’re lucky, their support system won’t let them quit. If they’re not, then the days of their startup are numbered.

It’s a different story with people in their late 20s and 30s. They arrive at the starting point of their business with an understanding that failures are bound to happen. It doesn’t mean that they’re completely immune to failures, but they are guaranteed to have a more mature reaction.

5. Technology

Technology is a vital part of launching a startup these days. There are thousands of businesses that only exist online. Even if your business is completely offline, technology can still be a valuable aid in the business development.

People over 40 may understand the importance of using technology in their business. They may even move their business online or take successful steps to foray into the digital world.

However, they will never have the understanding of technology of a 28-year-old.

Today’s 30-year-olds are not only fully familiar with technology – many of them are actually digital natives. These people have spent most of their lives with the digital world being an essential aspect of living. That is why technology-skilled young entrepreneurs are the future of business.


According to those who have a multi-faceted experience in business, starting a business at any age has its challenges. Entrepreneurs that are 20, 30, 40, or 50 years old have their strong suits and weaknesses. However, there are many reasons why the age between 20 and 40 is the golden age for launching a business. Take risks, learn as you go, use your forte, don’t let anything distract you, and soon your name can be part of the world business hall of fame!

About The Author

Christine Acosta is a content manager at App Reviews. She specializes in digital marketing and content creation. Christine is also passionate about startups and business development. She uses her degree from the Florida Institute of Technology to offer sound advice to those who launch their own business.

starting a business at any age has its challenges. Entrepreneurs that are 20, 30, 40, or 50 years old have their strong suits and weaknesses. However, there are many reasons why the age between 20 and 40 is the golden age for launching a business. Check out this post to see what they are: #startabusiness #newbusiness #smallbusiness #bossbabe