Today's entrepreneur: John Necef

Steven Loeb · August 31, 2020 · Short URL:

Follow the mission, work with people you respect and trust, remember to enjoy the journey

Today's entrepreneur is John Necef, co-founder of The New Paper, a media company focused on making fact-first news easy to consume.

The company, which summarizing the day’s top stories into a text message-based news digest, launched on Monday. The New Paper helps people start their day with a common set of facts. It offers a 7-day free trial, and then charge $5 per month per user.

The company raised $300,000 in pre-seed funding last year, including $80,000 from a pitch competition held by the Indiana state-backed VC fund Elevate Ventures. In only six months of private beta, The New Paper already reached profitablility, with over 7,000 paid subscribers and $400,000 in annualized recurring revenue.

Before founding The New Paper, Necef worked at LinkedIn, The Hustle, Accel-KKR, and on Wall Street. He was Head of Growth at the Hustle, as well as a member of the Product Operations & Strategy, Growth & Retention group at LinkedIn. He is also the co-author of Corporatisms: Talk More, Say Less.

Necef has a Bachelor's Degree from Georgetown in finance and international business.

I am a(n):


Companies I've founded or co-founded:

The New Paper

Companies I work or worked for:

Jefferies, LinkedIn, The Hustle

If you're an entrepreneur or corporate innovator, why?

I wanted my work to be aligned with my sense of purpose.

My favorite startups:, Strava, Robinhood

Why did you start your company or why do you want to innovate inside your company?

The New Paper was founded with a clear mission: overcome sensational media by making fact-first news easy to consume.

While there is a general recognition of the problem we're solving (i.e. many folks agree that news media is increasingly noisy and polarized), no one was solving it in a meaningful way. So, my co-founder and I created The New Paper to be the solution.

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Rewarding: Being able to focus my energy on something that I find meaningful.

Frustrating: The ongoing existence of the problem we're trying to solve as a company. When you're building something from scratch, you can't solve big issues overnight (as much as you want to). Thankfully that frustration translates to continued motivation for the team.

What's the No. 1 mistake entrepreneurs/innovators make?

Founding a new company is essentially a series of mistakes (that you learn from) until they don't look like mistakes anymore. The first one you need to make is probably being a bit overly optimistic about the odds of success; otherwise, you'd never start in the first place. After that, I think it's increasingly specific to the person and the problem you’re trying to solve.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Follow the mission, work with people you respect and trust, remember to enjoy the journey

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The New Paper


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The New Paper is a media company focused on making fact-first news easy to consume. Its products include a daily news briefing sent once a day by text message.


John Necef

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On a mission to make fact-first news easy to consume.