David Perell’s Three Plates of Ideas

David Perell says online writers should serve three plates of ideas: samplesappetizers and the main course.

 1. Samples: 

“Quick ideas that grow your audience by giving people a taste of what you do.”

I do this all day. Twitter is the place to share samples. It’s easy. Easy to create and easy to digest. It’s the fastest way to reach your audience.

It’s like handing out food in the street. Samples reach the majority of your audience and others. If they are good enough, people will want to come in and try appetizers.

 2. Appetizers: 

“Short articles that people can share and try out.”

Atomic essays are appetizers. True fans skip the samples and come straight here. New customers will try the sampels first.

If your appetizers are promising, they might stay for the main course. 

 3. Main Course: 

“Long-form essays that are the bedrock of your worldview.”

The main course is what it’s all about. If the samples and appetizers aren’t good enough, people won’t stay in your restaurant. 

Cooking a main course is a big risk. It’s the biggest time investment and fewer people stay for it. The ROI (return on investment) is considerably lower than for samples.


… your samples and appertizers are great. So great people talk about them. Because people don’t want to eat where there is more space. They want to eat where everyone wants to eat. 

When you reach Michelin-start level, the ROI skyrockets.

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