Farewell to Daily Candy - a sad day

I heard the news earlier in the day and then got this email this afternoon. I was sad when I read the article earlier, but was even more sad when I got the final email. 


This is sad for me because I had a personal connection to the beginning of Daily Candy. At the time DC started, I was living & working in NYC. A very good friend/co-worker showed me the first Daily Candy email (she was a friend-of-a-friend of the founder, Dany Levy). The content wasn’t for me (Daily Candy was heavily focused on hip, young, NYC women), but I remember loving the branding and the uniqueness of the offering. It was a simple email that arrived every morning & presented some unique NYC ‘gem’. The content was fun & the style was just refreshing.

I watched as the distribution of DC blew up…I mean BLEW UP…in a matter of weeks & a few short months. It quickly became a regular part of the day for every woman in NYC (many times they would call it, “the best part of my day”). Shops & products that were featured in DC reported HUGE spikes in their business & it quickly became a regular MUST DO on every PR pro’s ‘media list.’ They created ‘sponsored’ emails as a revenue model and the demand was huge from advertisers. But when they executed on the sponsored emails, they did them in a very tasteful way - very consistent with the DC style.

As it started to take off (well before any real revenue), my friend who first showed it to me, got an offer to go become their 1st real employee. I strongly encouraged her to leave the company we were working for and jump on board (of course, I’m a startup junkie, so my advice was definitely skewed) - which she did. She ended up launching & running 4 more cities for DC and expanding the content team across the US and into London/Europe. I loved watching the growth and her ride. 

Back in 2008 (I can’t believe it was that long ago), they sold the company to Comcast for $125mm. Can’t blame them - that was a good number and they had been working HARD for a while. I think Dany left shortly thereafter. Of course, DC changed as a Comcast property. It tried to expand, lost their voice, increased the presence of advertising, etc. And today’s email was the final step in that journey.

I’m sad because I have that personal connection to their growth, but I’m also sad because it was great to see a simple business, a simple offering create as much joy as DC did for their subscribers over the years (especially the early years). 

And for email digest historians (yeah…there aren’t that many of us), Dany Levy & DC defined a market & the daily email model. There have been many that have come along and copied her model (Daily Candy for news, Daily Candy for sports, Daily Candy for X - I remember when I first heard of ThrillList, they described themselves as DailyCandy for Men).

But to me, Dany Levy will always represent the Godmother of this space. I wish they had let her write this final farewell email. It would have been much more personal, much more in line with the spirit of the Daily Candy brand, much more….right.