joe rogan chris best

Chris Best

Chris Best is a talented individual who has made a significant impact in various fields. With a passion for technology and innovation, Chris has established himself as a prominent figure in the tech industry. As the co-founder and CEO of Substack, a popular newsletter platform, Chris has revolutionized the way writers connect with their audience. His vision and leadership have propelled Substack to great heights, empowering countless writers to monetize their work and build thriving communities. Prior to Substack, Chris worked at various renowned companies, including Amazon and Twitter, where he honed his skills and gained invaluable experience. Known for his strategic thinking and entrepreneurial spirit, Chris continues to inspire and empower others through his work. With his dedication to creating meaningful and sustainable solutions, Chris Best is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in the tech world.

Books Mentioned on The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1855 – Chris Best

Why Chris Best Created Substack: A Dive into the Platform’s Genesis

Substack has emerged as a revolutionary platform, offering writers a fresh and independent avenue to share their thoughts and works directly with their audience. In an insightful episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Chris Best, the co-founder of Substack, delves into the motivations and the journey behind this innovative platform. This article explores the key elements of Substack’s creation, the challenges it faced, and its profound impact on the digital publishing landscape.

The Genesis of Substack

Chris Best’s journey to creating Substack stemmed from his profound appreciation for reading and the written word. Growing up in a house filled with books and with an English teacher for a father, Best recognized early on the significant impact that reading has on shaping an individual’s thoughts and persona. The idea that well-crafted writing could influence the minds of millions spurred Best to consider the potential of great writing in the digital age.

Inspiration Turned Ambition

Initially, Best’s journey began with a sabbatical and an intention to vent his frustrations about the media industry and the state of internet incentives through writing. However, upon sharing his drafts with friends, he was challenged to think beyond mere criticism. The pivotal question posed to him was, “What could you do about it?” This led to the conceptualization of Substack in 2017, at a time when issues of censorship, misinformation, and the need for authentic journalistic voices were becoming increasingly apparent.

Overcoming Initial Skepticism

The path to realizing Substack was fraught with skepticism. Many believed that the internet, with its vast sea of free content, would never see users paying for written work. Best, however, noticed a paradox: while people generally dismissed the idea of paying for content, they often expressed willingness to support writers they admired. This observation fueled the belief that Substack could work by connecting readers directly with writers they trust and value.

Building a Platform for Free Speech

One of the foundational principles of Substack was a strong commitment to free speech. In an era where censorship and content control were becoming more pronounced, Substack wanted to provide a platform where writers could express their thoughts freely and readers could access a diverse range of viewpoints. This commitment, however, did not come without its controversies and criticisms, as it opened the platform to a wide spectrum of content, including those that some found objectionable.

The Practical Challenges of Launching Substack

The actual process of starting Substack involved convincing the founders themselves of the feasibility of the platform. They envisioned a system where writers could become independent, owning their content and directly connecting with their audience through paid subscriptions. This simplicity was both the platform’s strength and the source of doubt, as it seemed too straightforward to be effective in a complex digital ecosystem.

Attracting the First Wave of Writers

The initial group of writers on Substack came from personal connections and word-of-mouth within the writing community. Convincing writers to join involved not just explaining the platform but also sharing the broader vision of what Substack was trying to achieve. The challenge was not just in building the technology but in cultivating a community of writers who believed in the mission of independent and direct journalism.

Navigating the Complexities of Content

As Substack grew, it faced dilemmas common to any platform hosting user-generated content. The team had to establish terms of service that allowed freedom while setting boundaries against universally objectionable content like pornography and direct incitement to violence. The line between what was acceptable and what wasn’t often blurred, especially when it came to controversial but legally permissible content.

The Balance Between Erotica and Pornography

One peculiar challenge Substack encountered was distinguishing between erotica, which they allowed, and pornography, which they didn’t. This distinction was not just a moral or philosophical one but a practical necessity to maintain the platform’s focus on written content and intellectual discourse, rather than visual adult entertainment.


Substack’s creation story is a testament to the enduring power of the written word and the evolving landscape of digital content consumption. Chris Best’s journey from a reader and a critic to a platform creator highlights the potential for innovative solutions in an industry often criticized for stagnancy and decline. As Substack continues to grow and navigate the complex world of digital publishing, its story remains a fascinating study of ambition, freedom, and the unyielding human desire for meaningful connection through writing.