Reader survey results


Thanks to all of you who completed the Microprinciples reader survey. Because some you were curious about the survey results, I put together this (somewhat longer) post with the data. Don’t feel bad about skipping this one, if you’re not interested.

Here’s what we learned.

You are bananas

Question 1: Favorite FRUIT? Don’t think too hard about it, write the first one that comes to mind

The most popular choice was banana.

Banana aren’t flashy, sexy, or particularly toothsome. I have been to more than one party celebrating stone fruit season (I once lived in California); similar enthusiasm for bananas seems impossible to imagine.

But they are ubiquitous. Bananas are staple of smoothies and your parents always have a few in stock. And they’re durable. If you miss the window by even four seconds, a plum is ruined. Whereas an overripe banana becomes banana bread. Banana, you’re a working class fruit and I thank you for your service.

Next on the list was “mango” which is flatly correct[^1]. A few pedants threw their votes away on technically-fruits like tomato and jackfruit, which I don’t hate. To the handful who stan mangosteen, I see you.

You really read this

Question 2: How OFTEN do you open the newsletter?

Most people reported reading every issue! Given that there is so much cruft to read out there, I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to open and read this newsletter.

Survey affinity vs author familiarity

Question 3. To what degree do you KNOW me in real life? Question 4. Do you like filling out SURVEYS?

Banana nation, you were asked two subjective questions:

Most of the Other responses were a variation of “sometimes.” Here are the results of both questions plotted on one chart and some hasty generalizations:

To the sole reader who doesn’t me know at all and still chose “go to hell”: well played.

Questions 5–8: What TOPICS do you find most compelling?

Microprinciples doesn’t really have “topics”, but you could roughly break it down into the four things I think the most about:

You were given the options Gimme More, Gimme Less, or Whatever. Here are two charts with the results and two inferences:

#1: More people want more stuff

Simple enough. Blank answers were coded as “whatever,” so the broad conclusion is you are OK with more of every topic.

#2: Fewest people care about business/work

For this chart, “whatever” and blank votes were omitted. Business/Work as a topic generated the least interest, which doesn’t surprise me.

Long answer question

Question 9: Please share any specific feedback/advice/suggestions to make this newsletter better or just share your thoughts.

Open ended questions are my favorite. You all shared very kind and insightful thoughts here. Because this email is already way too long, I’m sharing just a few of your responses and some quick responses.

I think the newsletter is good, I wish there were more pictures of things.

I’ll experiment with this.

I want you to post more on social so I can comment. I often feel like I want to chat with you (or others) about what you’ve written but then I don’t. Maybe even a comment section?

I disabled comments because I thought it would be a hassle. Maybe not? I’ll turn them on and see what happens. Thanks for the note.

Should’ve been a 7 point Likert scale question scale instead.


I would enjoy a V reads option.

This year I’ve made the (difficult) choice to read less. I am committing to one book at a time and I ruthlessly culled my news subscriptions and feeds. I’m happy to share, I’ll have to figure out a way to do this.

I’m here only for words artfully arranged like devilled eggs on a plate (concentrically circled and shaken with paprika).

How beautifully put. I’m both flattered and appetized by your words.

I love all your texts here. They have kept me sane through the time of layoffs, openAI attack, and too frequent bouts of self-doubt. Thank you 🙏

Let me reflect this thanks back at you. All of you! This newsletter keeps me sane too.

[^1:] One of you even annotated your response with: “This is the correct answer by the way, it’s not subjective.”