Media Movers: E book creator Jason Del Rey

Jason Del Rey

I just lately profiled Matthew Goldberg, whose profession began in sports activities journalism earlier than he switched to enterprise writing. As we speak, I convey you Jason Del Rey, whose profession began as a breaking information and sports activities reporter on the Jersey Journal earlier than he switched to enterprise. Journalists wish to say that three makes a pattern, so I can’t formally say that sports activities reporting makes a robust basis for enterprise writing. However it’s one thing price watching.

After his sports activities stint, Jason labored at Inc., Advert Age and Recode, the place he made a reputation for himself as an e-commerce skilled. So, it’s no shock that he wrote a e book. His just lately launched “Winner Sells All,” is described as “a riveting investigation of the no-holds-barred battle between Amazon and Walmart to grow to be the king of commerce.”

I chatted with Jason about what led to his early profession pivot, how his e book happened and what’s subsequent:

Daybreak: Inform me about your new e book.

Jason: I consider “Winner Sells All” as the within story of the best enterprise rivalry of our time: Amazon vs Walmart. It’s additionally the deepest look, for my part, of Walmart’s battle to struggle via the innovator’s dilemma that has turned so many titans of business into has-beens.

Daybreak: How did the concept come about?

Jason: I’ve coated each firms since 2013, so had developed nice sourcing in and round each and knew them properly. I additionally knew that whereas there have been some nice books written about every, there hasn’t been one which explored all of the methods their rivalry has influenced their methods, choices, and the way in which they run their firms. And all of that was fascinating to me.

Daybreak: I hear from lots of people who wish to write books. What ought to they do?

Jason: Assume lengthy and laborious about whether or not you’re passionate sufficient in regards to the thought to dedicate two to a few years of your life to the mission. It’s additionally clever to understand that you would possibly solely generate income from the e book advance and never from the precise e book gross sales, so don’t comply with an advance that you’re dissatisfied with.

Daybreak: Again to *your* e book. What shocked you most in regards to the battle for our wallets?

Jason: I all the time knew every firm intently watched the opposite, however nonetheless didn’t actually grasp what number of of their methods and initiatives have been influenced by one another till reporting this e book.

Daybreak: Now, let’s return in time. What bought you curious about journalism?

Jason: I first wished to be a sports activities anchor as a result of I used to be obsessive about sports activities at a really younger age, and watched ESPN’s SportsCenter religiously. I then dreamed of changing into a sports activities journalist as a result of I cherished studying  Sports activities Illustrated and the sports activities part of the newspaper in center faculty. Then, in highschool, a instructor inspired me to become involved within the faculty newspaper, which I loved. By faculty, I used to be dedicated to taking the few journalism lessons my college provided, in addition to interning throughout summers at my native newspaper. At that time, I had the journalism bug.

Daybreak: What led you to enterprise journalism?

Jason: I truthfully fell into it. I took a enterprise journalism class in graduate faculty and did very properly, however once I graduated there have been merely higher enterprise journalism alternatives than sports activities journalism alternatives. I additionally come from a household of small enterprise house owners and entrepreneurs, so I did have some basic curiosity within the enterprise world.

Daybreak: What recommendation did you get from mentors alongside the way in which?

Jason: Generally you haven’t any selection however to give attention to the identical story as your opponents, however it’s typically higher to zig when your rivals are zagging. A number of the greatest tales are these uncovered whereas your entire opponents are masking the identical factor as one another.

Daybreak: What recommendation would you provide to somebody beginning out within the area?

Jason: Discovering a chance the place you are able to do authentic reporting, ideally for an editor you respect, may be far more vital than touchdown a gig the place you do little to no authentic reporting at a big-name publication. Additionally, be daring about cold-emailing/messaging journalists you admire.

Daybreak: Lots of people are asking about ChatGPT and writing. What are your ideas on whether or not it would put writers out of a job?

Jason: In case your job consists principally of rewriting or summarizing, your job will probably be in danger sometime. However I consider there’ll all the time be a spot for good or nice authentic reporting.

Daybreak: Trying again in your profession, what would you might have accomplished otherwise?

Jason: I attempt to not look backward a lot however,  if compelled to, I’d say I might have spent one other 12 months as a sports activities reporter earlier than making use of to grad faculty to see if I may have landed a much bigger alternative in that a part of the journalism world.

Daybreak: What’s subsequent for you?

Jason: I’m performing some writing alone Substack, known as “Already Shipped,” however I’m additionally speaking to a wide range of media firms about roles the place I can do what I really like essentially the most: enterprise or investigative reporting, whether or not in textual content, audio or on TV.

Should you’re studying this and have a chance that appears like that, I’d love to listen to from you.

Daybreak Wotapka is a former Wall Avenue Journal reporter who likes to learn and write. She lives in Atlanta along with her husband and two kids. She is a sluggish runner and an avid Peloton person. Remember to connect with Dawn on LinkedIn