Understandably by Bill Murphy Jr.

Jobs @ Understandably

Hi. I'm Bill Murphy Jr. I'm the founder of We're looking for writer/editors to work on our daily newsletter. You'll be a key team member, and I hope you'll both learn and teach something new every day. We're an independent daily newsletter with 140,000 subscribers for people who want...
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Renaming the bases

Wow, your responses to yesterday's newsletter were amazing. First off, I still don't think we've quite identified a single thing that literally everyone believes, but you had some very good suggestions. Also, we broke the record for "most daily comments," with 120 as of when I'm writing this. Actually, today's...
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Don't look back (2nd attempt)

Earlier today I sent a version of this newsletter that seems to have only gone to a small number of subscribers. Technical error on my part, I think. Here’s a second version. Sorry if you get this twice. If you are a paid subscriber, and you haven’t also received a message letting you know how you can download the book I’m talking about below, please let me know.

You've come to the right place!

I’m Bill Murphy Jr. I’m an author, the founder of, and a contributing editor at Thanks for checking out and the free ebooks, including: McLessons: 12 Really Smart Lessons From the Fairly Recent History of McDonald’s. Download it here, or even better: Subscribe below,...

Live a little (longer)

Want to live long and prosper? Step one would seem to be: make sure you "live long." We've seen recently that drinking lots of coffee makes a long life more likely. (Also, never smoking. Now, I’ve got four more life habits to suggest, thanks to research by a neuroscientist at...


My first real legal job, a year out of law school, was with the U.S. Department of Justice. I was a trial attorney in the civil section of the tax division. My cases were all over the Pacific Northwest, but I was based in Washington, DC, part of a team reporting to a very experienced lawyer who had been doing this kind of work forever.

9 out of 10

I once knew an author who really wanted to be on the New York Times bestselling list — so badly, in fact, that he had the words “New York Times Best Seller” tattooed in mirror script on his chest as motivation. I think he’s still trying to achieve that goal,...

Pink hat bullhorn lady

“You don’t have to go to the dark web, or anything, you just go to the straight up internet and you can buy pretty much anything you want.”. — Nick Bilton, in his new documentary “Fake Famous,” about how easy it can be to game the social media economy in order to become a famous online “influencer” (making lots of money in some cases).

The pigeon of San Francisco

"If they don't come back, we're sunk." —Kenneth McClure, vice president of Hospitality Holdings, which owns restaurants in New York City whose customers were basically a lunch and after-dinner cocktails crowd, on the future of urban offices. Welcome to our new subscribers! I am very glad you’re here, and I...

Don't you just ... LOVE America?

I’d planned to take the weekend off, but there’s too much going on. Also, I’m slowly realizing the things that I want to say as this confounding week ends. Hopefully it will be of value. Welcome to our new subscribers! Thanks for being here. I hope you’ll share Understandably with...

Happy New Year!

“Like looking both ways before crossing the street and then getting hit by a submarine.”. —Clarke Smith, age 9, of Beverly Hills, Mich. who got the “best summation” accolade in a Washington Post feature looking for the best way to describe 2020 as it ended. Happy New Year everyone! This...

Tom Brady Always Wins

Hi. Thanks for signing up for my free, daily email newsletter. Here’s the link to the free ebook I promised. It’s formatted as a .pdf so you can read it on any device:. Tom Brady Always Wins: 10 Success Lessons From the G.O.A.T. (download link) The link takes you to...

Aristotle with an asterisk

Welcome to all of our new subscribers. I’m glad you’re here and I hope you’ll enjoy If someone forwarded this to you, or you’ve just come across it, you can find more info about me and the newsletter here, and subscribe below. Thanks!. Excellence is a habit. Girard, Kansas...

Lest I forget

First, welcome to our new subscribers! I hope you enjoy Understandably. Maybe you’ll share it with others and encourage them to sign up, too. Here’s a handy red button to make it simple. Second: Olympic champion skier Bode Miller. Last chance: I’ll be interviewing him via Zoom next Monday, 12/14...

Beyond grateful

Thanks as always to our new subscribers. If you’re just visiting or if someone forwarded this to you, please sign up here and get Understandably for free in your email. (I’ll be taking tomorrow off, because otherwise I’d have to write a newsletter on Thanksgiving. See you Monday!) Happy Thanksgiving!...

Buttermilk + ham sandwich

We’re getting lots of new subscribers every day now. Welcome! If someone forwarded this to you, please sign up below. And share Understandably with other people who might like it. Of course, I’ll get to the election in a second. But, first things first, I took my own advice yesterday,...

18th conversation

Think of some of your closest friends and family — at least, the ones you don’t live with. How many times have you talked with them this year? A half dozen? A dozen? And how long each time?. My old boss Bob Woodward has a new book out next week....


My daughter and I were at the town pool over the weekend. I got to talking with the parents of a boy who will be a rising kindergartener this week. Actually, strike that: he would have been a kindergartener. But since our town is starting the year with virtual education...