2 minute read

After celebrating the 10th issue of Production Ready not too long ago, I’m proud to report that I sent out the 20th issue last Wednesday!

In case you haven’t heard of it: Production Ready is the mailing list where I share my best articles on building and running production systems, covering topics such as SRE, Chaos Engineering, and Systems Thinking.

Similar to last time, I’m writing this blog post to give you a short update on how Production Ready has done in the previous five months. If anything, this exercise helps me reflect on my work and understand how I might improve it.

The articles

If you missed any of my articles, here are direct links to the last 10 pieces for your convenience:

  1. If it hurts, do it more often
  2. Toil: A Word Every Engineer Should Know
  3. How Complex Web Systems Fail - Part 1
  4. How Complex Web Systems Fail - Part 2
  5. The Obvious, the Easy, and the Possible
  6. Systems blindness and how we deal with it
  7. Writing Your First Postmortem
  8. On Finding Root Causes
  9. The Power of Less Code
  10. From Zero to Staging and Back

Some hard numbers

As of writing, Production Ready has 381 subscribers (with an average open rate of 55%) and 160 followers on Medium.

This chart shows the number of subscribers who have received a given article according to my mailing list provider, TinyLetter:

Subscriber Growth

As you can see, I gained over 50 new subscribers after sending out “The Power of Less Code”. It was at the same time, however, that Scalyr published an article I wrote for them, which also links to my mailing list. So while it’s difficult to attribute the growth, I’m happy with the fact that so many people decided to join Production Ready. <3

Next, here’s a screenshot of the stats provided by Medium, sorted by views:

Medium Stats

As a writer, it’s my duty to post the obligatory word count stats too:

[production-ready]$ wc -w letters/*.md | sort -n
     772 letters/015-the-obvious-the-easy-and-the-possible.md
     851 letters/012-toil-a-word-every-engineer-should-know.md
     871 letters/011-if-it-hurts-do-it-more-often.md
     877 letters/006-bring-your-tools-with-you.md
     988 letters/003-how-to-succeed-at-infrastructure-automation.md
     995 letters/016-systems-blindness-and-how-we-deal-with-it.md
    1053 letters/019-the-power-of-less-code.md
    1054 letters/004-complacency-the-enemy-of-resilience.md
    1054 letters/009-simplicity-a-prerequisite-for-reliability.md
    1055 letters/005-unintended-consequences.md
    1126 letters/002-chaos-engineering-a-shift-in-mindset.md
    1160 letters/007-chaos-monkey-for-fun-and-profit.md
    1235 letters/001-chaos-engineering-101.md
    1245 letters/008-fast-feedback-is-everything.md
    1284 letters/013-how-complex-web-systems-fail-part-1.md
    1297 letters/017-writing-your-first-postmortem.md
    1313 letters/018-on-finding-root-causes.md
    1396 letters/020-from-zero-to-staging-and-back.md
    1452 letters/014-how-complex-web-systems-fail-part-2.md
    1467 letters/010-a-little-story-about-amazon-ecs-systemd-and-chaos-monkey.md
   22545 total

While wc -w isn’t 100% accurate for Markdown files, it’s still obvious that I usually target 1000 words per article – roughly a 5-minute read.

Also: 22K words in total so far!


First of all, let me say that I’ll continue to craft useful content and share it with my list as usual. Starting Production Ready was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It’s here to stay.

That said, I’m planning to take a 30-day break from publishing during the month of December to recharge my creativity tank.

Last but not least, I’m thinking about whether or not sponsoring would be an option for Production Ready. Contact me if this sounds interesting to you. One way or another, I’d like to know what the requirements are regarding audience size, etc. Maybe we can work something out, or maybe I scrap the idea entirely.

As always, thanks for reading Production Ready.