I wish this was a WordPress story. It should’ve been and could still be — a simple publishing platform built around freemium newsletters — and writers.
In a way, it is a WordPress story.
Ben Thompson’s Stratechery was a Substack inspiration and has always run on WordPress, I believe.
There’s also this:
Our plan was to build a subscriptions management system that would plug into WordPress.Hamish McKenzie, Substack Co-founder and Chief Writing Officer
I recall reading years ago that an early Substack proof-of-concept or early version was built on WordPress. That seems to be true according to this post by co-founder Hamish McKenzie’s on the occasion of Substack’s fifth birthday. It’s unclear how far they went with WordPress before making Substack a proprietary project:
Substack was built around — and for writers — so they can get paid and do great work.
Former Economist editor Bill Bishop launched the tremendously valuable Sinocisim as Substack blog #1:
That’s something the WordPress ecosystem distinction lacks for and about itself — WordPress writers writing about WordPress professionally and for a living.