Andy Russell just turned 40. Happily married with two kids, he lives in New York City and is in an ideal spot financially after scoring big with media ventures like Daily Candy and Thrillist—both of which he helped develop and fund. Doesn’t sound like a guy with a heck of a lot to complain about, right?
Well, he’s not complaining, exactly. What concerns him, however, is that after spending the past decade focused on building businesses and advancing his career, he’s come to the conclusion that he’s settled into the life of a boring guy. “The couple of times a month where we can get a babysitter,” Russell says, “I tell my wife we’re going out, and she’s like, ‘Where are you taking me?’ And when I take her to the Japanese place on the corner, again, it’s like, ‘You lame, lame dude.’ That’s why we started it.”
This from a guy who, after dating for only two months, took his future wife to Belize to certify her in scuba diving and explore underwater caves teeming with bull sharks. Once upon a time, Russell actually knew how to build experiences that got his heart racing—so after several years of the same old shit, he discovered what he calls a pain point within the niche of solving this “lame dude” dilemma for guys 35 and over who, for whatever reason, have blundered into the muck of social complacency.
His solution? InsideHook, an e-mail newsletter serving this precise demographic. Looking for something titillating to do with your wife, girlfriend, friends, or by yourself this weekend but lacking the time to plan anything memorable? Russell’s service takes care of everything. From technological innovations to free up your time, to restaurants serving unique cuisine and rock climbing expeditions a half hour from your doorstep, InsideHook is the ultimate insider’s tip sheet for stuff to do, eat, and use “As men, I think we’ re missing the planning gene when it comes to finding these hidden, really amazing things to do,” Russell says, “and nobody’s out there playing curator for all this amazing stuff for me in a voice I want to hear, really knowing who I am.”
InsideHook offers experiences that make memories—a concept Russell developed after years of doing the same things, socially, over and over again until he couldn’t distinguish on occasion from the next.
“All my high school friends are still my friends,” he says, “and the things we used to do—golf trips, ski trips, memory after memory—aren’t what we do anymore. My memories over the past five years of my best friends in the world are one big blur of restaurants, drinking, and conversation.”
His mission, then, is to change things or men in this position—guys who although they’re well past the stupidity of their 20s, aren’t done looking for passion and adventure just yet. It’s a service for men who want more out of their days, and their relationships, but don’t have the time, energy, or resources to research the sorts of things that can stave oﬀ their not-quite-middle-age malaise. “We’re just making these things a lot more accessible and spelling it all out for people,” Russell says. The premise is simple (and free): Sign up at insidehook.com and every day you’ll receive an e-mail newsletter with one key recommendation that includes all the information you need to act on it, along with the occasional hilarious related video link for good measure.
“We’re not trying to encourage guys to be something they’re not,” Russell says.“ We’re trying to inspire you to be a better version of yourself because you’re in the know. We’re ﬁnding stuff all around us that makes you better and fuller. And when my wife comes and says to me, ‘InsideHook is good for our marriage,’ that’s my proof it’s working.”
1) The Major Leagues of Underground Dining – Access to a private, baseball-themed seven-course dinner prepared by world-class chef David Santos, formerly of Manhattan’s Per Se.
2) Who’s Your Caddie? – Links you to a website and application that plans and organizes every detail of your next golf
outing—down to planning foursome pairings based on handicap and past performances.
3) Don’t Sleep with the Fishes – Information about pre-dawn ﬂy ﬁshing excursions just minutes from midtown Manhattan. Yes, you can go ﬂy ﬁshing in New York City. Who knew?
4) Sweet Jeans Are Made of These – Tells you about a service that custom ﬁts you for hand- stitched selvedge jeans—the highest- quality denim in the world—then delivers them to your doorstep.
Sign up at InsideHook.