The Only Thing Which Has Failed About The ‘Creator Economy’ Thus Far Is Venture Capital’s Attempts to Get Their Piece. Why There’s Never Been a Better Time to Be a Creator.
I judge the health of the creator economy by one single controversial factor: ease of access and probability of survival for its participants. That is, if you are someone who wishes to earn a minimum viable living being creative, what is the likelihood you’ll be able to do so? A singer who wants to sing. An animator who wants to draw. A comedy troupe who wants to make you laugh. A writer who wants to blog about culture. With the question — can I figure out how to make enough money to keep doing this?
My bold statement is that there has never been a better time for Creators by that objective function. I absolutely concur that if you want to maximize around other objectives, or examine particular types of creative industries, you might disagree with me. For sure there were periods where smaller groups of participants had better lifestyles, more stable employment, increased societal influence, or a less demanding fandom. But all of these moments were based on artificial scarcity and cultural gatekeeping. It might be harder than ever to earn $1 million/year as a creative but it’s never been easier to make $50,000.
Software and technology in general has driven down the cost of most creativity and powerful tools are in the hands of more than 1 billion human beings.
Creativity is happening within communities and platforms which bring together distribution and collaboration.
And you can directly and indirectly monetize your creativity in a myriad of ways.
Put in another way, my framework for the Creator Economy is that there are three broad areas of value
- Create: Tools that help people be creative and touch the production process in some manner
- Distribute: Tools which help people find, growth, interact with, understand their audience/community/fans
- Monetize: Tools which help people make money from their creative outputs
I am not saying it’s easy. I’m not saying it’s fair. I’m not saying it’s without tradeoffs. I’m not saying everyone will (or deserves to) succeed. But it has never, ever been a better time to try if you’re willing to commit. My earliest encounters with a personal computer, initial uses for the…