And it’s gunning for a takeover

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Photo by Alice Dietrich on Unsplash

Everyone is a creator, or at the very least, can be. Creators are people who turn nothing into something. And a few decades from now, we’ll live in a world run by creators. These creators won’t be exclusive to writers, TikTokers, and YouTubers, though they’ll be included.

The creators of our future will be people who celebrate and adopt a creator mindset, but go by many different names —

Entrepreneurs are people that find opportunities in the current systems to crank up the heat or pour fuel on the fire. …

Some tips from TV writers

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Photo by Murai .hr on Unsplash

Been really into mental models recently, and thinking about how you apply lessons from one industry or project to another.

Here are some quick thoughts on how established YouTubers might leverage lessons from TV writing in their own content development:

Set an overarching goal for the show. Basically branding, with an emphasis on genre. Successful television shows define what they are — sitcoms, political dramas, comedies. This helps the audience understand how the format works, and what to expect.

Consider developing loose show and season arcs. Releasing in “seasons” will help prevent creative burnout, without compromising audience communication. When creators…

how to build for the long-term

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Photo by Tim Hüfner on Unsplash

This is my basic thesis on how great creator businesses will develop and sustain greatness over time.

It’s simple, and not fully fleshed out. But — if you follow it — I have no doubt you’ll find great success in any medium, on any platform:

1. Build, share, and package a worldview.

A worldview is essentially a story about how the world as a whole, or something within the world works. This could be as concrete as “mastering X in WoW is interesting to watch” or it could be something more abstract like Nike’s “just do it” mantra. …

How every creator fails, eventually

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Photo by Kind and Curious on Unsplash

I think and talk a lot about the rise and fall of digital creators, and why that’s the case. What makes someone — who was once beloved by the masses — eventually lose relevance?

There’s this obscure political science theory called the spiral of insecurity that I think explains a great deal of it. Learn and remember it, and you’ll never see the world, people, or businesses in the same way.

It goes like this: value creation and extraction are the seeds of world domination. And when you plant enough of them over generations — via education, healthcare, innovation, industry…

A case for forgoing growth in the short-run

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Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

The gold standard for a creator is —

* You make what you love to make
* You learn how to package it in a way that attracts the right audience
* You consistently deliver a great experience for viewers (that often includes an “oh wow” moment)
* People love watching what you make so much that they turn notifications on, buy things that you sell, and meaningfully engage
* Rinse and repeat

The problem is, most creators never realize the gold standard. And that’s because getting to the gold standard is…

A case for building equity, rather than extracting dollars

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Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

What’s the point of having an audience? Like actually, what is the point? For generations — our answer has been to make money (predominantly through advertising). But I would argue this is just a 1.0 monetization model for the creator economy.

It’s the lazy, short-term version of value creation and extraction based in the traditional media model. The truest value of a creator business is in the community they find, attract, or build and all of the latent human and social capital that sits inside.

Think of it this way: creator content acts as a top-of-funnel filter for worldview and…

And that’s the point.

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Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Sometimes, I wish there was a remote for life. I want to point it towards myself, and press fast forward. Just to catch a glimpse of what happens in this movie a few more hours in. Press rewind — like on game film — and review my mistakes with piercing clarity.

I’m not interested in skipping this part, no. I’ve seen Click; I know the punchline. I just want to know what I’m working with. I want to know it’s going to be okay. …

A practical case for creating from the heart, instead of for the views

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Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash

When you make anything — a product, painting, essay — and no one responds, did you even create anything at all?

It’s the question that keeps any emerging builder, creator, or writer up at night. But it’s the wrong question.

Because we make art, not to attract views or make money. We make it to communicate truth, to experience life, to become a little bit more of the people we want to be. We make it to build communities, and scale a sense of belonging. …

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Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The running joke in the digital media world is that “it’s all content.”

Got in a car crash? Make a video about it. Going through a heartbreak? Write an essay about it. Got arrested? Get the mics quick, and record a podcast.

Whatever is happening — spin it up into a story and share it with your audience. Let’s get some views and monetize this pain.

When you have a sizable audience in your pocket, it’s hard to firewall your real self from your digital self. Human nature takes hold. You start conflating views with self-worth, content with reality. You…

2020 — I love you, but I won’t miss you.

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Photo by Federico Respini on Unsplash

My only real regret of the year is that I didn’t write anything of note. It’s not that I didn’t string words together, I certainly did quite a bit of that. We put out a podcast at Yes Theory, I sent a metric ton of emails, and even wrote a little bit of poetry.

I’ve even got seeds of article, book, and video ideas all over my iPhone notes, and multiple journals filled. I sat down to write essays like this one probably 50 times, and now have the equivalent amount of unfinished essays on my hard drive. …

Kate Ward

Thinking deeply about how to make myself and the world a little better | email:

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