And what will happen to them when we hit one?

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The creator economy — in it’s current boom — hasn’t been around for a recession. Which begs the question…

Here are a couple of potential outcomes:

More creators will start. Being a creator is permissionless. You can start while working a day job or collecting unemployment. We saw this last March with Substack newsletters and TikTok accounts. Being a creator is increasingly becoming a brilliant hedge and source of leverage.

The cream will rise to the top. Top-tier creators will crush during a recession, buying up all kinds of distressed assets…

The mentors ahead will all tell you the same thing: keep going

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You’re making NYC vlogs on a Boosted Board. You’re writing long essays about Stoic philosophy. You’re building a gig delivery business. It’s all fun and games in the name of “stealing like an artist.” Austin Kleon approves.

But there’s this lingering thought in the back of your mind that you can’t shake — are you a phony? You’re imitating, not innovating. There’s an imposter inside of you waiting to be discovered. Let’s build a fortress.

Ira Glass tells you not to worry. This might just be the “taste gap.” He says, your job is to keep doing the work, closing…

The key to LT success is hidden in smart capital allocation

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As a creator, you only have so much time, money, and content inventory to deploy towards building something lasting. Reaching the highest stages of creator wealth is a matter of allocating those finite resources well at each stage. And can ultimately be the difference between becoming like every 2011 other Boston sports blog or Barstool…

Stage #1: Becoming a creator full-time.

This is the dream for many creators. When combined, brand partnerships, platform revenue, and merchandising are enough to fund your life and content. So, you can quit freelance editing or your 9–5 and just focus on making.

Stage #2: Hiring employees.

This gives you leverage. You can be out…

And NOT just influencers

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The credo of One Day Entertainment is that:

So today, I thought I’d write up a handful of direct / indirect similarities between startups and creator businesses that I think about often:

1. A creator’s brand is the product / platform. It exists separate from any one platform, maybe somewhere in between all of them.

2. Their videos, essays, and social posts are like features. Success isn’t hinged on just one. Some will lead to meaningful pivots…

The future of productizing people, and listing them on a stock exchange

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This is not investment advice. These markets are highly speculative, and the tech pack to support them is brand new. Please proceed with caution.

There’s this axiom in both venture and the creator economy: bet on the jockey, not the horse. Like a lot of people, that’s always been my philosophy: I bet on humans. The systems, the businesses, the content they create are just results of them being great leaders, systems thinkers, storytellers, and entrepreneurs.

The first time I ever met Zack Honarvar, I remember thinking: if I could buy stock in this guy, I would. We now work…

How to build with de-risking in mind

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One of the biggest blind spots in creator economy discussions is about just how risky creator businesses really are. This is for quite a few reasons, but predominantly:

- Creator mental health / burnout: it’s hard to keep up with the joneses.
- Hype cycles: time on top has an expiration date.
- Poor decision making: one bad decision and a creator’s career is over.
- Platforms and algorithms: at the will of platform changes, decisions, and distribution.
- Revenue inconsistent and not diversified: a lot of creators have over 50% of their revenue coming from one source.

The MCN…

wasn’t about the hype, until i used it

real photo from dispo, baby

Life is made up of all of these wildly unsexy moments. The moments between the moments. When you’re waiting in the checkout line with your kids, stuck in traffic on the phone with your wife, grabbing a beer with a friend. These moments — that we often overlook — are oddly the ones that make life meaningful and memorable.

It’s human nature to chase down the opposite — the award stages, bougie vacations, big fundraising rounds, and over-the-top weddings — often at the cost of the former. Instagram’s tech pack leveraged this disparity at scale. …

Hot take: create for an audience of one

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One of the biggest problems with having an audience is having an audience. Not kidding. When you have any amount of people looking at you, I’m talking even a hundred, it’s easy to fall into one of two traps:

1. You treat views, subscribers, etc. as just numbers
2. You hyper-focus on certain individuals in the group

The first trap is a defense. You have no idea how to fathom one hundred, one thousand, or one million people interacting with your idea or your art, so you have to create this dissonance. The downside of this is obvious. Those are…

What do you call creators who create about creators?

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Meta creators use native creator tools and platforms to develop and distribute content about creators. Get it? That’s why they’re meta.

These are the people you see publishing tweet threads with data about the creator economy, writing long Substack newsletters about the downstream impacts of Beast Burger, and making videos about what cameras to buy.

They take on different personas, and cover various topics, but the goal of every meta creator is the exact same: grow the “creator economy” by connecting creators and builders with the knowledge, resources, and tools they need to be successful.

Meta creators include everyone from…

Measure what matters

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An old boss sent me this super cryptic email once. All it said was: “growth relieves all sins.” Despite being a little bit hyperbolic and maximum terrifying, that email was right. In almost any early stage business, growth is (and should be) the singular focus.

This is no different with early-stage creators. Though when we talk about growth, we typically take a short-term perspective. It devolves into focusing on how to inflate vanity metrics — like subscribers and views — instead of asking: what areas of growth really matter?

When you really take a step back, you realize there are…

Kate Ward

Thinking deeply about how to make myself and the world a little better. & writing about creators mostly | email:

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