The Creator Economy

Meta Newsletter April 2021: Sandsculpters, funding for artists and Jerry Seinfeld

Welcome, and thank you once again for being here. Meta is the Blackbird Foundation’s monthly newsletter exploring creativity. Be sure to hit subscribe so you don’t miss the next one!


Lets start with some incredibly fun links to TikTok videos: @Sandsculpter has 1.3m followers on TikTok, and he makes a living sculpting sandcastles. Watch this incredible piece of Sand-Theatre™. Sid is a very enthusiastic tour guide with 600k followers and an intense passion for the Australian bush. Here he is fascinating on mushrooms. Dr Parkinstine is a backyard scientist who makes his clothes on a 1904 Singer and built a Tesla coil in his backyard from junk. Max Randolph is an artist and a Blacksmith with a talent for making exceptionally complex doors.

This month we’re going to spend some time on the creator economy, sometimes called the passion economy. The promise of the creator economy is impressive. Right now, people all over the world are making a living simply by harnessing their unique passions and their creativity. If you have a passion for anything, you can find an audience for it and make money from it.

“There’s been a societal shift in consciousness towards caring more about feeling fulfilled in our jobs, having control over how we spend our time, and being our own boss. Fans see creators doing what they love for a living and aspire to follow that path that never leads to a cubicle.” - Signal Fire.

In the passion economy, you succeed by being your most creative self. After all, your creativity is unique, and no one can compete with you on being you!

Let’s get into it. But first...

Provocation

“STEM workers transfer repetitive jobs to software and robots. What remains is creative work and the demand for human creativity, in all facets of life, is unlimited.” - from Naval Ravikant in 2019.

Stories

Let’s start by connecting that provocation with a dissertation on computers and creativity by Molly Mielke

“The value of computers is not inherent; it is what we are able to do with them that makes them valuable. But what we can do with computers is often limited by the depth to which we are able to think creatively, translate these thoughts into computationally articulated work, and then share that work with others… Acknowledging that computers themselves are not inherently creative should not come as a surprise. Instead, this truth identifies an opportunity for computers to more fully assume the role of co-creator — not idea-generator, but actualizer.”

Next, let’s get into a breakdown of The Creator Economy, the toolset and what the current ecosystem looks like. There are platforms for managing your audience, monetizing them, making your content and so much more. Signal Fire breaks it all down in this article.

Now to an exciting topic on equity investing in people. This is relevant as it supposes a way for people to obtain investment for education without going into debt.  The Future of Investing Directly In People

“Students do not trust that participating in a certain educational program guarantees their future...The idea that the school effectively only gets paid if it delivers on its marketing promise (a well-paid job) seems like a fair trade and the basis for a rational partnership… Further, one can make a strong argument that the path to the greatest returns will lie in putting people in a position that frees them to pursue their best options over their lifetime rather than remain stuck in suboptimal positions to service fixed debt and traditional commitments.”

MrBeast working with $2 million fund to invest in up-and-coming creators - following on from the above article, more and more options are becoming available for creators to get equity-based financing. Most creative industries rely on a mix between debt and equity. New models are appearing that would allow creators to get funding.

Now a small sidestep to the Art Gallery of NSW - The power of play

“After all, nurturing creative thinking helps build empathy, courage, resilience and adaptability – qualities we need now more than ever.”

Finally, a bit of fun - Jerry Seinfeld on creativity and his methods for success.


Blackbird Ventures, an Australian VC, funds the Blackbird Foundation. We believe that creativity is the meta-skill and we’re funding organisations and people who are unleashing creativity in young people. To find out more, head on over to blackbird.foundation.