The Golden Age of Art and Creativity

These are exciting times for creators.

TikTok, Spotify, Instagram, Twitch, Snapchat, WordPress, Shopify, Twitter, YouTube etc… are part of the American fabric.

Fred Wilson wrote about it today.

I love this paragraph from A16z’s lates podcast titled ‘Writers Writing, Readers Reading, Creators Creating‘. It is a must listen for investors and creators.

We’ve been financing good writing with bad advertising — and “attention monsters” (to quote Craig Mod) for way too long. So what happens when the technology for creators finally falls into place? We’re finally starting to see shift in power away from publications as the sole gatekeepers of talent, towards individual writers. Especially when the best possible predictor of the value of a piece of writing is, well, the writer. The publication’s brand is no longer the guarantee of quality, or the only entity we should be paying and be loyal to, when a new ecosystem is forming around the direct relationship between consumers, content creators, and the tools and business models to facilitate all this.

The last time it felt this good for creators was 2005. Youtube was launched.

YouTube gave me web 2.0 fever. When YouTube launched I had this ridiculous idea of creating a CNBC competitor on YouTube. At the time I was running my fund as a one man operation and had no acting, writing or producing skills. I had a lot of ideas and hated my career. YouTube was mostly cat videos and illegal content from the big networks. I am not sure if it was call or email but I pitched Fred Wilson and he agreed to invest personally. He also made bunch of introductions including Brad Feld, Mark Pinkus and Roger Ehrenberg (all legends in their own right) who agreed to invest personally over the phone. Like magic I had raised $600,000 to create Wallstrip. Raising money from venture capitalists is easy!

Long story short, with the money in hand I cobbled together a team, mostly through my blog and Craiglslist and eight months later CBS acquired the company/show. Within no time I became the ‘Clarence Beeks‘ of CBS, but that story is for a podcast one day again soon.

In 2006 it would cost us approximately $2,000 to create one episode (actors, team etc). The first show for new readers of this was about Apple.

On a good day, we would get 10,000 views.

Today, people create TikTok videos at no cost that get millions of views in a matter of minutes with just their smartphones. Those damn ungrateful millenials!

It is not all fun and games of course. As Naval points out:

As I like to say all the time (not my quote) …’there is no such thing as information overload, only filter failure‘.

Those that can curate well and create signal will always get wealthy.