The best resources for getting up to speed with the creator economy, passion economy, and the goal of building a more fulfilling future of work. No fluff; quality > quantity. 💪
This list is aimed at founders, makers, and investors who are interested in building solutions for the creator economy.
If you're an influencer looking to grow your audience or monetize, then this list won't be for you — but if you're interested in understanding this space at a deeper level, then these are the most bang-for-your-buck resources to get you there.
The Definition of a Creator
As the world discovered that more American kids wanted to become YouTubers than astronauts and that Kylie Jenner became the world's youngest billionaire, the term "creator" entered a pivotal moment: It became the way to define a whole new generation of internet explorers.
Creators. Not Influencers.
It became clear to me over the past year that the space that I had chosen to focus the efforts of my startup -- the Creator Economy -- was being intertwined with a relatively newer space: influencers and influencer marketing.
Creator Hierarchy of Needs
Dear subscribers, Creators have a hierarchy of needs as they grow. Understanding these needs helps you build products that creators love: Publish: To get started, creators need to find a niche and publish frequently. Most creators give up before finding an audience, so staying motivated and avoiding burnout is key.
My advice is to start with Li Jin's work and then branch out from there.
The Passion Economy and the Future of Work - Li Jin
In the Passion Economy, new digital platforms enable people to earn a livelihood in a way that highlights–rather than commoditizes–their individuality. We envision a future in which the value of unique skills and knowledge can be unlocked, augmented, and surfaced to consumers.
The Three Stages of the Future of Work
This is a weekly newsletter about tech, media, and culture. To receive this newsletter in your inbox each week, subscribe here: First, a big personal update: this week, I joined the team at Index Ventures. I feel incredibly lucky to work with this team. At Index, we invest across stages-from seed to early-stage to growth.
Unbundling Work from Employment
Sometimes in the economy, monolithic entities that serve many needs disintegrate into an ecosystem of single-purpose entities. When that happens, there's a huge opportunity for startups. Take, for example, Craigslist. Since its founding 25 years ago, Craigslist's horizontal breadth, coupled with its shallow feature set and stagnant product, has presented rich opportunities for startups to carve off vertical-specific niches.
The Creator Economy Needs a Middle Class
In 1788, George Washington predicted that America would be "the most favorable country of any in the world for persons of industry and frugality," ideal for even those in the lowest social classes to immigrate to, given "the equal distribution of property, the great plenty of unoccupied lands, and the facility of procuring the means of subsistence."
Mapping the Creator Economy
Quick favor to ask before you jump into the article: I've just posted a tweetstorm summarizing the mapping, would mean the world if you could like or retweet! 🙏 The Internet is magic.
SignalFire's Creator Economy Market Map | SignalFire
More than 50 million people around the world consider themselves creators, despite the creator economy only being born a decade ago. It's become the fastest-growing type of small business, and a survey found that more American kids want to be a YouTube star (29%) than an astronaut (11%) when they grow up.
Mapping "The Future of Work" Startup & Investor ecosystem
As a bonus , I also included a couple of startup ideas here and there💡 I'd love for you to add your ideas to the mix! Throw them in the comments! 😃 A lot of companies are popping up each year to take on (or enhance) more established players like Slack & Microsoft Teams (chat) or Gmail & Outlook (email).
The Super Fan Flywheel
Dear subscribers, In my last post, I shared eight lessons about how the creator economy works. Today, I want to introduce the super fan flywheel, a proven way for startups to grow in the creator economy. A super fan is someone who: Wants authentic interactions with the creator.
Audience and Wealth, Part I
In today's analysis, we begin Part I of a series on Audience and Wealth. Over two issues we'll cover the following topics: The problems creators solve for consumers The business models creators use to build wealth The roles creators, audience, and advertisers play
Audience and Wealth, Part II
This is Part II in a series on Audience and Wealth. Part I focused on the problems creators solve for consumers and the business models they use to build wealth. You can read it here. Today, we'll close the series by discussing the following subjects:
16 Key Metrics for the Passion Economy - Andreessen Horowitz
The is growing by the day. From writers launching newsletters on Substack to influencers-turned-designers on Pietra, more people are taking advantage of digital platforms to make money off their unique skills. According to a Passion Economy study of nine digital platforms (including Etsy, YouTube, and Twitch), 17 million Americans earned nearly $7 billion in income from their independent creations in 2017 .
5 creator economy VCs see startup opportunities in monetization, discovery and much more
Everyone knows YouTubers and other creators are popular with internet users of all ages. But today, these influencers also have real businesses powered by a range of software tools and service providers who help weave videos, pictures, clips, memes and other types of content into sustainable succes...
C.R.E.A.M., Part I
Founders. Whatever your business's maturity, it's worth understanding the strengths enduring, high-performers develop on their path to sustained dominance. Investors. How can you identify a compounder? Investing in Netflix in 2011 might look like a no-brainer now, but it was far from a sure thing at the time.
100 True Fans - Li Jin
To make a living as a creator, you only need 100 true fans, not 1,000. There's four necessary components necessary to make a living off a smaller base of true fans: premium content and community; results and transformation; accountability; and recognition, access, and status.
The Evolution of the Influencer
This is a weekly newsletter about tech, media, and culture. To receive this newsletter in your inbox each week, you can subscribe here: In January 2018, I posted a sponsored Instagram video for Calm. I had around 275,000 followers at the time, and I encouraged my followers to begin the New Year with meditation and mindfulness as part of Calm's #YearofCalm campaign.
Empowering the influence generation - influence.co
Join our community to get access to the latest news and resources, engage with other influencers and secure collaborations with top brands. Are you a business looking to engage with influencers on our community? Learn more
Lessons about the Creator Economy from Twitch and Substack
Dear subscribers, I worked on creator growth at Twitch and now write this newsletter on Substack. Live streaming and publishing might seem like two different fields, but I see many parallels between the creator economies on both platforms. Below are eight observations: On Twitch, creators grow by streaming consistently, which means broadcasting for many hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week.
The Art of Unbundling, with Greg Isenberg
Welcome to Means of Creation! Every Friday, Li and Nathan interview a guest in the passion economy - founders, creators and operators who are carving their own paths. For the second installment, they spoke to 5by and Islands founder Greg Isenberg about the value of unbundling vertical communities.
Power to the Person
Welcome to the 1,125 newly Not Boring people who have joined us since last Monday! If you aren't subscribed, join 34,427 smart, curious folks by subscribing here: 🎧 To get this essay straight in your ears: listen here or on Today's Not Boring is brought to you by...
Follow these peeps if you wanna stay on top of the latest & greatest in the space.
Arm The Creators!
A newsletter to understand the Creator Economy and discover the people building it.
Creator Economy by Peter Yang
Late Checkout - a Substack by Greg Isenberg
Software has eaten the world. It now dominates the stock market, too. As part of our community, you'll receive practical, easy-to-digest reports on the most significant tech companies preparing for an IPO. When it comes time to make an investment decision, you'll understand the underlying technology, competition, risks, and opportunities
Note: this is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the resources and companies in the Creator Economy, but rather a curated list of the absolute best resources for founders / makers / builders interested in this space to get up to speed fast.
If you know of a resource that should be added to this list (and it's one of the best resources covering the topic), feel free to DM me on twitter and let me know. 👋