Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Difference Between Creators and Influencers feat. Niel Robertson, Influence.co

welcome back to the created economies our weekly news show on everything happening in the creative economy we take a deep dive into you know everything right like founders creators uh investors uh everyone in the ecosystem welcome .

Back i am gregory one of your co-hosts joined today of course as usual by my friend ken young um so just uh for everyone to understand and know what's going on we are broadcasting right now on facebook linkedin youtube and clubhouse so if you i see some hands up already .

But uh feel free to raise your hands there's a lot more opportunities to engage in the conversation later uh sorry about that um but yes uh throughout the show and of course throughout our coverage here we bring up a roundup of the latest news commentary interviews .

And deep dives on key topics in the creator economy we go live on wednesdays at 3 p.m mountain time 2 p.m pacific and you can find out more at http created.show that is the official show page where you can find out about future episodes future guests etc we also of course have a long form content site over at .

Createdeconomy.com with where we share some of our articles and longer form posts so head over there and of course we do have a flipboard as well where all the links that we consider and think about throughout the course of the week as we prep for the show uh .

Live so ken do you want to say hi before we uh dive right into it hello hello it's week three i mean we're now in the trilogy of of the created economy uh so and i can't believe like this is we've gotten this far with such amazing guests and and .

Topics to talk about uh greg i mean i think this is going to be one of our one of our best shows and i can't wait it's going to definitely be the best we've ever had because every week is always an improvement .

And not just because we have neil robertson joining us later but uh also because we keep improving our preparation so let's hope we don't screw it up uh oh i hit i did hit the record button this time so we're already in good shape all right let's dive right into it um .

Just in case you don't know the format we do about 10 minutes of covering the news uh some of our favorite articles and interesting things from the last week or so then we'll have 10 minutes uh for interactions q a voiceovers if you have a comment we'll probably bring neil in .

To give us some some of his thoughts as well so uh be ready there with your hands on the hand raise button so you can come up if you have a comment of course if you're watching it the video right now you can leave a comment in the comment box below you and we will get those comments to try to .

Answer them as well and then we have a deep dive with neil and then of course we have created after dark or is that what we called it created after dark yeah which is like our our our after show but we allow anyone in the audience to come on stage and join with us and talk to uh everybody and anybody that's on stage .

With us because we we believe that interactive shows are way more fun than those boring podcasts that you probably listen to so let's get into it right now welcome back this is episode three as we mentioned and we are now in oh my gosh i'm having so much trouble controlling uh .

Today uh we're in week episode number three is ken mentioned and let's dive into the news ken so what's up first oh my goodness so i think our first one gotta navigate that slide to the next one but the first uh first article that we that we came across is uh this is patreon ceo uh jack conte who's who .

Comes out with uh this interview he basically says that creators have like this incredible leverage you know in terms and that they've they've never had in many years and it's not necessarily anything like breaking news or or or shocking to a lot of people within the creator economy space i don't think .

But i think for observers you know it just shows that there's this natural progression in terms of of this notion of creators and influencers in terms of people that wanna that are making their living off of producing content articles videos stories whatever it is uh using these these tools and platforms .

That are available to them and with the fun an interesting point that that jack made in this article is that these platforms are not seeing uh or need to recognize that these creators are no longer just like hey we're just giving them uh money they .

Have to view these creators as businesses and they have to build up those relationships very similar to how uh facebook or or google or or youtube or amazon or those guys those people those companies are doing it for traditional small businesses right they have to treat them .

With the same amount of of of respect and creators themselves have an immense amount of power with them you know so so you i know we have all this conversation with uh um about social tipping and and influencers and investments and everything like that we're starting to see this .

This new age not really this new age just this resurgence if you will in terms of of you know the uh creators now getting their fair due and i would like greg do you have any thoughts on that and i know i'd love to hear neil's thoughts uh later on in in the show .

I i think i mean i think uh the nexus of this genesis of the show is ultimately i think that this area is proving true um it's interesting i think most people don't realize how old patreon is i think they started in 2013 or something so they're fairly well along in their journey and so you .

Know i think it's really interesting to see just what um how long they've been focusing on this sort of problem so well we will definitely cover that when we get to neil though but we do have lots of news to get through oh i added this one so let me let me put this one in yeah so uh this .

Was uh some breaking news that we came across yesterday um just in case you are interested or thought about sort of the decentralized publishing space you know um mirror.xyz uh which is like a crypto back sort of publishing platform allows uh for crowdfunding um or pre-raising money basically for .

The creations that you may make that you may create um union square ventures early investor in coinbase also has now made a sizable investment at 100 million dollar uh valuation into um uh mirror which i think you know is really interesting because um one of the broader sort of frames on .

Sort of the creator economy as a whole is i think ultimately about on this idea generally that um sort of web 3.0 represents sort of a decentralized web and a lot of folks um believe and see sort of the opportunity for the creator space very much so marrying up and lining up .

With the evolution and the decentralization of sort of networks and power ultimately so i think it'll be interesting to see how these trends play out over time and how true or untrue uh sort of some of those beliefs are but i think it was interesting just to see .

That um again this is a another way for creators to get paid ultimately and generate new kinds of revenue in this case i would call it like the pre-funding uh as opposed to say the post funding which we're usually used to um today how soon do you think that will we actually start to see .

A creator economy company uh become a unicorn besides you know the patreons and everything like that we're like this new age of of creator uh greater economy startups um so i guess it depends on what kind of company we're talking about there's probably um probably a number of them i think um .

If we look historically and i saw i remember i think uh molly from index ventures i saw her speaking yesterday at an event she actually pointed out that you know the the tooling side for example has already netted us many uh billion dollar unicorns that you think a company like i think like canva .

Right uh for example figma some of these other tools that actually are enable and empower sort of creators to deliver their craft um obviously most of the platforms are unicorn companies already so it is very easy to imagine that there will be other billion dollar unicorn style businesses that exist .

Above uh and on top of it and i think we've actually seen that already like uh cameo i think is already a billion dollar company um there's a number of them for sure so i will continue to watch this space because i do think we will see a great deal more evolution um in this arena .

Um so uh jumping into some youtube news um i think i had also sort of found this article interesting largely because again speaking to your point ken where is some of this opportunity going right when you see a company like link tree raising like 45 billion dollars that's not just to keep making home .

Pages guys um right like and i believe you know if we look to asia as great inspiration of sort of like what is happening what works and what can what can drive and change the way we behave live shopping is a very normalized behavior interactive shopping where is our qvc right like we don't have that analog .

Yet and we are seeing more and more that there are new startups creator tech being created to sort of power or enable some of this tooling uh this is not new stuff by the way right it's been there forever right like um we've had uh i remember at shoot we had shoppable instagram like ages ago like .

Probably like nine years ago uh where you could like we integrate with product catalogs you could tie it into products other things like instagram shopping already enables you to do some of these things but i think there are now special purpose tools being created around this .

That provide a horizontal approach to this so i think live shopping has a lot of opportunity as well and there's going to be a lot of growth in this area as we continue to move forward so this one and kind of keeping along the lines of with live shopping i mean google's been really testing the .

Boundaries in terms of what they can do for for youtube and this this came out from the protocol uh of last week where the their r d arm area 120 has been testing this this concept of uh can they produce some sort of a digital merchandise platform for for creators right and i think this .

Potentially could create a could be an opportunity for creators to to sell their own merchandise and have it being fulfilled through through the google youtube arm now who knows whether or not that's actually going to come to existence uh .

Clearly right now this is just an uh a trial this is an experiment that youtube is that google's uh r d arm is doing uh there's no estimated time frame on whether this will actually be available to to you know the creators of whatever caliber whether you have like .

A bajillion followers or or 400 followers or whatever uh but i think when you look at everybody else's every other platform kind of doing this arms race for creators it's only a matter of time before this comes to fruition although uh doing merchandising in .

E-commerce is going to be very tricky there's a lot of complexities involved into it i'd imagine so uh this is gonna i think google will is right to be taking it step by step and toying around and seeing what could they do to uh make it easier for creators uh without going full out beyond their .

Wheelhouse yeah and we certainly know the power of youtube to drive um sales and conversions so i think it's an interesting opportunity for sure uh now let's get into a little bit of news from the instagram universe uh so ken go ahead oh man so last week there was some news from uh .

From instagram where they're saying like oh we're just gonna we're we will hide uh the uh the likes right they'll give give create give uh account holders the option to hide likes and it's more for mental health and and we talked about last week one of the .

Articles we talked about last week was influencers burning out right and and you look at that like button uh that like the number of likes you get and you can kind of get overwhelmed it's almost like you're being gaslic to assume like hey why do my art why do my photos get like only two two likes or what is my content my .

My real two likes wow well i know i mean i'm pretty good like everyone should follow me on instagram i mean clearly because my photos are my content's amazing uh but but like imagine but that's just for me right and and i i posted a photo uh over the weekend i was at the mall .

And i'm like oh i didn't see the number of likes rolling in and i'm not expecting like you know thousands it's like oh just you know dozen or whatever it's all good you know just to see just that acknowledgement uh didn't happen but it's like you felt this this i don't know this .

This angst and and when you're speaking so it's a matter of so hiding it is one way just to psychologically get it at the top of your mind but reality according to this article from the information that's actually the number the like metric isn't actually what .

Creators might care about the most in reality it's about the share right it's our people sharing your content and and in doing so it extends your reach uh extends your contents reach so that more people are are exposed to who you are and the type of work that you do .

Uh so i think as we look at you know the the the how we vet influencers how we vet creators how we vet like the performance of something maybe instead of just like oh it's garnered you know i can produce uh content that garners like 10 000 likes it's like how many times has it been .

Shared right and and do people actually a lot to say about this exactly i think we're just like i hope neil's just taking notes because i think we just got a lot of stuff going that we're just going to throw back at him it's like hey what do you think all right well let's get to some twitter news here real quick .

Oh yeah um so here's a here's a a slew of threads or tweets that i found or i think i mostly found interesting i did have last week a uh you know a um a bit of a reaction to something that uh our friend hugo had sort of mentioned about sort of investing in creators which got me to sort of .

Thinking about and scratching the itch about well what does it really mean to invest in creators uh and so you'll see um i have a tweet thread over if you follow me over at gregarious by the way if you are not watching the live stream uh or one of the things to note is ken has been sharing out links to all the .

Articles that we've been discussing uh we probably need to figure out how to get those out to our twitter account as well oh they're going on twitter right now they are all right yep so um but yeah i did put together a small graphic just to sort of uh categorize and summarize sort of the .

Opportunities for investment and really i think the most important part uh is really comparing what the traditional sources are versus say like the creator-oriented versions of them as we continue to move and react to this ecosystem next up we had twitter spaces in case you didn't know is available on a desktop .

So you can now listen to spaces i believe you cannot start them from the from the desktop but you can listen to them uh from twitter.com i haven't actually seen this personally on my own yet um so we'll see how that works out but i think it's coming uh at some point um .

Soon so that'll be great to see more desktop integration and this is really an opportunity for them to beat out i think clubhouse because clubhouse has definitely not been moving as fast and sort of uh diversifying uh the consumption endpoints last one there was an interesting uh .

Youtube video uh that um colin and samir uh who are apparently like the two most famous influencers now as of late uh but they have a great interesting chat with someone um they have an influencer on actually they talk about sort of the evolution of creator dtc as they call it uh with 1.0 being merch 2.0 being digital products and .

Courses 3.0 being standalone brands and then they were asking the question of what does 4.0 look like and i'd love we're going to try to talk to neil about this as well um as we get to that so uh with that let's um move into uh just a real quick note actually i guess um .

If you want to find any of these links by the way head over to created economy or createeconomy.com we have a link to our flipboard all the links that we consider for the week are actually flipped into there so you can you can definitely see all the stuff we were thinking about talking about and .

Then also ken creates a what's it called a magazine i guess right well we have magazines we have storyboards on on flipboard it's readily available to to find uh all your information uh that we cover and plus we have a magazine dedicated just to about all the news related to the .

Created create the creator economy outside of what we talk about in the show so where you can stay up to date on everything that's happening awesome awesome so uh before we get to the interview though we'd like to build in a little time so neil i'm going to bring you up now i hope you're ready .

Um but this is an opportunity for everyone to uh if you're out there listening on twitter i started a twitter space but my phone may explode because i'm running twitter spaces and clubhouse at the same time um so if you're out there listening and you want to raise your hand by all means uh .

Raise your hand would have we were happy to have you up here and uh neil any reaction just to the news part before we jump into you know sort of asking you some hard questions um well i do take a lot of notes on almost every single story so um i can give you lots of reactions i .

Think at a macro level um my reaction is like another week another like incredible addition of momentum and inertia to their crater economy right you know that they've been doing this for a while and if we were sitting here five years ago we wouldn't have had this much to talk about .

We could be gonna maybe be like impressed that like you know some more big creators joined patreon and that was kind of the news of the week but now you've got you know um tier one vcs like usb putting money in uh you've got fintech getting funded through mirror you've got um you know big platforms .

Building this like canon of creator monetization tools it's sort of emerging um like everybody has to have tipping and subscriptions and merch and commerce and affiliate it's like there's five or six things that everybody has to have um it's you know it's incredible but well you know one of the things i will .

Say um in terms of like what jack's sort of like continued very positive drum beat about the spinning flywheel the industry is i think a lot about like um sort of like uh expansion revenue and sort of uh you know like uh moving from one bucket to another when .

It comes to the crater economy because i don't necessarily think that um what we're witnessing in the crater economy is like this net new behavior of people taking their wallet out and spending money on something they had never spent money on before .

I think that a lot of the current um flywheel of the greater economy is coming from other places so for example i'm going to date myself like 10 years ago a lot of people spent billions of dollars a year on ringtones right i mean there were .

Companies that made two three four billion dollars on people like you know doing green towns with like ring backs like remember all that stuff so yeah 99 cents it was it was repeated right so you'd get your 18 t bill and it had 43 dollars and you .

Know aria grande you know i never got one ringtone actually i i never did either i didn't it's not a behavior that i understood but it was a very young person's behavior right so then something that we're probably more familiar with we went into like the .

99 impulse app economy and you know a lot of the money moved from buying digital media sound to digital media to apps and i really fundamentally believe that what we're seeing in the crater economy really like the first penguins off the kind of revenue boat is a shift in again .

From 99 you know app purchases into 99 subscription purchases because you're really buying kind of like creator access in some shape or form um i think that the the scale of those things has like expanded maybe like 10x at every single one of those junctures .

But um you know i think a lot of people are like somewhat skeptical like is there subscription fatigue you know it's going to happen all this kind of stuff and it's like no this is like literally just a change in digital media consumption um and so you know i couldn't couldn't uh argue you know or you know .

More vehemently in jack's you know lane that you know it's time this is time right and we're just looking in the very very early innings of what we're seeing the decentralization decentralization conversation is massively interesting as well i've lots of thoughts on that but i'll pause for a second and see if .

That that ring is true and no pun intended well and by the way neil i would argue you know we've we've always paid for creators it's just that they tended to be in this heralded sort of like very guarded place um surrounded by a moat of sort of like .

Very large big money institutions right like um but you know like you bought how many people bought cable just to buy hbo just to buy one show right like like how many people became customers of hbo for game of thrones and nothing else right yeah um so so the behavior's actually been there as well .

Right and i think that's what uh like even the cable complex has been scared of like unbundling um in a large degree because of you know sort of like that that breakdown right and so like you see like netflix um and other people playing around with these models like where they're like .

Well we're not going to release all the shows at once in one shot anymore because guess what happens i sighed up for a month and then i just watch all that show and then i leave right um and so you know i started i i i i agree with you that this behavior has actually been there .

The hard the thing i have a hard time with i guess as we look and think about the future is is the replacement income greater or equal to or less than what we used to spend right so right so i'll give you an example one of the common like when when i .

Attack our own space right when i'm like being pessimistic right you know what i basically say is i was like great people were complaining about paying 250 a month for cable are they going to really have more than a 250 a month creator bill every month right um and that's the .

That's the question to me ultimately right is like what is the individual sort of spend level look like and i don't know the answer right like um my guess is you know um you might spend less on more people so like again it becomes kind of a race to the bottom where .

Creators may might bundle themselves as we've seen some of right like where you're buying uh what's the thing uh that we write every right um where you're buying access to a bundle of people and it's sort of like a mini medium style thing or something where the .

Distribution is set um i don't know you know like but what are your thoughts i guess in that in that universe right and and sort of like you know obviously more people are participating so that's sort of the the calendar so i mean i think what happens in the crater bucket .

Um kind of at a macro is i think you're kind of your example of cable is correct right but cable is sort of one thing it's entertainment so let's just assume that like you know in the us people you know 200 million people are paying 100 a month for the equivalent of cable .

Right so what's that 20 billion dollars um and so you could say well the crater economy is basically 20 billion dollars like that's what people pay for an entertainment form you know subscription forms reform but i think that's unrealistic because creator economy is also education right and so .

Um you know i might have bought a book from amazon that's how i learned something i might have gone to a conference right it could be like experiential then like i don't know the math on that i'm sure it's another 20 billion dollars probably more that people spend on education right .

Um you know and so you kind of get out of purely entertainment and then you get into education it broadens it very like very quickly after that there's probably a whole bunch of other categories of that kind of scale where you add another 20 billion ad another 10 billion right you know whatever and you find you know .

Uh very quickly that you're talking about 100 billion dollars 250 billion dollars and just like such an insane scale that like no one is really like worrying that this is going to be big um i like every time like a glimmer of like huh how big this get kind of like washes over me i .

Just like literally like brush some stuff in the back of the napkin i'm like we're good no one's running out of money here right right but i think you're right though that like one of the challenges is um it's tricky when you look at your credit card statement and you see like 40 or 50 .

Things right i mean cable is a bundler right and so that is one of the challenges and i think this is we could talk forever about the fintech side of things you know i think one of the one of the big plays that's going on i just actually i write this piece called the crater .

Escape it's at my sub stack creatorscape.com and uh one of the things that i wrote last week is like this i really think the big platform players um are really moving to become payments companies at the end of the day a lot of people think of them going .

Heavily into commerce like through social shopping live shopping that kind of stuff but i really think that payments is kind of the secret thing that's happening here because if you think about what's what's really going on is that apple has a massive payments business facebook has a small payments business .

In comparison the creator economy is providing this incredible canvas for them to go in and offer an embedded payment system and you know when you're when you're staring down 100 billion 250 billion dollars worth of money that's really really big um and so part of why that's valuable too is if .

You think of what's really critical in this in like a subscription economy like the billing aggregator matters a lot so that building aggregator could be in the old days it could be your cable company for a while it was netflix but now i pay for like you know six different netflix equivalents um and i'm not gonna go and probably pay for 30 .

Different creator subscriptions only because like mentally when you're looking your credit cards you're like that's just like a lot of lines on a credit card bill so i think that what we're going to see emerge is someone like patreon as really a payments provider i've started to really think of .

One of their paths as are they like paypal for the creator economy or facebook or apple right which is their big argument and that kind of epic case going on as as a payment tagger here because if you think about my analogy the phone um like the literally like the phone company .

The telco was the payments aggregator for ringtones they delivered the bill to you and then in the second phase was the app app store for apple was the payments provider right it all came through itunes um and i think there's always been a payments aggregator .

In a new form of payment and we haven't seen it yet so the question is like do we get 30 lines on our credit card statement before there's a clear winner and when twitter announced that you could pay another tipping or membership subscriptions using patreon i was like okay there we go like this is the beginning of the payments battle .

So does patreon so it's two questions there is does patreon wind up being the att of the creator economy and then secondly can you to to kind of put us on this equal footing i mean we would talk a lot about creators on the show but there's also like pre i guess .

Pre-pandemic there is like years ago we were talking about influencers right and and you know those are it's like oh i have like uh 15 000 followers or i have 17 000 followers on twitter therefore i'm an influencer you know is is there a difference how do .

You define between the two can can a creator be an influencer and can an influencer be a creator sure um let's leave that firebrand of a topic for the la for the latter one because i'll take the easy one first um so it's fun to play armchair startup ceo .

Quarterback especially with patreon i believe that patreon has three fundamental ways they can succeed or where there's ways that they can go forward and like build an even bigger bigger value one is becoming payments infrastructure for the greater economy .

I think there's a lot of indication that says it's going to be a significant part of their business the second is and this is part of their uh you know not the last announcement the one before is where they really go heavy into becoming a discovery engine um and this ties back to something .

You're talking about first about centralization versus decentralization like around the mirror announcement i think discovery is like this very hidden but extremely on topic um extremely important topic because it really differentiates kind of like two types of companies the udemy discovery .

Type of company or the teachable type of company the facebook we're centralized we're giving you discovery or the decentralized version of that but the big cloud version of that or whatever the case may be um so uh that's the second thing and then i think the .

Uh the third thing is that i believe that patreon has enough revenue that they could figure out how to become a next generation platform which i'm calling like a subscription subsidized platform where they could be the next social platform where a lot of content is where there really is no ads .

Because they make enough money to fund all the things that a big company needs to do trust and safety and all kind of crazy stuff that you've got 30 000 people you know in a new building dealing with um but the only challenge for patreon is i think the there's a kind of a complicated .

Collection of type of formats some is podcasting some is video some is whatever and platforms tend to need one format that they can excel at right short phone video or something like that um so i probably stack rank the inevitable outcome of patreon in the order that i listed them .

Right where i think that like payments is probably the most likely thing that they just turn into a 10 or 20 billion business um they probably use discovery as a mechanism to just increase that business and if there's any kind of like a content play there um .

It's it's probably relatively relatively light but you know jack at all are very smart yeah i i think you're right um by the way i i've i've been pondering this idea i guess just is you know i i was running this by ken the other day but you know sort of are we in a post .

Post is a strong word let's say but uh are we like in a post ad like audience world right so i think like you know i think like when i think about the the early generation the current generation maybe even right of like the creator economy it's still largely driven by like sort .

Of advertising basically audience reach personas right like like targeting people right like that's why brand deals are so prevalent uh it still drives a lot of the revenue right it seems like what our aspiration is is to move past that right like to something that's community based that's .

Relationship driven that is value driven right where small audiences can can um small sets of people can be very or as fruitful if not more fruitful and certainly meaningful enough to a creator right for us to create like many more entrepreneurs in this domain and i don't think we're ever going to be .

In a world that's like post advertising that's like nonsense right um but it seems like the energy right the createtech sort of technology like all the startups coming up we're not really trying to invent more ways to do ads we're trying to invent more ways to like say how do we make the community more .

Valuable how do we bring the value forward so that you can focus on monetizing that part which is why i think discovery um comes because the underlying trends here of course right is like sort of this platform independence right it's sort of like these solo businesses now as .

Like to ken's earlier article right is that part of what i'm like to your thought about patreon like do you think they would they would not be po um they won't have advertising because they're not even thinking about it right or is it like because they imagine this new world right or is it just like um they won't .

Need it um well i think there's probably um a lot of data out there that would indicate that the consumer was interested in an advertising free content consumption platform and so i just think it's like an opportunity where there's like a .

Marriage of their content creators their ethos uh the time um where they and the scale that they've achieved or they might be able to um fund that like if you the three of us said let's go build an ad free platform be like great we need to have a few hundred million dollars because like .

Once the once the crazies show up and you start having to have the 25 000 person trust and safety team um like you get very expensive very fast right um but but i think like so you know um because i didn't want to like skip over your question about influencer versus creator right so .

Oh well well we can get back there because i think that sets it up for because i don't think people know what what neil's doing so that'd be great to know as well but continue sorry it does this is actually one of my favorite topics because um anyways well let me give you a little .

Bit of context about who i am and what i do and then i can answer the question we're always so bad at that you know we just jump right into things hey uh do you want to introduce yourself for the audience yeah yeah it's like those movies where you have like 20 minutes of movie and .

Then it's like oh okay um so um so i am neil robertson i'm the ceo and co-founder of a company called influence.co one of the things that my co-founding partners and i um saw happening is that people were going from being hobbyists .

In the influencer and greater world and to thinking of it as a profession and we also witnessed that you know along that professional journey really none of that was happening on top of it on top of linkedin linkedin as a professional network designed for a previous generation's way of doing work how they meet how .

Their resumes look how they connect with people how they find financial opportunities and it became obvious to us that if you've got 50 million influencers and creators now and that's when that was from 10 five years ago and probably heading to a quarter of a .

Billion another five years they would all need all the same things that people get out of linkedin but designed for design for themselves so influence.co is the modern professional network for the creator economy and really we believe that the creator economy becomes just the economy at some .

Point in time and so we think we're building a modern professional network for um really hundreds of millions or maybe a billion people and people essentially do three things in the platform they learn from each other because there's so much to know all the time .

They meet people because creator journey is a solo journey so you need lots of ways to push the network and they do have um can make money in a few different ways some of that is through branded content and we're also launching some direct monetization tools through our q a product .

That was a very long kind of setup to say that i've been living in a world where i've been working a lot with influencers directly and also in a world where i've been working with creators the difference i think some of it is semantics i generally think of influencers as .

Those who think of their audience as the primary asset in a way that they can introduce them to products introduce them to experiences introduce them to things where there is an obvious brand partner i don't think that influencers view that as a necessary evil i think the .

Influencers view that as part of the content i think advertorial is embraced by the influencer and used very intelligently to build audience and engagement and divinity i think there is the flip side is a creator who probably comes at something from a deep interest and passion in a .

Specific area of expertise and they sort of like desperately want to be able to spend all their time and energy on that and so they look for ways to package their knowledge and directly monetize hopefully an increasing audience to essentially support their habit um if .

You tick the venn diagram and you overlap those two things there'd be a lot of overlap there um you know one of the things that's fascinating you sort of touched on this is like brand dollars are the engine of the crater economy everybody loves to talk about crater .

Economy companies and patreons doing this 100 you know a billion dollars paid out whatever it's tiny compared to brand dollars i mean youtube paid out what 32 billion dollars whatever they said in three years that wasn't that was an advertising dollar that was .

Revenue share but even just straight brand deals that's like 16 20 billion dollars a year so i get a little bit um i think it's a little bit funny when people kind of like sort of like turn their nose up at the term influencer because .

That's where like the real engine of the influencer economy is going and also when people are thinking about taking this journey um in terms of following their passion most people don't have a large audience that they can monetize and so they start with trying to reach out to people that all sort of sponsor them branded .

Content deals and so um we're a huge fan of the continuum of influencer to creator i think if it really is like influencer and creator to entrepreneur right like and the difference really is that an entrepreneur has realized that they need other people to help them on their .

Journey right like you know you don't like no one builds a successful business gets up on stage at the end of it and says his or her employees i did it all myself right like that's just not the way not twitter works but there's many creators that have built incredible business that they .

Pretty much did all themselves we're seeing the development of teams in the middle so um hopefully i'm kind of attacking that like head on you know um can but i think the um i also think that like creator businesses content businesses are like small and medium-sized businesses .

There's a lot of different forms of um growth that you can go after you can do paid through adwords you can go seo you can do content you can do all these different things um and they just don't work for all companies they don't help all companies grow there is a constant experimentation and .

What i see happening is that the platform companies are saying okay great like there's probably five or six real ways that people make money like revenue affiliate direct monetization tipping merch um let's make sure that we have every one of those things in our buffet so as a creator comes along .

Hopefully they can like take as much of that off our buffet and think it's really good so they don't go get it somewhere else but like that's the like standard stack of monetization and you're seeing these platform companies like almost like um like make that statement like teach people like that's what it is .

And in that mix is either rev share through creator funds or rev through traditional advertising or affiliate or brand sponsor deals um that's still the line share of stuff tipping like very few people are making an insane amount of money at the tipping most people are making office .

Subscriptions or digital goods sales like courses some people like logan paul are making a ton of merch um it was last week we had that conversation we the information had this chart that we we uh greg and i went over and it showed this like this high .

It was like the amount of uh brand deals where where creators make their money is like heavily that like people that was heavily skewed in favor of as opposed to where else would they get their income from uh and it was like social tipping was like very very .

Very very small amount like but it's still traditional brand deals and those type of things are are the way to go uh greg do you want to start taking uh do we have any questions from our audience before we continue on with uh with neil i don't see any hands up i did shut down .

The twitter space because it was annoying me um but uh yeah this was this just if anyone's curious this was the chart that ken was mentioning um i don't think i can zoom in on it uh but yeah it brand deals 77.3 and and uh and new i know like i'm in our in in a slack that we're in together um .

There was uh you know some people were pushing back i pushed back on it right like you know i think like they were talking largely to sort of instagram folks in here but i i don't disagree like i i absolutely think um i i had a long thread uh i shared it out in the links if everyone wants to read .

It but i i agree like it's um it's a set of activities not not a mindset per se right like and so like there are activities when you're being an influencer and there are activities when you're being a creator right um and they have that shared common trait of .

You're both an entrepreneur like um leveraging sort of uh an audience or community that you developed or a set of skills that you've developed right um and uh yeah you know i think um i i i hate that the word is so maligned right like um like we've gotten to that point now the reason though right and .

Maybe you could speak to us a little bit and maybe some best practices you could share from folks where i think that a lot of this um the negativity came from was the bad actors in the influencer side right so much like you know the reason a lot of creators i think prefer that term and why these .

New this new toolkit seems valuable is because it lets them to have the freedom of not having to say what someone else wants them to see right and you know is it whatever disclosures you give etc like oh you know people you know skeptical cynical people will always be like oh really right like .

But if you say something bad are they going to send you anything good anymore right like and i think that would that separation and so we've seen too many people like faking things etc so have you seen or encountered or any advice for creators maybe just like what are some of the things .

They shouldn't be doing to to to their audiences want to hear about products they like right yeah as a creator too right so so how do you you know sway some of that so um there's whenever there's a new channel of marketing um and digital marketing is a has been a fun .

Industry to be in because there's been so many new forms of digital marketing whether it's like banner ads on uh websites or myspace as or whatever the case may be there's always like three phases the first phases were like teeth whitening and like you know um car insurance and like all that stuff .

That's super cpa driven they'll take the bottom of the barrel like remnant inventory and they'll just make money out of it that comes in and it's like very it's i call it like the the southern california versus northern california entrepreneurial spirit norcal is like .

Venture-backed and south carolina's historically being like affiliate and all sorts of crazy stuff like that are you sure you want to pick fights between socal and norcal ivy i live in southern california i live in la and many of my friends are insanely good at this i grew up i grew up near carmel so uh i .

Am a norcal kid but um so i'm a hybrid but um uh but so then you go to that first phase all right um then you kind of like come out of that and the people start to get like nervous about it and so you go oh well how many of these uh you know uh .

Cpms on these ads are below the fold right there's all this like scuttlebutt about you know if you remember google's quality score came in and like you know there's all this fraud like i mean display had like so many fraud conversations so many brands have conversations for years and years .

And years it's massively bigger than inputs or stuff and then like the industry sort of like figures itself out the business become good actors the publishers which are creators in this space become good actors there's a bunch of tools that kind of like become embedded in the infrastructure and like it just sort of goes away .

And so having like been around the block it just doesn't sort of like bother me like i just it'll kind of sort itself out it's very much like we've seen this movie already and like a multiple times i've already actually seen that i think that influencer kind of went through a little bit of a bad patch .

In the last two three years you know when scott does it cut and paste the instructions from the people and put them right into his caption like what time you should post like stupid stuff like that and i actually think that influencers a little bit coming back around again i'm .

Seeing a lot of people that were a little bit negative in the word influencer working it into their vernacular the big platform companies as much as they name things like instagram it's a crater account when they talk they say influencer and creator very consistently .

So i think you're finding that there is this conclusion that the answer is no one can really define what both of them but there are two of them yeah um because i haven't seen any company like say we don't talk about influencers that's bad stuff so i think .

We're going to come back to a little bit of parody because the flip side is um you know i think creator is a heavily overused word right a developer an english school teacher which my sister is as a creator right it's like anybody that like literally writes anything down for a living is a creator i'm like i don't i .

Don't think that that's the spirit and i think the counterbalance of that is i think that influencer has come back a little bit um and it'll just sort of sort itself out over time yeah i know i like that because i i feel like it's kind of like when we were clout .

Um and you know jason falls has his book winfluence right and and he really makes a distinction between influence and influencer right and so you know and i i forgot i'm still early in the book but you know his ideas like ultimately the influencers like the channel but .

Influence is the thing right and and both of them can have that right um but you know i think it's kind of like the car salesman thing i think that that that sort of idea that you're always just talking something is maybe what people are are trying to shy away from but i think .

To your point responsibly getting to a better place now before we close up sort of before we go to after dark um we have to ask you about this oh what is creator rising because uh i don't know my whole twitter was blowing up about this yeah that was announced this .

Asked just a few hours ago so that's a nice little breaking news that we can cover here hop off the twitter presses um i will say i will say one thing before i talk about that there's a reason we named the company influence.com and .

Because we fundamentally think that like i grew up and what i was trying to do was like build character but when i was working i was making money for someone else now i think this generation when they like think of their first job they look they're thinking of jobs where they can build .

Influence because that makes money for them that's the really like reverse in the sort of like flow of the value system that's happening and i i think if you listen to any podcast word in the world the word influence is consistent in the conversation and we think it's a great name for a .

Professional platform but that's just me i agree yeah good call early on in that yeah um so uh uh okay create a rising um ironically craterizing not influencerizing but that's fine um so i have had the pleasure of working with .

Tons of people in the in the creator economy and speaking to people like yourselves through great slack groups and discord groups you know um et cetera and one of the things that um is part of my history is i i come from a place where i spend a lot of time community building i .

Lived in boulder from 1998 until two years ago kind of went through the renaissance of boulder was very early on there had one of the sort of big tech successes that helped put boulder on the map um when brad feld had moved there and was building foundry group it was called moby's at the time i also .

Have done that in melbourne i've done that in puerto rico i've done that in a lot of places around the world i'm very passionate about seeing startup communities grow and the creator economy started to feel a lot like a startup community to me it sort of needed all the same things it needed .

Good organization of the invest investors the angel money needed good organization of the service providers there was um sort of like layers of kind of like mentorship from everything like how you start a company to how you sell the company it just did like good organization and the pockets of that have been organized .

Really really well there's great you know like we met through you know lee's um you know slot group which has a ton of uh startup company entrepreneurs in it um and that's been a really great resource for me but what um i think a few of us that have been looking at the creator economy .

Realize is that there's sort of like parts of it that are not that well organized yet because the creator economy has these funny dynamics if i'm building a b2b marketing company like a next-generation crm it's me and my ideal customer profile like those the two dynamics and then .

Whatever the big competitors but in this in the greater economy it's not just me and the person i'm trying to sell to it's me and the big platform companies who are announcing competitive products arguably every single minute it's me and the creators which are all different types of creators it's me and the talent managers it's me .

And us a subset of the venture capital community that sort of understands the creator economy and we just thought there was a lot of ability to like organize that better so that someone starting a company in the crater economy would be able to much more quickly figure out their orientation and make .

Progress in parallel with that it's always great and encouraging and valuable to give people money so three of us myself adam lurie who's at next 10 ventures who's going to be one of the most important people in the creator economy from investing perspective over the next .

10 years and christian gamble uh who is involved in sort of next 10 and influence of code as well we basically pulled together what we call the stimulus program where we are giving people um it's an application-based program and we're giving people 25 000 of .

Pre-seed money it's bring your own terms so if you just close around and you want to dump us into that great if you don't have a round yet we'll give you an uncapped safe note our mission here is to connect operators money and people that are in control of money .

Um which is still one of the hardest things and on top of that um one of the things that's challenging for creators is like it's pretty hard to find the first 100 creators to work with like even if you're like hunting around on instagram or youtube .

All day long like it's a pretty hard thing to do and we realize that influence.com has you know we have almost 300 thousand members now so influence.com is a sponsor of it as well where we give people access to our product to find creators that match their .

Um their software products and then a community product to sort of do build a customer community so it's just kind of a collection of um money thought leaders and sort of like software that we hope takes six months of time and turns it into two um so so neil in terms of the .

Uh so having covered a lot like venture capital a lot of investments in the past like would trigger like on a traditional business side of things right it's like oh influence your influence.com your company is raising is looking for funding and you you you announce hey we raised like x million dollars from these these vcs .

Okay i'll write that up how is that is there any difference say from greg uh who has his who he's a creator around the fitness space right gaining money from this is there any similar is are there any differences in terms of fundraising from that approach .

Because i think people that might be watching this uh like if they're like hey i'm my own person i'm not part of this giant business i need i need some sort of money i you know i don't i can't do there's no grants from like youtube or or snapchat or facebook that i can join .

Is there any similarities between how a traditional business raises money from a vc versus how like i would go to approach you guys approach your organization say hey you're you're you're collective can you help me out yeah so i mean fundraising for creator economy .

Companies and startups that are doing like ai or b2b marketing is basically the same that said there are some very subtle and important signaling dynamics that happen in the creator economy so people talk about product market fit in general businesses in the creator economy you need like .

Creator product fit which means that you really need to get in front of a bunch of different creators and it's not that easy to get in front of big creators right they're very busy they might have talent managers in front of them so we break down some of those walls for people because we have a bunch of craters that are involved in the .

Collective and we're increasing the number of people um and then also i think it's tricky to go and figure out who is really um got their antenna up about the crater economy i think like what we've seen is this evolution from it's very similar to like many other .

Evolutions of sectors where like the early days a lot of the brand name investors were not um putting money in so you see a lot of family offices that were putting money in that was kind of like a lot of influencer marketing companies got funded that way we're now in the phase that like um more .

And more traditional like kind of name brand institutional investors are putting in but like we hear about a lot of stuff but if you look at it then duressen and bessemer um and you know insight and index right like at the end of the day it's still a relatively small like group of people that are doing it .

And you see a bunch of other phones so there's some other great funds like signalfire um companies like that that are like starting to like really look at it not as like um we'd love to have a creator economy investment like one in our portfolio but like we want to make a series of .

Investments in the sector and it's like it's very hard um as a start you know or early stage startup founder to kind of know all that um myself and the two other partners adam and christian were very connected to like traditional venture capitals so we just .

Kind of know that information because we're talking to these people and we can just save people a heck of a lot of time and energy um and like the asset that you have the least of is time so while it's 25 000 from us we really think that the value is like massively more than that .

Because if we could just point you to one or two or three investors that are the right ones to hear your story or we can get you connected to someone who is at tick tock running the tick tock creator marketplace and you can get some insight into how they think about their business and it helps you frame your story or frames how you can connect .

With creators that's invaluable and that's what's your other alternative like go on linkedin and send a whole bunch of like cool linkedin mails and get no response like this is all community building and that's really what we're trying to do is there a difference and i know when .

You're when amongst founders right and greg has a often does a a get unstuck room on on clubhouse you know helping founders and entrepreneurs really figure out what's the next thing there's that collaboration is that is there that same camaraderie within the creator space .

The reason why i ask is i was on linkedin uh this this weekend and um i saw a post from uh daniel roth uh a linkedin executive he's uh he runs linkedin news over there and he had this and he's all he's fixated on well not really .

Fixated he's he's covering uh uh the the creator economy with his creator weekly newsletter the point and so he his recent poll was about like you know is should there do creators collaborate should they be collaborating and it seems like if you're you know you .

And i are in the same you know type of creative type of avenue or space is that that is that something that often occurs in the creator's space so this is such a fun topic so i would say like five six seven years ago by and large the answer was no i think .

That many like youtubers were like the big prominent stars were very cagey about what was working for them same thing with like a lot of the bloggers and a little bit because that sort of came out of the sort of like southern california like mentality and .

It's so competitive to find like you mind one good vein of gold for some like source that you can then turn into affiliate that you just are very play your cards very close to the chest um i've seen this sea change um in the last five years in the crater .

Economy where craters now are almost desperate to collaborate and i'll give influencers credit because influencers paved the way here influencers were really early on about like let me shout you out right there's like shout out marketplaces you can go to you know um .

You know people like look at like pair pop now and tiktok and like wow what a novel idea i'm like that's not the novel idea right they just rebuilt it on tiktok which is much more oriented at like kind of like shout out collaboration but it's been going on on podcasts how podcast industry grew .

Been going on instagram instagram live um influencers really forced the way for kind of a collaborative environment and now what we see in influence is people that are aspiring creators they're like desperate to connect with other people that are going through the same journey for mental health reasons .

For tips and tricks for like come like come and we'll walk around central park and we'll shoot content together i need you to hold my camera right i mean paparazzi cannot be done without someone else there so you can imagine like whole paparazzi groups which is like please come take pics with .

Me um uh but i think it's a really i'm so glad you brought it because i think it's a very subtle um transition that has happened slowly and then fast in the creator industry that changes a lot company like companies like parapop wouldn't exist if the mentality was like .

Why would i share my clout with you um but like now that's a very standardized mechanism for growing your audience ken let me ask a follow-up question actually a related clarification were you thinking about at the creator side or at the creator tech side you're asking me or asking neil i'm just .

Curious um if not i'm going to ask neil about the other side well no i think i think in general it's i think it's all universal i think it's a universal question um it's the creators of themselves are they prone to .

Uh are they is there a territorial issue at play within the creators themselves now talking about from the creator tech uh i think there's a lot more territorial issues at play because they it's like they want a it's like a land grab right you know we're we're putting out you .

Know snapchat uh uh facebook youtube they're throwing out uh a million they're throwing up millions of dollars at creating funds they're creating these new products and features and tools to to entice people and they're going to hold on for dear life and this raises an interesting .

Question neil from your conversation uh at vidcon yesterday uh you had mentioned something about this you're saying you it's almost like you're skeptical in a way and that's my word skeptical uh about these platforms that are launching these tools to appeal to .

Creators but it's more basically about shoring up their defenses against competitors i hope i i'm i'm i'm quoting you paraphrasing you could you elaborate on that so um so if you've got a bunch of different platforms um there's like let's say that that uh your .

Facebook you've got facebook video and your youtube and your tic toc and that you know out in the world somewhere there is some brilliant 16 year old that is making video content and right now she's got 5 000 followers but that woman is going to be .

You know a mega star right like you are desperate to make sure that they start building on your tool stack before they build on top of the other tool stack did they start contouring their content for your format short form content on you know tick tock versus longer form content et cetera and they're getting really like wed to .

Your products and i've had conversations with the major platform companies where they have described it exactly as this they are they are waging battles by buying like contracts like you know ninja goes to mixer or will smith did the thing where he went to facebook and not to .

Tick-tock him or what it was right that's kind of like a tried-and-true sort of like talent battles like old school like movie cinema like um like hollywood studios like buying talent from each other but really where the battle is being waged is in the person with 25 000 followers that might be 25 .

Million in a month and a half if things go well and so um i do think there's like a hyper competitive um thing going on here between the platforms um it's almost like someone like a scout looking in the farm leagues right and trying very desperately to find that like amazing like picture that no one's .

Heard of before um that said i think that the platforms are also pretty aware that like rarely does someone build only on one platform and so another thing that i think is happening is that people are looking at essentially their funnel from like just audience acquisition to like where they can get .

Like affiliate conversion to where they can get membership communities right really there's like a correlation between steps at the funnel and like monetization sections and they're figuring out what platform those work best on um and it's a lot of that is because of like feature complexity right so .

You know in instagram you can only have a swipe up when you have 10 000 followers and you can't put live links right which is why people roll off the link tree but like in other places like on youtube you can have a bunch of live links in your descriptions and um there's a whole bunch of like stuff that goes into figuring out .

Like what platform is the best place for different parts of your funnel and how to cross-promote and so i think they know that they live in this world where like it's not there's it's not a winner take all world um but they play parts of the game as if it was and parts of the game as if .

It was this very like um egalitarian let's all just like rise the creator economy together by giving them tools so they want the best of both worlds they do and i think the long play is let's just increase the amount of what's going on in the crater economy this goes all the way back to the top of the .

Conversation the jack conti's flywheel video right i think you summarize what's going on in the creator economy so well and you've got the platform companies almost backed into a corner where just the like the game theory math says they should play because they have .

Basically had game theory math says we're not going to play for the last five years i mean when we looked at instagram's api geez i don't know x number of years ago literally in their api terms of service they says may not be used by an influencer network they didn't want people to use their api .

For influencer stuff they were very against it right snapchat was like we don't like creators creators are like businesses we're gonna put them in the media side of our company now snapchat is like bear hugging every creator they can find in the street and ask them to .

Make spotlight content um i i do not think the platform companies were like bing like we should we see where we're gonna be in five years let's navigate there they have been backed pretty heavily into a corner right um and they're like putting on the happy face and being .

Like we're here it's christmas creative monetization tools um but i think it's more of a survival mechanism frankly than it is like that it is yet because things change a deep-seated ethos about what drives their business at some point in time i would say they probably had the same .

Antithesis with mobile mobile was like an annoying thing where the experience was slow and they hated delivering it and then they woke up one day like something didn't said everything's mobile and all of a sudden they become a mobile first company by the way now neil now you understand .

Why i asked that question actually about the brand advertising side versus the sorry because it really what it the real question there is ultimately how does it impact the the platforms themselves right because like to your point that behavior is certainly happening right like now you know i've said this the the past .

Few episodes i think it's all a shell game all these creator funds is just like you know these these are building moats around themselves to say like no no you don't need to go right like you could stay here right like um and the terms will will not be great but .

Friction is is worse right so um so you know sure you you could go try to hike it out on your own without youtube but then you don't have access to those ad dollars right or you know whatever it may be i would um i would love at some point in time to see a study where people tried to really .

Calculate the friction of platform lock-in for creators and to get a really deep sense of that right and you know i'm sure this happens in like lots of other industries where there's just like intense lock-in i mean i mean apple versus android right microsoft versus .

Everything else but i don't i don't think we have a really like good like mathematical sense of it like um the average creator if they move from short form video on one platform to another will lose 76 of their audience i mean i don't know what the number is right i made that up but like there's some number there .

And i bet you it's stark i'll give you a good analog i was had a chat yesterday with uh some young guys uh building a tipping platform and we were talking about the decentralized use case and they're like oh but there's no fees and i'm like my ass there's no fees do you know what .

Uh gas cost to take to actually take your money out of those platforms right that's like 40 you know i'll gladly pay for four percent to stripe compared to 40 right after you take out all the hurdles right you know like i had this existential chat with my co-founder i'm like so what do you think .

Twitch i mean twitch it's ridiculous it's 50 obviously right so there's obviously room in there but realistically speaking right those users aren't free either right like they're subsidizing them they're hosting them they're scaling them out right like .

They're recruiting them constantly um now i'm not justifying the 50 rate but i i guess what i am saying is most people don't do the math on what they're actually what the costs are actually to hold that customer where they are either right look i um we didn't talk about the decentralization thing but .

Um i think that there's obviously this huge um sort of like crypto driven kind of like mirror xyz driven um discussion about moving to decentralized social platforms but um i have always said one thing people exchange utility for privacy and people .

Will exchange utility for distribution and um i think that people vastly underestimate the power the platforms have over people when they can get them into the algorithm get them out of the for you page whatever and like you'll readily pay that 50 to twitch because you can go on twitch and .

Become a star like i can't go on big cloud and become a star like not yet right i mean i can't you know like you know go on mirror and have tens of millions of people look at my stuff because the algorithm puts me in front of them it's why coinbase .

Is the most valuable the most valuable company and those people have never bought an ad though so they're not aware of like what an ongoing marketing cost actually looks like and what it would eat into and how it would perform and all the work required to keep generating new and interesting advertising that would actually keep drawing new .

Customers in but we've got some folks in the audience i just wanted to create an opportunity for us to you know of course you know go after dark now um this is what this what does this mean by the way all right we're doing we have a little part of our show it's the last half hour or so it's called .

Creator after dark and the goal really is ultimately to bring the audience into the show so if you are out there i see some of you in clubhouse i see some of you watching on live streams um we don't just want comments we want to hear your voice we want to give you a chance to ask and talk to .

Ask questions and talk to neil directly um you know we don't think we have the best questions uh we know you likely have way better ones so feel free to raise your hand we'll bring you up you can ask a question if you're shy feel free to take your time and think about it even though you've heard us chatting for a while .

Um but yeah you know so i i do think um that this is some of the challenges i do have in the rush to decentralization is because i feel like um you know like there's so many parts that you have to be very careful with um you know in that transition and and if we thought like even like going from free to like .

Barely charging imagine the friction we're introducing when we're like oh no don't just charge like you have to go get a wallet you have to like do kyc right oh and then you can never get your money out right like um those those are really really high bars to like lay on your on your customer .

Yeah and like you know if you go i mean side note i'm a co-founder of a blockchain company so i'm not anti-blockchain i'm just you know it's just like i'm not either right i'm i'm hugely long on it but the state of the world is now right like if you want to send someone a dollar you .

Know usd in ethereum it's going to cost you seven dollars to move that one right so it's just not practical right there's other there's other like you know um technologies coming along to try to like reduce that but there's a huge amount of like .

Um sort of like like whatever rent seeking cost accidentally if you will right in in blockchain right now so um i think people there was actually a really um uh the decoder podcast actually had an interview with the head of um chiefly counselor for spotify .

The other day talking about like apple's thirty percent all the different like the dimensions of it it was a really really fascinating like um and like uh like honest dive into like a lot of these complex issues around like trust and safety and what are the real alternatives and like you know .

What value does apple really provide like but realistically spotify and apple they're not exactly on the best terms period no no no like he wrote their his op-ed or whatever one of the problems with letting people up on stage sorry but yeah .

I think there's a there's some hidden costs here that that i think like if we're going to have a true comparison that we should talk about right like i don't think i think it's inevitable that we end up where we've been talking about the timeline however is not tomorrow right like it's it's years right most .

Likely and the big the big folks they can drive people to action you know um in different ways than than the emergent economy i think right well and so i i talked about this concept very briefly what i call the subscriber subsidized platform .

And loosely it's imagine you have a platform where like some of the creators have relationships with their audience while a patreon and the core companies making money from that the core company company can take that to essentially provide the rest of the infrastructure for creators that are not .

Making money from their audience and then you have kind of this hybrid of a paid service and free service like think of it like purely in the video context i think it's gonna take something like that to uh emerge and evolve and have enough money moving behind it that um .

They can sort of like change the core ethos of the company to having something that's not engagement oriented and then we get into like a whole different discussion about decentralization and algorithms and things like that but it's going to take a long time because you need someone to come from .

Scratch and get to a certain amount of revenue where they can think about that kind of approach for sure satish um i see satish you're up on stage did you have a question for neil or for us about um anything we've talked about today yes yes so it's a very .

Interesting topic uh what you guys are discussing and yeah ken um really a big fan of uh flipboard i've been i think using it ever since it was launched i think uh the team at clipboard is doing a great job um so i had one question about clipboard specifically .

Do you manually curate uh the topics that comes up or do you use some sort of fun machine learning algorithm to pick trends to show relevant uh topics so how is how do you separate uh noise and uh fact checking content into your platform .

Oh that's a great question and a question why i get uh we get asked a lot um so we are we use uh we have a recommendation engine we use an algorithm that large and for most people that's this is what they get you know when this is your feed this is when you join when you onboard onto .

Flipboard you choose whatever you're passionate about and it could be you know as granular as uh the creator content uh as a topic or something as broad as virtual reality or technology science whatever right and those the content that you will that you'll largely that .

Largely surfaces in your feed in your main feed is algorithmically recommended right and then you can control we have controls so you can fine tune it so it's like oh i don't want to see from this particular source or uh i don't want to see this from .

Uh you know this particular article anymore um you can also uh you know you can also pull uh what other people articles that may be relevant to you based off of people that you follow on flipboard my role specifically as the technology editor is that is on the editorial side so we we we blend .

Both we have editorial and we have um human side and so it's kind of like it gives you that balance right because we we all know that ais can't necessarily give you the best uh news that's relevant to you um and humans also can't do it as well so we offer that blend and you know i think you know it was uh uh .

Neil you had mentioned it uh way back in the day way back earlier in this conversation where like it just doesn't scale where you have like you know thousands of people to to moderate something or to to do to do content right and that's kind of what we have at .

Flipboard there's no way that we can have editors for the the thousands of topics that we may have on flipboard so my we we pick the we have editors that are around specific areas such as lifestyle entertainment culture uh general news and politics uh i'm with technology and in science .

But also branched off into covering uh other ish other major issues such as uh the coronavirus pandemic so um that so it's it's a it's a blend of both of uh which is of of uh capabilities that flipboard has so do you uh in some way uh compensate uh the publishers uh or is there a model .

Where let's say there is new york times or there is an independent uh publication which is hey satish um i i think i'm gonna try to keep this focused on uh the creator space um but feel free to connect with ken i think if you want to chat about flipboard specifically uh okay .

Okay so even with the create created economy i had uh another question sure so in terms of uh the entire uh defy uh platforms i've been i've i've been personally involved in the crypto space for almost a decade .

I mean about eight years we've been accepting crypto s payments in our so i personally run a b2b sas company we're 10 year old and uh so in one of our product we've been processing it for almost eight years so we've been having some exposure on that .

Vertical um so you mentioned about the gas fees that's close to 40 to 50 percentage right so do you see uh this fees going down because i personally think uh for any sort of decentralization to be applied at a consumer level uh it should work seamlessly like .

Uh how you are using paypal so for example i should be able to deposit withdraw all of that happens seamlessly with and predetermined or at least realistic piece uh so uh how do you see that happening um yeah no i so it's interesting by the way i do agree with you i think .

That the overall general user experience sort of of d5 like broadly needs to improve um my guess honestly is that side chains will be one part of the solution we see uh and i know i'm be curious to hear some of neil's thoughts on the in this social .

Tokens and sort of create a coin sort of arena as well but um i think like some of these other currencies so it's interesting for example like with social coins or social tokens um like for example i have uh the ama coin on rally and in a lot of ways um we're designing .

Or um advocating the use of these coins as a way to hold um your or hold as an expression of value in the community itself as opposed to be using fundamentally as currency right so um so for example i prefer to think about like social tokens .

As gate as a as a tool for gating more so than as an actual currency that you exchange right and so a lot of one of the advice or so that we often hear here is don't use it in place of currency right like like don't use um you know eth when you want dollars right because of .

Like or any of these other factors especially though with social tokens so we say for example though however you know much like twitch say you have to have certain number of channel points to be able to like unlock a certain behavior that feels like another good use case of sort of um .

Of some of this uh these tokens in the universe right now i think on the flip side right um if we don't improve it so you know i think you're gonna end up with micro currencies or side currency side chains right like as probably the only way to sort of get .

To normalizing some of this behavior right and then building some more predictability into it because i think like for example if you want to pay your rent you can't pay your rent today right with eth right like you can't you know um etc and so like i think like there's still a lot of these fundamental .

Challenges maybe because the currency isn't widely spent right that these fees you know are there but also i think as we change the models like proof of stake and some of these other things that are evolving right to make it easier some of these things will have some impact but neil i'd love to hear what you think are .

Just in terms of like the broader ux and sort of like leverage here um one of the things that i really like about creator coins is they do provide a cross-platform mechanism to um in the same way that like link tree provides a clock across platform mechanism that's how utility .

Um it's gonna take some while for people to kind of like develop like they'll make them portable but you know i would love for example if inside of an influence dot co community like we have a product that's sort of like slack or discord if i could actually tip a crater that .

Was in the community using one of their coins could then go over to their site which might be their own website built on squarespace and i could actually buy a piece of merch using a coin or i could go and i could grab some um uh grab some coins if i was a long-term believer in their kind of growth in the greater .

Economy i think like that um that sort of over the over-the-top miss of it is really really interesting um the challenge there is of course finding this hybridized view of a crater coin as an investment to the long-term potential and a bet on someone versus in terms of like general utility .

Of currency i mean this is the sort of like natural problem of crypto right now um but i think that like perhaps many creators can skew more of it to kind of i almost think like airline points or mx points right like i mean higher in amex points and i basically don't buy off anything .

On amazon amazon that i can't buy dynamics points and i'd paid for uber or the dynamics points for a long time like there was a huge amount of like over-the-top efficiency that amex created and created an incredible lock-in to me so i might create locking to me with a crater if all of a sudden .

I've got a lot of utility in other places because i'm sure part of that craters ecosystem if you will that's what's most fascinating to me about it less so i'm going on big clouds and i'm buying fifty dollars of you that might be five hundred dollars in ten years right right .

Yeah do you see do you see on on your platform on influence influence echo like we as we're talking about the creator coins do you see a lot of your your members your users do like not only do they have their own creator coins is that a common discussion you know .

Like how prominent is it on on influence.co in general um so i would say that like caveat that influence is probably focused on kind of like torso mid torso craters right 25 000 to 200 000 sort of we have both above and below that um so it's less of a relevant .

Conversation there i mean i think creators in that world are uh i think you need to be on either end of it right you either have nothing and so you're trying to figure out like is this my way to create something massive or you have a lot you know you're a big youtuber and you're trying to figure out like what is .

How do i implement crypto nfts whatever into my kind of overall audience you know monetization or engagement strategy so i think it kind of like just sails right over the head of that group of people um but you know i i mean my sense of it is that it's that both nfts and also like creator coins is .

A tiny tiny tiny slice of the market um not that it won't get bigger but that like just like coinbase provided essentially like uh kind of a utility layer that abstracted all the complexity um you know if i could drop an embed and you know on my blog or in influences .

Um you know creator community or my link tree and all of a sudden uh now i've got i can accept payments and it's just like a form of payment provider um and i can do it on my shopify like maybe that layer of like kind of like um you know composable utility um for i think if you get broad appeal and then the problem with that is you .

Then have kind of reduced it to like a payment system and then the option is like well do i do that or paypal yeah right so like that's it's it's a tricky it's a tricky landscape um for for that's i think to have like very large breakout um success right now um short term great do we have any other .

Questions from the audience no that's it for now um and you know we're getting close to time as well thank you satisha we appreciate your question um it was good to meet you thank you guys thanks for being with us um and um neil any any last things you wanted to sort of chat .

About before we you know probably wrap up for the day um the last things to chat about um i know you had a new body of work out on creator funds recently yeah i mean we continue to produce oh well let me tell you about something coming out i think it'll be .

Tuesday of next week so um oh a year ago we created something called the creatorscape uh we actually worked with a guy named andrew canfield who built the first one in 2019 we updated it for 2020. there's like 270 companies on it it's just basically a market map .

Other people have put out market maps ollie recently just put out a great market map uh used some of our data and his own two um we're gonna put out the 2021 version of the craterscape and it has something like 483 companies on it .

Um so it's almost doubled from last year um and we published the whole data set along with that so um hopefully uh people will find that a high utility piece we've had to create where would that be by the way for folks um we'll put it out on my twitter which is uh neil r1 um also we'll put out on .

Influence.com um hopefully it will be so widely distributed you won't have a hard time finding it um you will not only share it as well so make sure you thank you that's that's going to be a big big body of work we're putting a lot of effort into it and it's just .

It's amazing that the number of companies has doubled in the last 12 months i am scared already of the 2022 version because i'm going to need a much bigger piece of paper to put all the logos on now let me ask you a question neil um in in the doubling there .

We were talking about previously sort of like um how creators being sort of applied sort of broadly to like every end user are you seeing like the misappropriation i guess like um at the at the tool level right and so i guess more um like how like you know like my guess is there would .

Probably be a thousand people who would say that they're a creator attack right does something to me yeah if if you wanna um piss off a bunch of people come up with the taps on i mean i don't know where to make it yeah and so um it's like yeah and so um you know when we put out ours .

Uh last year there was a bunch of people that were kind of a little bit nitpicky about where they fit ollie forsyth just put out one and there was like a bit of like kind of awesome so i think like what i've seen is that um a couple things there's there's so many companies now that we've .

Actually had to increase the number of categories so we added a newsletters category we added a crypto category i'm debating adding a courses category because like at like creator edutech is there's so much depth to it um so we've increased kind of like the the depth of the taxonomy .

The other challenge is the opposite challenge which is um there's all these platforms now that have become multi-category companies so you've got um you know uh gumroad is memberships plus digital goods you know you've got companies that are like i think mighty is events plus .

Courses plus community kajabi is you know everything and so like where do you stick one of those companies and last year we kind of like had this little escape hatch we created for ourselves we're like well we're going to put you in the tech in the category that you're best known for .

Right and because she was so young like patreon was known for memberships and gumroad was known for digital goods and it was a little bit defensible it's hard now where there's like clearly there's this um power dynamic emerging where you've got like facebook at all creating crater products .

To create like the standard canon then you've got like individual companies that are focused on like one sort of like beach head that they can kind of bowling pin that they can go after uh to try to expand but then you have these companies have been successful like patreon and mighty and companies .

Like that that are like raising tons of money and trying to become category aggregators and there's like different views on what the category aggregation is like is it around education of course it's like hijabi or is it around you know buying things from creators .

Like memberships and tipping and whatever which is more like gumroad um and i think like that's where a lot of the interesting action is gonna be for the rest of this year is to see like who turns into the six or seven or eight companies that are like we're bleeding thank you very much we're bleeding across the category lines and .

We're becoming a consolidator platform and we're making a pitch to the creator that we're not facebook right trying to offer you every single creator product but we're mighty networks or link tree or whatever and we want to get as much of your um you know your creator monetization flowing through our platform .

Um yeah so we had all these categories last time 270 companies and it was a pretty like i didn't really miss many companies like it was actually sort of like a deterministic problem back then i'm guaranteed that i'm going to miss a bunch of companies because by the time i go to production and i put it on twitter .

Three new companies will have been funded um i think that's the same thing with like the loom escapes right when you look when they cover different areas like you're you will always miss something i don't think was gonna take as much heat though .

Yeah because outside the space and he was here no no but but it's like it doesn't matter like it doesn't like lumiscape across whatever whatever they they do right and they're looking like scott brinker's thing which like 17 000 companies yeah yeah yeah yeah but you know it's interesting uh .

Neil i guess the broader question right like the problem that you're trying to reconcile is is a question that i hear from venture capitalists for example when we try to fundraise uh et cetera is isn't there just going to be massive consolidation right like so like where's your mind on .

That right like well so um yeah we're actually out raising our kind of next big round because we're influence is doing incredible right now and one of the topics that comes up is some venture firms and i would say like these are the firms that are less like our thesis is around .

The greater economy becoming the economy more around like wow this is a category we want to play in they want to pick the winner and it's like there's consolidation but it's like there's 27 things and four of them at a time are getting .

Consolidated so i don't think that there's a winner like i don't think everybody's going to say well kajabi is the creator of company like i'm a creator i'm on kajabi like they're just they're going to do a really great edutech and i don't think mighty is going to become the reference .

Platform for every creator in the world or or pico or whatever these are all great companies um but i don't know if it's gonna be uh like 40 of them or three of them right um and it's funny we had this great um conversation on uh clubhouse with about lincoln bio tools which has .

Like it's like a microcontroller because it's like 70 000 lincoln bio tools and the question is like in two years will there be 500 of them or will there be three of them um and so like you have it's turtles all the way down right like you gotta have this problem .

It's just funny you know like i'm in your um the accelerator program that you've been running internal like the the beta program and uh influence go and i remember on the the day when we all met each other it was like 10 companies but all of us had a link in bio like at least the capability .

If not that was like the primary thing that we did right yeah right and so you've got all these interesting like sort of like sub and orthogonal questions right like do some categories get a become features right like does clubhouse become a feature does link and bio become a feature .

Right and i think link tree would have to really like change its game for that to be true um it's so like the minute i think that like we're a little bit hitting like peak crater economy startup where there's just like so many companies they're doing similar things and there's like so much .

Cross-pollination there's this like new wave of dynamic that emerges where like mighty raises 50 million dollars and linkedin raises 45 million dollars and all of a sudden the possibilities yeah for what those companies could be in a year are very very different and .

Um we are definitely in the second inning of the game yeah i find it very interesting and you and i chat a lot about just trying to like lay out the ecosystem um i i actually i jokingly told ken that there's an arms race to be the first one to be the best cartographer .

For the space also right like we see so many competing models we got hugo's model uh um ollie's model your model i've been i've been working on one um luma's got like uh like some parts that touch it um you know my last take is my belief is that there will be many .

And they will likely be verticalized um right like like you'll have a leader in a domain right because like um your point the hub is is the creator or type of creator and then the spoke is all these types of tools that service them and then you even have these specializations where i only use this .

Wedge because like i don't do i don't have a book in me right or i don't have a course in me like but i do consulting and i do newsletter and i do this and so the other parts are irrelevant i don't want to pay for them i don't want the complexity of them .

Right etcetera etcetera right yeah i agree i mean i think like you if you are like a creator who's mostly focused on creating educational courses that's a very specific type of creator versus i'm like a fashion and beauty influencer who's doing a lot of product stuff right i mean it's just like those are two very .

Like different customers i will say though that like there are a few companies and this is a very self-serving description there are a few companies that are horizontal that it doesn't matter what you are they're useful and that's why link and bio tools are so prevalent and professional network is also a .

Horizontal tool because we can create sub-communities on turn up top of our platform just like linkedin does for lawyers versus digital marketers with their kind of group's product and so you know that's our our kind of like strategic thesis is like just like don't .

Have to get sucked into that game just become a horizontal play but you have to have a business that like naturally is horizontal and a professional network is one of the few things i think in the industry that is there are some others as well um a payments company would end up being .

Naturally horizontal too hence why i think that that's a powerful move i think um because what zealous does live shopping live streaming live shopping crm i think it's probably another semi-horizontal one right but yeah they're certainly horizontals without a doubt um .

But you know it it becomes kind of sales forcey right like like where there's still a massive ecosystem of billion-dollar businesses on top of salesforce right even though there's a substrate there right um yeah so i do think that's the opportunity for sure in the long term but .

We want to say thank you neil it's been um it's been awesome like you know we probably could use like a dozen more hours and and feel free to come by anytime we are here we'd love to have you you know join us at at any moment to chat on these topics um it's always fun uh and i'll i'll see you .

In the slack soon i'm sure thank you guys it's a fun chat and i love the format thanks it cool all right have a great one um so uh before we go let's uh just give by in case you didn't know uh we are here every wednesday at 3 p.m mountain time 2 p.m pacific uh and coming up we've got the next few .

Weeks scheduled out already next week we got matt zuvella from fame pick coming in um then we've got uh alex from get vocal fernando from superfans uh and mike donahue from subtext but what we are looking for are more hosts more guests to join us um so uh if you are a founder if you're a .

Creator if you're an investor out there who works in the space um we have do over head over to our website there's a link at the top to um to be on the show we'd love to have uh some of you be our guest we are definitely trying to represent more and more of the creator community in the ecosystem so by all means .

Uh put your name in the in the hat and we would love to see you uh and with that ken i think um that's all we got for today any closing thoughts look i i think it's this was a great show like neil just just again blew it out of water i mean i think i think it was really great to to get that solid definition .

Of of an influencer versus creator like i think those things often get tossed around and like oh you know am i an influencer am i a creator am i an influencer or a creator like can i be both am i just having just some psychological issues .

Like i mean that's that's normal i'm sure i do but you know specifically in this case like what what am i right uh so it's great that he clarified it i'm very keen to know to see where he takes influence to the next level especially to help .

Influencers and creators and builders really collaborate and come up with this new new thing because we we've been talking before like the this this the creator economy can be this wild wild west of of madness right it's of all these different tools like hey i'm just gonna uh uh uproot like .

Start this thing this another lincoln bio thing where i'm gonna do this social tipping or blah blah and everything like that but i think if the you have that collaboration you you have a better understanding of what creators really want and influencers really want and how they relate to brands and hopefully that'll .

Help to not necessarily bring order but like to kind of bring establish some clarity in this industry so that we know okay who's go like how are is someone gonna take the effort to build this sales force type of thing for creators are they gonna build something to establish something .

For uh like you know this some sort of standard for social tipping or or how to work you know this inter platform mechanism for for whatever features right it's like to really get to the root of what creators really want as opposed to kind of really again guessing it from from an .

Anecdotal standpoint right so uh and and the hit the fact that he the creator rising i mean could it be the could that be like the y combinator for for the greater economy i mean or or more like uh like angels hopefully it's going to be better no absolutely true absolutely true i .

Think there's a lot of potential many people that we have as guests on this show are on that group so it's like we know this is going to be an outstanding thing so for sure the my key takeaway though i think is just that um yeah number one career rising great idea um and and i do think it has an opportunity to .

Much improve the process right and i think what i really appreciate is just neil pointing out the nuance right because like it's very different um and and sort of the means of access into the space is very difficult and someone's been in space for a long time i can tell you how hard that is but the thing the last thing i'll take away or .

Just wrap to close is the things that neil was pointing out before and the creator escape itself i think is really important for as a creator if you're paying attention right because the smaller opportunities are really important if you're smart but if you're wise you're investing in the horizontal ones .

Right um like you're building the foundation for you to have a lasting business that lack that that's sustainable over time right you're building professional networking influence.co is a great product if you haven't tried it already or not registered so obviously go do that um but you know you .

Need crm you need all of these other things that make you a business in the long term right creators like the number one way that you will undo yourself is by not taking seriously the fact that you're also becoming an entrepreneur right work on your craft get good at .

That first don't worry about the business stuff first get the other part right but once you do start to think about these things right um it's so much easier if you start with them from the beginning and that's what i hope ultimately we get from building tools .

And creating this ecosystem is ways that you have to think less about doing the business parts but still be good at it right so let's hope that that's what ultimately like creatorizing like ultimately that's out right is a way for creators to be successful without having to sell their soul into .

The business world um and that's what i hope i can help with and i hope all of us are here watching the show and participating uh in the process so with that thank you everybody ken great to see you again my friend likewise looking forward to next week your new lights on we'll see you next week everybody bye .

Bye see ya

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