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Day 24 — Creator Economy & Ownership

My first thought in reading this was "YUP!"

I'm lucky enough to have a pretty cool job at the moment that gives me the opportunity to work with some really big content creators: YouTubers, TikTokers, etc.

Their biggest problem, unanimously, is figuring out how to own the value they're creating. A YouTuber is only making money for as long as they stay fresh in the public eye. Once they stop making content, the checks stop coming in, too.

Playing the "status game," as Toby mentions in this tweet, is a means to an end, but it's often difficult for the end to ever be reached. There are no direct pathways to owning your own value in an economy that only values you for the eyeballs you can draw.

Subscription-based models better align incentives, but they're still flawed in that they rely on consistent output — nobody is going to continue paying for a subscription if you retire from making content.

At that point, full-time employment does look more attractive — it's more stable and can still allow for some level of creative freedom depending on what your role is.

The bigger question here: what does the creator economy look like in a post-capitalist world?

I think the first step toward answering that question is to align value with the source of consumption rather than the source of creation: I get value from the book, not the author. I'm entertained by the game, not the developer.

The problem, then, is figuring how the other end of the equation. How do we distribute value from the creation to the creators?