Content Creators And Tech Founders Are More Alike Than Different
Over the past few years, I profiled content creators and tech founders.
They exist in two different worlds.
The former primarily appear online, entertaining us on our tiny screens.
The latter operate offline, working to build the future in their respective industries.
Despite living on opposite sides of the spectrum, they are more alike than different.
Both are individuals having to compete with existing institutions.
Both need clout or credentials to be taken seriously as newcomers.
Both seek popularity orlegitimacy to stick around for a lifetime.
Both look to build their brand or master their craft.
Creators and founders walk parallel yet nearly identical paths. The most significant difference is that the founders have a more mature ecosystem that supports them. The most concrete example is the tech entrepreneurship scene, which has established well-respected norms such as the “warm intro.”
The equivalent of that doesn’t exist in the entertainment space. Don’t get me wrong, both ecosystems have informal cultural practices that reflect the “who you know” standard of navigating them. Still, tech seems to have more reliable, respected behaviors to help newcomers find their way.
Creators do not. When covering them for an official publication, I would routinely hear how they trusted the wrong person who stole or leached tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars off them. The moment they began to blow up or go viral was when they were at their most vulnerable to being taken advantage of in unprofessional ways.
When a founder’s company experiences massive growth, professionals in the form of investors, operators, and advisors are ready to help (ideally). There are institutionalized processes of raising a venture round, hiring individuals, and leveraging one’s network to continue growing.
Creators are a much younger version of founders. Founders have had more time on the order of decades to evolve and mature within the recent tech boom. Evolution-wise, they are distant cousins.
Creators, and content creation in general, is still in the early days. Despite social media platforms being around for over a decade, it's still the Wild West.
Founders and creators are two sides of the same coin.
Founders are credentialed individuals practicing their craft to build legitimate institutions.
Creators gain clout as they build their brand, hoping their popularity can help them become an institution.
Founders already have a reliable path from being an individual to becoming an institution.
Creators don’t. Will they?
I think so. Even more so, their worlds are starting to merge: David Dobrik founding Dispo, Launch House being a “content house” for founders, Cameron Dallas being the first content creator turned startup founder with a successful exit, MrBeast aiming to raise at a massive $1.5B valuation…I could go on.
We are at the dawn of these two worlds connecting.
I want to be the bridge between them that closes the gap.