Building In Public

Sharing thoughts as we build Creator Now...
June 11, 2021. Man, I promised myself that I'd publish a bunch of writing this week and I published exactly zero. Too heads down right now on making sure everything goes well for the S2 launch next week — and honestly, zapping a lot of creative energy writing copy, emails, etc.
In some senses, this feels right. Part of the process of building or creating anything of larger impact are these short little sprints towards the end, that often come at the cost of the longer term, deeper work.
But what are the long-term costs of that? No idea, no time to think about it either.
June 8, 2021. Had a long chat with an old friend today about how we have to be guiding people into a deeper understanding of themselves through this process of creativity. I fundamentally believe the light side of the creative process is tied to self-exploration, and the darkside is tied to our deepest insecurities and endless need for validation.
We'll have failed if we taught nothing but the technical skills — like generating better thumbnails to get more clicks.
Let's be a lighthouse.
June 7, 2021. There's something funny about running a community of creators we are labeling as aspiring and emerging. As if there is some point in time when you can consider a creator to have arrived. Is that 100K subscribers? A certain amount of money paid out by partners?
What's the difference between someone who's trying to be and someone who already is? And how does that transition take place — is it in the world or in the mind?
June 2, 2021. How do you create structures with enough flexibility and enough rigidity to keep you focused without compromising future optionality?
When you don't know what the path is, how do you back track the business, technical, and team structures that will allow you to grow how you best decide in two days, months, or years from now?
June 1, 2021. Something we're learning is: rate of engagement attrition in communities is very high. Every person I've talked to about it says, "that's just how it goes."
The question I keep asking is: is this a problem worth solving?
Dunbar's Number tries to explain how to build a community to a size that keeps engagement rate of return high, but does it already assume you'll lose a % of that to natural inactivity?
For humans, excitement ALWAYS peaks in the beginning, which is quickly followed by a dip. Doesn't matter whether it's a school project or the movie you have your entire career hinged on.
It's hard to be consistent, but I think there's a way to design an environment that promotes consistency. We just need a clear starting point, end point, and milestones in between. Our brains need to process experiences in the smallest chunks possible.
May 31, 2021. Thinking a lot today about the "night club" analogy that a lot of community builders use. The philosophy is: make it exclusive so the first people in set the scene and make other cool people want to join.
You can let all the "normies" in later.
But for me, there's a clear trade-off in building a community that starts with status as its core driver. That trade-off most relates to accessibility, but also to utility.
I think of digital creativity as one potential pathway towards greater personal agency, and economic freedom. I want more people to access that, not less.
OnDeck fails at its mission if it only accepts Ivy League grads, but also fails if it accepts everyone. What's that tipping point for them, and what's it for us?
Is it possible to create a community culture that naturally attracts A-players, and helps B-players become A-players, and C-players become B-players, and so on?
Can we build a place that asks people to level up, rather than only letting without compromising the experience of those who are ten steps head?
I don't know the answers yet. But I know the feeling...
It's an antifragile community of sorts. Comprised of mostly outsiders.