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MrBeast's terrible first video, Connor Price takes over the world, and the history of Creator Houses

Welcome to Creator 3×3!

Here are 3 Creator facts from the past, 3 notes on the present, and 3 thoughts about the future of the content economy...

3 FACTS FROM THE PAST

I.

King of Content MrBeast’s first video on his main channel is pretty terrible (and he thinks so too).

It has no plot, no payoff, and it takes over 30 seconds of straight narrator rambling before anything resembling content even happens.

Check it out for yourself.

Now just 8 years later, he has 218 million subscribers on this channel alone and another 120M across just his other YouTube channels. He’s got similar stats on the other platforms along with an army of channel clippers that infinitely repost anything he ever does.

This should be a wake up call for every Creator who just released another flop.

You’re doing the right thing - you’ve just gotta get better.

If you’re focused on improving something every time you post, you’re getting your practice reps in as you find your voice, style, and message.

​II.

7K → 19.8K → 238K → 3M → 99M → 608M

This is Connor Price’s total streams per year since 2018 from his Spotify Wrapped.

He’s sitting at casual 2.4M Subs on YouTube right now, but for the first 3 years of his music career success was far from certain.

I study Creator history because I think it’s really important to spread the message that “oh man this might not pan out” energy is a universal experience for Creators.

And for entrepreneurs.

And for anyone building anything hard.

III.

The first Creator Houses popped up over a decade ago.

Jake Paul thinks he started it. Connor Franta definitely had one of the first ones. Wikipedia thinks it was Big Brother in 1999 (lol), but I think it might’ve been The Station in 2009?

Creating is a strange profession. It’s simultaneously extremely lonely, but also incredibly collaborative.

And because it’s such a unique experience, Creators can sniff out who “gets it” pretty easily.

Creator Houses have helped Creators find a community, explore new narratives, and (hopefully) increase their content quantity and quality since the dawn of social media.

3 NOTES ON THE PRESENT

I.

Did somebody say Creator House?

Creator anthropologists Colin and Samir were just announced as the council co-chairs (should I read this as Kingmakers??) of a new IRL project by Whalar.

“The Lighthouse’s mission to help professionalize creators through education and community.” says Samir and will be a four-year, application-based membership projected to be around $5,750 per year.

They’ll open the first Creator House *ahem* Creator Campus locations in Venice, California and Brooklyn, New York, next summer and have a third location in London slated for 2025.

It’s a fundamental law of storytelling that people love watching other people.

People love watching groups of people even more - the stories get more interesting, interconnected, and dynamic the second you bounce personalities off each other.

If I know anything about this duo, the narrative potential of Lighthouse cohorts is off the charts - so I’m pumped to see where they take this!

It might be a bit pricey for some, but physical stuff is expensive so I get it.

(Source)

II.

Business and Tech Creators are the mostly likely Creator category to make $150K a year according to Neoreach’s 2023 Creator Earnings report.

This (perhaps unsurprisingly) essentially tracks digital ad RPM by category.

Creator revenue is pretty nuanced as a whole, but often the per unit math is straightforward.

More expensive and higher margin product companies have more cash to spend on Creator advertising per unit of product sold.

If your goal is earnings right now, definitely explore how you can tie the kind of content you’re making to one of these more lucrative categories so you can find brand partners with deeper pockets!

(Source)

III.

Creator JackSepticEye has raised over $28M over the past 5 years with his Thankmas Charity event.

They hit $6.1M donated in this year alone with their live show from the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles!

The Creator economy has donations at its core - sometimes that’s a great thing (like with this) and sometimes it’s not (Creators forced to beg for tips on livestreams to stay afloat).

There aren’t many industries that are like this and it’s worth reflecting upon.

(Source)

3 THOUGHTS FOR THE FUTURE

All of these future thoughts are pulled from Instagram’s 2024 Trend Talk

I.

1 in 3 Gen Z-er’s say the best way to achieve wealth was through some form of self-employment.

This attitude + content eating the world is going to make for a fascinating next 5 years.

If content platforms and startups (👀) can help Creators replicate or beat their local minimum wage - there's going to be a wild shift in how people spend their working time.

I'm betting on people making content about their passion, but I'm biased.

​II.

The majority of Zoomers report that they’ve sent a DM to a celebrity on Instagram.

They shared that sending that DM is “the best way for them to show their support and appreciation.”

Maybe it’s the Boomer in me (we all have one), but this blew my mind.

Message received (lol)

DM’s are clearly an important relationship building channel to invest in alongside your actual feeds (and of course - consistent “Relationship Channels” like a newsletter or Discord)

III.

Gen Z’s top eras for 2024:

Hopefully, it’s gonna be a year of growth for a lot of people.

End of Year surveys naturally tend to lean towards “Self Improvement” themes (surprise surprise), but I’m inclined to believe this one.

A lot of people are looking back on COVID times, perhaps with Rosy Glam Snap filters, and realizing that they missed a chance to really chase something they wanted without much downside risk.

There’s something important there.

We rarely get things right the first time, but we’re really good (if we let ourselves) at totally botching stuff, picking something to improve, and doing it better next time.

That’s what being a person is all about.

That’s really the story of Creating is all about too.

If it makes sense for you, I think people would love to hear that story in your content.

 

Did you catch the theme this week?

It’s growth.

And the crazy thing about growth is…

The only shortcut to growth is the hard way. 🫡

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See you next week,

p.s. if you’re “behind the scenes” of making content and haven’t seen how the new podcast Gwilym, George Blackman, and Jamie Whiffen are launching then definitely check out the trailer of Making It

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