📻 — 3 CEOs (FB, Spotify, Shopify) Talk Shop on the Creator Economy, Audio, and More

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Good morning yeniverse!

I hope you had a pleasant and restful weekend! I kept myself extremely busy by visiting a handful of places in the city and I made an offer on one of them yesterday! Pretty stoked to get back into the city that I dearly love!

Per usual, a few fun links from around the internets:

  1. Docker raisesCrown. Audio only, fast. Forces of nature. Templates on demand.

  2. Ghost 4.0PoopailTypingDNA. Zero to soldFireblocks. No BS marketing.

  3. Tweetideas1800D2C. Own an audience? Monetize your audience.

  4. Murderupdate. Common mistakes. Bitcoin ETFClipboard.

  5. Moore’s Law, all the thingsSpell. Words in YouTube. How to hire comm managers.

  6. Bunch of chat toolsCopyrightHyperwriteGroupsDayOne.

  7. Fun to revisit these old ads. Openreel raises. Human parts. YouTube shorts.

  8. Weed out bad classes. Image placeholder. Do it for 90 days.

  9. QAWolfFastcheckFlowspaceAudiotour? Respectful shit.

  10. MicrolinkOrgchart. Yup, precisely. Paid 1:1 chats. Less than 10 days.

To infinity & community,

— john

Josh Constine’s interview with Mark Zuckerberg, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, and Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke is an all-star lineup! Josh shared a few high-level thoughts here but I wanted to extract those learnings even more intentionally for our yeniverse — as you know I like to do!

They discuss the creator economy and community formation, among many other things; you can find the juicy bits here:

There were three overarching themes to the talk:

  • Creators are diversifying their monetization streams. Platforms like Facebook are racing to offer more on-platform revenue options to combat the trend we found in SignalFire’s Creator Economy Market Map of creators taking their biggest fans off-platform to sites designed for selling patronage subscriptions, merchandise, shout-outs, and exclusive community access.

  • Apple’s policies hurt. The may be depriving small businesses of ad targeting, creators of microtransaction revenue, and developers of a fair playing field. The speakers hoped to see Apple tell people what the gain from ad targeting not just what they lose, open its proprietary APIs instead of reserving them for Apple hardware products, allow sideloading of apps, let people choose the default app for core functions like SMS, and reduce the taxes on microtransactions and subscriptions so both creators and developers can earn a living.

  • The rise of always-in earbuds is unlocking a new wave of audio innovation. In what turned out to be a decent prediction I made in 2016, convenience of playback thanks to Bluetooth headphones and discovery via algorithms is finally making audio snackable. Right now we have lots of longer-form audio platforms and mediums like Spotify, Clubhouse, and podcasts. But we’re likely to see apps offering quick clips of news, comedy, poetry, just as blogging gave rise to Twitter.

On the creator economy:


We all hope that in the future the economy is one where everyone can pursue their interests and their creativity and can have jobs that are more exciting for them . . . Overall it’s not like one model is going to work. It’s not just like everyone is going to be able to make enough money off of an ads revenue share or something like that. But I think the 360 view of having all of these things really is going to support tens of millions of people to be able to do these kinds of creative pursuits.

Now you basically have these platforms that have leveled the playing field a bit and make it so that you can grow a more vibrant sector of creators and small businesses. For all the attention that gets paid to the stock market and kind of the biggest companies, I think that this is where the majority of employment is and the majority of the work that’s going on in the economy. So I think that whether it’s creators or small businesses, I think this is really important for kind of overall health and prosperity around the world.


In retail, we’ve always had a lot of gatekeeping. There were limited chances, which meant that the kinds of products that were created had to be very sanitized and have very broad appeal for just logistical reasons.

And so I think what’s been so amazing is now a lot more people can participate and much, much more specific products are being created because it’s so efficient to find the people who really, really like the things that you have to offer.”


It used to be before that if you were a musician, you just put out music. But almost every successful creator now is omni- talented and omni-channel. That means that they are on YouTube putting up videos. They are on Instagram.

They are perhaps putting together brands and putting it on Shopify, but they’re also putting out music and merchandise on Shopify and music on Spotify, of course, and touring. And so they’re really just doing a multitude of different things and connecting with their fan bases across many different platforms.

The future will be about finding your audience and finding multiple ways of interacting with that audience across all of these different platforms, finding multiple ways of monetizing them from when they are a casual user to all the way up to a super fan.