I hope your Tuesday is going well. Welcome back to another episode of Ask Ash, where I interview WatchMojo Founder & CEO Ashkan Karbasfrooshan and ask him questions about various topics, ranging from covering the news to giving career advice to students & entrepreneurs.
Today, I wanted to talk about the Creator Economy. People these days want to be creators/influencers, as the industry is not only hot right now, but there are several big-money opportunities to gain brand/sponsorship deals. In previous years, the media has hyped up economies such as the “gig” and “sharing” economies. I wanted to get Ash’s thoughts on some of the throughlines between the three different economies.
We hear a lot about the Creator economy. A few years ago, the media had popularized the “gig” economy and then the “sharing” economy. Are there any throughlines between the three?
There’s a bit of a paradox about it all, and indeed, the three share some similarities because they are riding three major trends and themes.
Disintermediation: Ironically, this is all a result of how the Web ultimately disintermediated traditional ways of doing things. It’s the power of the Platform, with the first one being the web itself, then desktop-centric services like YouTube on top of it which eventually made way for mobile platforms like Uber, which really would not have been possible without the iPhone. In any case, over time, a platform can be anything, it loses some of its meaning… and this is why something pretty traditional like WeWork in real estate sought to position itself as a tech platform. In any case, the irony is that all this does is replaces traditional gatekeepers with new ones. Hollywood is indeed over as we knew it, but in its place, you now have new gatekeepers like Youtube and Netflix. Be careful what you ask for, as they say.
Ownership: Whether we’re talking about objects/possessions or one’s time, a common theme across all three is individuals taking ownership, and use as fluid assets. Legalities aside, “it’s my apartment, I want to rent it out for a week” or “it’s my time, I will do what I want with it,” instead of being at the so-called mercy of your landlord or employer. There has been much back and forth, but in the end, there will be a middle ground.
Independence: At the root of it all, there’s this idealism around independence, but a bit like entrepreneurship, it’s a bit of a paradox… because you have zero stability, no peace of mind and are constantly chasing your next gig.
I see it as a bit of a paradox: it shifts liabilities – and ultimately responsibility – from organizations to individuals, so in that sense, the three share the same DNA.
Lastly, if you want to submit questions to Ash directly, you can do so by clicking the link here: https://watchmojo.com/suggest/AskMojo%20-%20WatchMojo’s%20founder%20Ash