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Hey Everyone 👋 ,
A lot of the topics I write about on Digital Native each week fall under the “creator” umbrella. The creator phenomenon is broad: it encompasses social, gaming, crypto, media, commerce. It’s both the future of work—as creators are entrepreneurs native to the internet—and the future of our leisure time.
We’re bringing together entrepreneurs in our portfolio and in the broader ecosystem, as well as top creators, for the inaugural Index Creator Summit. The Summit is next Thursday, October 21st starting at 9:00am PT.
It’s open to everyone, and you can register here:
If you’re at all interested in these topics, we’d love to see you there. We’ll have seven sessions—you can join for any or all. Below are the topics and speakers for the Summit. See you on Thursday! 🎟
🤔 Why Is Everyone Talking About Creators?
Jack may have been the first person to use the word “creator”—over a decade ago—and with Patreon he’s reinvented the economic relationship between creator and patron.
And to Danny’s credit, he saw this movement before almost anyone: from early investments in Etsy and Soundcloud over a decade ago, to leading Figma’s Seed round and Patreon’s Series A.
🎨 The Past & Present Renaissance
There are interesting parallels between the Renaissance and today’s explosion of creativity. In the 15th and 16th centuries, innovations like the development of perspective in oil painting unlocked new forms of expression. Today, innovations in software tools and internet platforms are doing the same.
Stanford’s Paula Findlen is the world’s leading expert on the Renaissance. She speaks with our partner Sarah Cannon on how we’re entering a second, digital Renaissance.
📹 The Creator Perspective
Being a creator is being formalized as a new form of work—but there are still challenges. I’m moderating a panel with top creators about what it’s like to be your own digitally-native business. As one half of The Chainsmokers, the highest-paid DJs in the world, Alex Pall understands how music is changing. Josh Richards is a 19-year-old with 25 million TikTok followers who has launched almost a dozen businesses. Shelby Church is a popular YouTuber who shares extensively about how creator monetization is broken, including this post about how a video with 3,907,000 views made her only $1,275.99. And CodeMiko is one of the most fascinating creators alive—she uses the Unreal Engine and a $30,000 motion-capture suit to forge a digital persona that she streams on Twitch.
⭐️ Exploring Digital Identity
Social platforms shape how we form our identities online. Our principal Georgia Stevenson speaks with Jim Shepherd of Snap and Kudzi Chikumbu of TikTok about how their respective platforms influence expression. Alex Zaccaria, the co-founder and CEO of Linktree, shares how people use Linktree as the connective tissue for digital identity. And Alex Masmej of Showtime shares the crypto perspective: Alex was the first person to tokenize himself, with $ALEX raising $20,000 to fund Alex’s move from Paris to San Francisco to start Showtime.
💰 The Evolution of Creator Monetization
One of our theses at Index is that the same infrastructure that was built for small businesses over the last 100 years will need to be rebuilt for creators. Creators are the new businesses, but they’re sorely lacking infrastructure. Printify helps a creator make and sell custom products, EQL is a platform for hype commerce, and Creative Juice is building the financial tools for creators to manage and grow their businesses.
The founders talks with our partner Mark Goldberg and the multi-hyphenate Harry Stebbings about how creators can earn a living in the digital economy.
🚀 The Road to the Metaverse
The metaverse feels like a far off vision, but the bricks are being laid. Rec Room and Gather, two companies we’re lucky to work with, are building immersive, vibrant virtual worlds. And crypto will make digital economies more valuable. OpenSea is the largest NFT marketplace, doing over $3 billion in transaction volume per month; it is the marketplace for digital goods in the metaverse.
The founders of Rec Room, Gather, and OpenSea—Nick, Phillip, and Devin—speak with our partner Sarah Cannon about our digital future.
🤝 Closing Fireside: Creators & Communities
Creators and communities are the lifeblood of the internet. We’ve watched Discord swell to millions of active servers—each the living, breathing nucleus of a community.
Our partner Danny Rimer will close out the Summit in a fireside chat with Jason Citron, the co-founder and CEO of Discord.
Register for the Summit here—hope to see you next Thursday! 🎉
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