Creator Economy 3.0. 🎨

Welcome! I’m Ivan Landabaso, VC at Join 1200+ Startup Riders discovering new startup trends and leverage every 2 weeks (+ a little surfing 🤙).


  • 🌊 Startup Wave: Creator Economy 3.0.

  • 🏄🏻‍♂️ Lever: Nutritarian.

  • 💵 Recent Deals in Spain: UserZoom, Satlantis, etc.

🌊 The Creator Economy 3.0.

I love leverage.

I think it has made me gravitate towards lever-seeking fields (startups, investing) and sports (surfing & Brazilian jiu-jitsu).

The Creator Economy trend is fundamentally rooted in and enabled through leverage.

If you figure out how to build a relatively “large” audience by creating engaging content - you would have created a very high-margin advertising business, based mostly on zero marginal cost of reproduction.

🤖 An army of robots is freely available - it's just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it. - Naval Ravikant

How did we get here?

1.0. - Solving Distribution

The Creator Non-Economy 1.0 emerged in the 2010’s. Early creators were joining the big social platforms. Meanwhile, these early winners of the internet were solving the distribution problem, and pushing creator monetization to the side.

2.0. - Solving Audience Growth

In a second phase of the creator non-economy, we started seeing creators focusing on growing their fanbases - with all the products and services that came with it.

We also saw 2 key players planting the first seeds of creator monetization - Gumroad (2011) and Patreon (2013).

“It took 15 years of frustration and some early web platforms like Patreon and others to kind of force the hand of the distribution companies to start taking payments seriously as a core part of the infrastructure. So that's why I think the creator economy is happening.” - Jack Conte

3.0. - Solving Audience Ownership & Creator Monetization

As often happens - big incumbents (in this case, distribution platforms) have failed to deliver fast enough on a key user need (that wasn’t part of their core value proposition). In this case, the creator need = monetization.

Constine puts it perfectly:

The defining trend of the past few years has been creators sending their top fans off-platform and using tools from these new startups to monetize them. Paid subscriptions on Patreon. Tipping on Buy Me A Coffee and Cash App. Content sales on OnlyFans. Merch on Fourthwall. Shout-outs on Cameo. Meet-and-greets on Looped. Etc, etc - Constine

Today - 50 Million Content Creators

There are round 50M content creators - 2M making a full-time living out of it:

6 Tool Categories - Useful Framework

Hugo wrote a great market map and framework to help us think about currently available tools for the creator economy - across 6 stages:

My Setup / Favourites

There are so many tools I want to experiment with, but here’s what is on my radar:

⭐ Fun Is Underrated - creating content as a side-hustle needs to solve a real problem, but also be super fun for you. If either of those things don’t hold, you’ll probably get chopped up by this giant sea-monster and fail 👇

  • GROW: I’m primarily focused on Twitter. I love the feedback, engagement and real connections you can make. I opened the account in July 2020, you’d be surprised the access you can get to awesome businesses (I got my current job through Twitter thanks to Samuel Gil), and high-profile humans out there (i.e. I messaged Francis Suarez, Mayor of Miami, and he replied - what a legend). I also get visibility into a ton of great startups and market trends. Currently experimenting with Linkedin - I hear it has great organic reach (according to Gary V…).

  • OWN: I don’t really like the idea of “owning” an audience - its more like being able to address it in your own terms. In that sense - I built the MVP of this newsletter on Substack to quickly get over analysis paralysis (a weakness of mine), and just start producing (something I’d tell my younger self). I’m also exploring building a group on Slack or Mighty Networks for entrepreneurs, ponycorns (1-10 human team with 1+M ARR) and other makers. Still trying to define a crisp value proposition for an actual community group though, so if you have ideas please comment down here or shoot me a DM 🙏

  • MONETIZE: There’s a few tools in this space that I think will grow in popularity in the coming years. I particularly love the value propositions of Gumroad, BuyMeACoffee, LinkTree and SuperPeer.

💡 3 Opportunities / Market Gaps

  • Owning the ramp: We’re going to see action in the “ramp” real estate - think “link-in-bio”. Anything that helps creators migrate, engage with and have more “control” over their fanbase from traditional distribution platforms over to X.

  • Mid & long-tail creator monetisation: There is an interesting monetization opportunity for the mid and long tail of content creators - who currently are underserved when it comes to tooling (i.e. think of a monetization tool menu for your newsletter, depending on the size of your audience you may use affiliate links, sponsored deals, buymeacoffee etc.).

  • Production Talent Marketplace: as more and more creators transition from hobbyists to full-time creators, the need for outsourcing parts of the creation workflow will rise. Think about video / podcast / newsletter editors, post-production specialists, sound technicians, translators etc etc.

If you are launching a project in this space, please reach out through comments or DM as I’d love to get in touch 🙌🙏


Dive Deeper - Quality Reads:

🏄🏻‍♂️ Lever: Nutritarian

What you eat affects the quality of your thinking.

Like most of us, your body has probably taken some form of beating during Covid times - either by getting fat, not being active enough, overthinking, etc.

Here’s an 80/20 approach to re-fuelling - that doesn’t rely on any form of dieting.

In this nutritional science book (used by world-class MMA coach Firas Zahabi) - they share an interesting concept:

The idea is to become a Nutritarian - focusing on the Nutritional Density (nutrients per calorie) that something you may eat has. You’d know this intuitively - i.e. white bread = low nutritional value Vs walnuts = high.

Great for lazy or busy people who want a simple way to feel good and think better 🧠.

💵 Recent Deals in Spain

You love startups and want to enjoy a Spanish lifestyle? Come join the Spanish startup ecosystem. Here’s a list of recently funded startups:

Jobs @ JME Portfolio Companies

  • ⭐ VP of Sales @ DudyFit (SaaS Fitness) - get in touch with Mario!

  • ⭐ VP of Marketing @ DudyFit (SaaS Fitness) - get in touch with Mario!

If you find this interesting, please consider sharing with your friends. I’d also love to get your thoughts and feedback on Twitter. Until the next one! 😃

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