The Grid

Creators and Storytellers

Hey everyone. I’m currently in Houston for the week after moving out of Dallas. It’s a weird feeling after a decade in Dallas but liberating and exhilarating too.

Welcome to all 385 of you including the 11 new readers.

I want to dive deeper into why I call this The Grid.

A digital frontier to reshape the human condition.

This quote by Jeff Bridges character in Tron: Legacy always stood out to me. I remember watching the movie multiple times in theaters when it first came out. If I can remember correctly, I saw it 5 times. I loved it.

The idea of a digital world spoke to me and it quickly led me down a path to reading Ready Player One which looks at this issue as well. It was a conversation back in Write of Passage about the Metaverse that really put all of these ideas onto my radar.

No longer was this just the stuff of science fiction. It was coming to life. Kids buy clothes for their characters in games. Musicians were hosting concerts inside of games and online universes. A digital frontier existed.

Over the past week I’ve also listened to the Tim Ferris Podcast with Balaji about the pseudonymous economy and also watched as Doge coin took off. How this all plays out in the next year and decade will be fascinating to watch.

But I’ll keep going back to Tron: Legacy. Now I just hope they make another.

Creators are on the verge of a huge moment. If you are a part of the creator economy or put your ear to the ground, you can feel it coming. Clubhouse’s recent valuation and helping creators get paid, Substack’s rise, ConvertKit going into other creator verticals, and so much more continues to build momentum.

As remote work becomes the norm, creators will be more in demand than ever. The ability to come up with interesting ideas and understand the new distribution models makes them extremely valuable.

Most people that I know from law school or my time in the legal industry don’t have a clue how to use Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Newsletters, or any of the other tools that creators are embracing. Many haven’t even heard of Clubhouse.

And yet it still feels like so many creators are giving up and returning to the old ways as the world slowly opens back up.

James Clear wrote for years before he ever become the best selling author of Atomic Habits.

Jack Butcher spent a decade working in advertising world before finding all his success with Visualize Value and then NFTs.

Creator success comes from putting in the day after day grind of new and interesting ideas. Pushing the conversation forward in a way that makes people think, re-evaluate, and want to follow in those footsteps.

Each piece of content helps a creator dig a deeper moat. Little by little.

Each new idea adds a dimension to the architectural masterpiece they design. Little by little like the Sagrada Familia. A masterpiece that’s still unfinished.

What happens over time is that moat becomes impenetrable. The castle becomes beautiful and a beacon to attract other admirers.

But it takes so much time.

That’s why the momentum is building for creators. The ones who put in the time. Put in the effort. And trust that they get closer to the open air each day.

Creators are on the verge. Stay the course.

This past week I covered Storytelling in Performative Speaking. It’s by far my favorite topic as a speaker. We covered it all week with over 100 Fellows in the On Deck program. Why?

Storytellers rule the world.

It’s why it’s the focus of my coaching and consulting work outside of On Deck.

A founder that tells the right story, will capture the imagination of investors.

An executive that tells the right story, will inspire his team to achieve the impossible.

A speaker there tells the right story, will change the trajectory of the lives of the audience.

One of my favorite things to do these days is dive deep into the rabbit hole. I watch countless hours of advertisements, speeches, talks, history, and so much more to analyze what’s done well and use it to reverse engineer. It’s part research and part entertainment. It’s a clear signal that I’m into the good stuff for me.

Stories create dopamine and oxytocin. They allow people to connect to each other. It’s one of the best ways to create empathy.

Storytelling needs to be a primary tool that creators use. A storytelling creator will truly rule the next decade.

Here’s a great video from Nike. Enjoy.

See you next week for more on creators, storytelling, fundraising, speaking, and all things in My Grid.