I have never called myself a businessman, although all creative types must be businesspeople in some way. I started out my career as a composer in the classical music industry—I had to maintain an online presence, self-publish, write contracts, keep a payment system, etc. if I wanted any of my work to get performed. It all came down to the need to build an audience if I wanted my work to be sustainable. I wasn’t good at these things, but they needed to be done anyway, and they take a lot of work. Along my path, I decided that being a full-time musician wasn’t for me, but the question of audience-building remains pressing wherever one goes, if one hopes to do work that has any meaningful and lasting impact.
Approaching this question is more straightforward in some industries than others—when it comes to artistic types, one deals with a certain kind of people who are driven primarily by meaning, connection, beauty, and such parts of the human condition that are difficult to put into words but we all know are vital. The best artists are not necessarily those already at the top making all the money (sometimes, they have little concern for money), but we know that many of them deserve to be heard and supported for their potential to make meaningful, positive contributions to society. The currently booming creator economy is a testament to this potential, as well as to the truth in the idea that people can be empowered to control their own careers and do work that they truly care about.
Since winding down my own music career, I’ve developed and continue to develop a secondary skill set in technology. And as chance would have it, I’ve now found myself working for an exciting startup studio which sees great opportunity in the creator economy. It’s a great pleasure for me to rediscover many of the business and entrepreneurial concepts I learned as a student of music and administrator at a small arts company, and now with the added perspective of a developer, as I take on the challenge of creating a technological solution around a problem that will always be close to me: that of creators and audience-building.
Hence, this blog. To me, this is a creative and exploratory project with the twofold goal of: 1) documenting the journey of creating a new business—hopefully, with luck and persistence—from the very beginning, and 2) learning everything I can from the many resources available to me about startups, their economy, and how they’re built. I hope this project will prove both instructive in some way and entertaining to whoever reads it.