What is the creator economy? Female Entrepreneur Nicole Junkermann’s take on the potential of the fast-growing internet phenomenon

In times gone by, whenever scientists, writers, philosophers, or anyone else tried to predict the future, one of the things they got most consistently wrong was the future of work. Technology was supposed to whittle down our working hours and leave us all with huge swathes of leisure time as robots and factories produced everything we needed in abundance. Instead, it has blurred the line between work and downtime. We are contactable at all hours, and we are switched on all the time. We work harder than ever before.

What is the creator economy?

One of the more interesting trends that were never predicted was the phenomenon that we now refer to as the “creator economy”: the concept that alongside (or instead of) our day-to-day jobs and careers, we have side hustles in which we might, say, make YouTube videos, stream on Twitch for donations, develop a profile as an influencer, or create and sell NFTs. And yet now the creator economy is worth more than $100bn worldwide, with more than 50 million self-described creators (of whom 98 percent are part-time creatives).

In other words, many of us have more than one job, and our “creative” job or passion projects take place online, more often than not. In 2019, a survey found that more American and British eight-to-12-year-olds aspired to be a YouTube star (29 percent) than an astronaut (11 percent). “It’s a huge, huge market that is only going to grow,” says international investor and entrepreneur Nicole Junkermann.

Junkermann’s investments

This is where Junkermann has identified a unique opportunity. “As this market grows, and there is more and more content to sift through – more posts, more tweets, more Twitch channels, and more NFTs – then consumers are going to need a platform through which they can curate said content,” explains Junkermann. She has invested in Assemble, a project founded by Randi Zuckerberg and Debbie Soon which offers just that: a website and NFT incubator project called The HUG, which will serve as a community of creators and fans, who can talk to each other, review and rate NFTs.

It’s a groundbreaking invention with huge implications for the creator economy, and NFT creators in particular. No longer are would-be collectors required to spend time looking for the best content on the internet; instead, they can simply go to The HUG, and find works of art that have been created with love, by creators.

Imagine, Junkermann says, “a sort of Web3 Pinterest meets Yelp” – a futuristic and technologically sophisticated platform that melds reviews, community, expression, and visual art for ease of the user. Ultimately, The HUG aims to be the definitive place to go to find quality content. With it, the creator economy just became a little richer.

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