The Creator Economy

I have been capturing my research and opinions on the creator economy via this newsletter since Jan 2020.

My day job is investing in amazing enterprise and consumer startups in the creator economy, and partnering with amazing entrepreneurs to co-found startups that leverage our collective experience and address gaps and opportunities in the industry. I have been on this path since Mar 2018.

My Background

I was born in San Francisco, and grew up in the Bay Area. If there was YouTube when I was a teen, I would have been a YouTuber. Instead, I spent my tween and teen years producing a TV show on the local cable access network, appearing on KNBR radio with sports reports, writing for the Alameda Newspaper Group’s papers including the Oakland Tribune, and working as a production assistant for a live sports television show.

In 2000, I traveled to Singapore to intern at Yahoo!, and landed a full-time role in Jan 2001 to lead the newly formed business unit tasked to launch Yahoo! Broadcast (born from the Broadcast.com acquisition) in the Southeast Asia region. It was the early days of video streaming where broadband was 128 kbps. Mobile web was non-existent. We focused on the enterprise market. Many of the use cases we experienced in 2020 with things like virtual conferences were things I experienced in 2003 after the onset of SARS.

I ended up spending 15 years living and working in the Asia region — many more years than I originally planned. After Yahoo!, I led marketing for eBay in several Asian markets with a focus on bringing buyers and sellers online for the first time, and saw how young sellers were forming brands, communities and substantial businesses on the back of the leading e-commerce platform at the time.

My experience leading the digital business unit for Turner Broadcasting in 2008 shaped my views on how IP and franchises could be built and transformed online, how consumers would spend money on virtual goods in mobile and multiplayer games, and how to navigate developing IP and managing vocal fan bases in China.

I was fortunate to join YouTube in 2012 as it was expanding operations in Asia, and being tasked with growing the creator community in the region. After creating YouTube FanFest and joining the founding team of YouTube Kids, I took the opportunity to relocate to the US and lead a global team that manages YouTube’s relationships and investments into the top creators on the platform. I realized working inside YouTube that the creator economy was just getting started, and made the jump in 2018 to focus on this area full-time.

If you don’t just want to read my points of view, but want to connect and collaborate, reach out to me on LinkedIn. I co-founded one startup in 2020 with an entrepreneur I met via a cold email on LinkedIn.