Trends and Insight in association withSynapse Virtual Production

Move Over GenZ - The Creators Are Coming and They’re Rewriting the Code

Advertising Agency
London, UK
Tom Bedwell, managing director of Above+Beyond peers into his crystal ball and sees a working future for his sons that sidesteps the expected and embraces the unknown

Greetings from the hump of another housebound Easter holiday in the suburbs. The crazed bedlam of two boys under ten seeking constant entertainment and distraction, their frazzled parents attempting some semblance of screen time discipline while continuing to juggle the art of home working.

And it’s a hump made that much harder by the over-hang of worry and anxiety for their futures. Of what a year’s-worth of compromised schooling and social development will mean. Of the constant cloud of climate change and the nagging voice in the back of your head bemoaning the hottest March day on record. Of the cost of university, the cost of property (they’re never leaving home are they…) and the diminishing horizon of jobs opportunities as the economy reels and attempts to recover from recession.

Of the decimated high street. Debenhams, Le Pain Quotidien, TM Lewin, Harveys Furniture, Thorntons... going or gone. Even the nation’s sweetheart John Lewis hasn’t been immune to the pandemic’s bite announcing its first ever full year losses in 157 years as well as a series of store closures.

And meanwhile this young upstart the Internet is taking over.

ASOS hot on the heels of acquiring the Topshop and Miss Selfridges brands from Sir Philip Green’s crumbled high-street empire announce that they’ve tripled their first half profits thanks to some smart and agile pivoting to casual clothing in line with their changing customer needs.

Amazon continues its exponential ascendancy thanks to its dominance of online retail and its cloud computing arm Amazon Web Services and leaves Jeff comfortably atop the Forbes Billionaires List again.

And he’s joined by four self-made billionaires in their twenties, bounding spritely into the world of three comma bank accounts off the back of a digital wave. Two founders of food delivery app DoorDash ($2bn net worth apiece), one tech head developing autonomous car tech ($2.4bn net worth), and one entrepreneur dabbling pretty successfully at crypto-currency trading ($8.7bn net worth).

The world’s aflutter trying to figure out what non-fungible tokens are and whilst they are, artist Beeple sells a digital file for $69m through an NFT artwork auction with old school auction house Christie’s.

And when free-to-play video game platform Roblox floated on the New York Stock Exchange for $38bn, my eldest Frank announced his ambition to grow up and create levels in its multiverse and make his money from subscribers and players buying his creations.

It’s certainly something that chimes with the inspiring rally cry of Jack Conte, CEO of creator monetisation platform Patreon, who posits the coming of the Second Renaissance; the acceleration, democratisation and commercialisation of the creator economy and a generation poised to capitalise on an explosion of creativity in a way previous generations never could.

As he puts it; “Creators are about to have leverage. They’re about to have choice. Global creativity is about to be financed and celebrated to a degree that’s going to make the first Renaissance feel like a blip in a history book.”

Which from where I’m currently sat certainly looks to be a more intriguing career for Frank than the traditional and expected path to a 9-to-5, right?

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