The creativity ark
It is hard to produce quality content. It is even harder to produce content over and over and over again. It's something I'm starting to notice a lot more these days. Most creators tend to follow an ark. They start at the bottom like most people. They then rise to great levels because they're obviously talented and they're capable of creating excellent content that is inspiring and thought provoking and well produced. But after that a few things can happen:
- They can gracefully fall down and that can happen for a variety of reasons.
- They can sort of plateau but usually that also means that the content becomes less and less inspiring. Which means it's mostly a "technical" plateau. Their content is still well produced but the meaning quickly fades away.
- They can keep producing great content.
What I noticed lately is that this last category is also a synonym of low output. One example of this last group of people that comes to mind is Vsauce. Compared to other big creators on YouTube, his creative output is a lot lower. If we ignore the #shorts that are now published on YouTube, I think he posted less than 10 videos in the past 3 years. That goes against the common wisdom in the YouTube space which says you need to upload frequently to stay relevant. And yet, his videos are, in my opinion, always superb.
And when you stop and think about it, this is not surprising. Creating content that is great on an intellectual level requires time. Sure, you can make quality yet shallow content very fast. And there's plenty of examples of that. But great content, the one that makes you think is hard to produce. And I think it's getting harder to produce, in a way, because time is becoming scarce.
The fear of becoming irrelevant, the constant fight for people's attention, the pressure from sponsors and other financial incentives are forcing people to produce content a lot quicker and that means the content, overall, is becoming a lot shallower. And that fucking sucks.