The beginning of a new era for creators

January 27, 2021

After stepping back from venture investing to become a full time professional creator last summer, Mario Gabriele — the talented founder of The Generalist — just relaunched his publication, as an owned and operated web property. In the process, The Generalist is graduating from Substack and leveraging a brand new pro stack, with Pico as its backbone (More details here).

This is a big deal. The Generalist is already one of the most exciting technology publications today (check it out if you haven’t already), and what Mario is doing is revolutionary. He’s proving right in front of our eyes that you can turn a simple idea into an independent media business on the Internet, on your own terms, and with minimal resources. He’s paving the way for others (we see you Every) and we’re humbled and honored at Pico to be his partners to help scale The Generalist and make his vision a reality.

Wait, what? How? Why?

By now you should have heard of the Creator Economy–

2020 has been a massive catalyst event for a movement that started 10 years ago with companies like YouTube, Kickstarter, Etsy, and others. YouTube was actually the very first company to use the term “creator” to define its native talent, using the site as a platform to create content, develop and monetize audiences (I know, I was there).

Fast forward to today in 2021. This ecosystem has grown dramatically. There are now more than 200 startups building for creators, and tens of millions of people calling themselves creators. Legacy platforms like YouTube pay billions of dollars (with a B) in revenue share to creators every quarter, and newcomers make creator monetization a focus point from the get-go (Hello Clubhouse).

Creators themselves have evolved and matured. There’s a new breed of creators today. The largest ones are shaping a new type of small business, led by visionary Internet entrepreneurs, monetizing audiences online through a mix of content, product, service, and community (aka the multi SKU creator as Hunter Walk likes to call them).

They are the IRL cyberpunks, the digital rebels of our age, leveraging media and code (or no code, actually) to scale without permission (cc Hugo Amsellem).

I have been part of this economy since 2011 and during my time at YouTube, I helped build this ecosystem and make it economically viable for creators. I’ve never been so excited about where it’s going. The future belongs to creators, and the world needs more of them to build a better web.

That’s why I decided to join Nick, Jason, Vora, and the team at Pico. We’re building for creators, with creators; We’re building the best-in-class monetization and audience development infrastructure for the world’s most ambitious creators. We’re backbone makers, business architects, dream catchers.

I’m thrilled to join Ann Lai (Bullpen), Charles Hudson (Precursor), Roy Bahat (Bloomberg Beta), Stripe, Erik Torenberg and Anne Dwane (Village Global) in backing this vision.

It’s called Pico. Join us.