The Influencers of the Creator Economy (pt.2)

Franco Varriano
March 31, 2021
 min read

The Creator Economy, depending on how you choose to look at it, is unique from other industries or commercial sectors in that it's largely been enabled by the internet, new technologies and human creativity.

It can encompass a variety of perspectives, ranging from: entrepreneurship, commerce, influencers (traditionally semi-celebrities or niche leaders with large following in a variety of verticals like gaming, streaming, fashion, travel and more), and more.

In the first part of our series on the Influencers & Shapers of this new industry, we took a look at some of the most prominent founders and operators who are actively building tools to empower these creators and solopreneurs.

In this instalment, we're taking a look at some of the most impactful thought leaders, investors (angel and otherwise), and general champions of the space.

This isn't an exhaustive list and it's sure to evolve, so please mention anyone we've missed on Twitter and LinkedIn!

The thought leaders & investors of the Creator Economy

Li Jin, Founder & General Partner, Atelier Ventures & Creator, Means of Creation

Li has been one of the most prominent figures in elevating the importance of the Passion/Creator economy. She was part of the investment team at Andresseen Horowitz and continues to invest and create for others today.

Josh Constine, Principle, SignalFire & Creator, PressClub

Josh was previously a writer and editor at TechCrunch. Today he's taken those media/content chops to SignalFire where he's a principle. Josh continues to produce amazing content, basically everywhere.

Blake Robbins, Partner, Ludlow Ventures & Creator, Creator Economics

Blake was part of the founding at at 100Thieves. Now he's investing as part of Ludlow Ventures and is heavily involved in the Creator Economy.

Taylor Lorenz, Reporter, NYT

Taylor has an incredible pulse on the status and trends of the Creator Economy. She's been writing about internet culture, creator trends and more for years. A must follow for some very unique insights.

Peter Yang, prev-Twitch, currently Creator Product Lead, Reddit

Peter is an excellent writer and brings unique perspective to the Creator Economy - specifically for the builders serving this market.

Web Smith, Founder, 2pm

Web is the founder and writer of 2pm, a community dedicated to exploring how media and commerce overlap. While Web does focus on a polymathic approach to his analysis, Creators definitely fit into the picture and stand to learn a lot from his insights.

Brianne Kimmel, Founder, Worklife

Brianne launched her own fund, Worklife, to serve as a modern venture fund for several exciting trends around no-code/low-code, creatives and the future of work.

Matthew Ball, Managing Partner, Epyllion Industries

Matthew was previously the global Head of Strategy for Amazon Studios. Today he invests from his fund, as well as others and publishes incredible thoughtful essays around the topics of media, entertainment (movies & games), as well as technology and the metaverse.

David Ambrose, Managing Director, Steadfast Venture Capital

David is a seed stage inventor, specifically supporting the skills and knowledge economy. He's often sharing insightful looks at the Creator Economy.

Lolita Taub, VC, The Community Fund

Lolita is the General Partner of The Community Fund, which seeks out companies who place community at their core. She also shares lots of incredible resources for entrepreneurs, creators and other upcoming angels/investors.

Benjamin Brubbs, Founder, Next10 Ventures

While Benjamin is the founder of Next10 Ventures, he also helped build the early days of the Creator Economy while serving as a global director for creator partnerships at YouTube.

Greg Isenberg, Co-founder, Late Checkout

Greg is a serial startup founder with an incredible product and community mindset. Late Checkout is a startup studio where he works with, builds and advises a variety of startups and future-thinking individuals.

Hugo Amsellem, Writer, Investor & Founder, Arms The Creators

Hugo is a founder and builder, now focused on helping to build the Creator Economy space. He's put out incredible content on all his properties.

Ian Borthwick, "Influencer Marketing Guy", SeatGeek

Ian is dubbed "the influencer marketing guy" and has incredible insights and experiences on how brands can effective work with creators & influencers. He puts out tons of valuable content on Twitter and on his podcast.

Roham Gharegozlou, Founder, Dapper Labs

Probably best known for NBA Top Shot, Roham is the founder & CEO of a studio that's been building apps and crypto-based technologies for years. While not (currently) directly serving the Creator Economy market, Roham and his team have done a lot for the future of commerce and payment models and technologies like NFTs.

Akash Nigam, CEO, Genies

Speaking of digital collectibles and NFTs, Akash is the CEO of Genies, an avatar and NFT platform that's bridging brands, fans and more.

Jarrod Dicker, Entrepreneur

Jarrod is an entrepreneur and tech executive. He was previously the VP of Innovation & Commercial Strategy for the Washington Post. He written several incredibly interesting posts on the future of media, solopreneurs/creators and crypto.

Jen, Creator

Jen manages Justin Kan's YouTube/TikTok and launched a Discord channel for Means of Creation/Creator Economy fans.

Nadeshot, Founder, 100Thieves

Matthew Haag, aka Nadeshot, is a former professional Call of Duty player turned entrepreneurs with 100Thieves, a gaming organization and lifestyle brand. They were early pioneers in the Creator Streaming / Commerce space and continue to redefine many industries.

Niel Robertson, CEO,

Niel is the CEO of, a modern, professional network for the Creator Economy. He is also an avid creator of content on the subject.

Joshua Cohen, Co-founder, Tubefilter

One of the original sources for online culture, trends and news. Joshua and Tubefilter have naturally covered The Creator Economy and more over the years.

Nik Sharma, Investor & Operator

Nik is an investor & operator in modern DTC commerce brands. While typically not directly focused on Creators, Nik does share lots of actionable marketing, growth, optimization tactics that are applicable by anyone building a brand or following.

Taylor Holiday, Managing Partner, Common Thread Collective

Taylor is also more directly involved with the commerce industry. However, like Nik he still shares lots of incredible insights that go into systematically building brands.

Dr. John Maeda, Author, CX Report & Polymath

Dr. John Maeda is an incredible polymath. While he doesn't exclusively deal with the creator economy, a lot of what he's involved in and shares does relate back to it in someways.

Scott Belsky, CPO, Adobe

Scott started a design portfolio site called Behance in 2006. Adobe later acquired it and Scott came back to help lead their transition to the cloud and improve all platforms. He's an excellent product thinker, writer and cares deeply about creativity and creators - which he supports in a variety of ways, including as an angel investor.

What's Next?

Without a doubt, creators and the entrepreneurial transformation they're unleashing will have a significant impact on our culture and way of life.

Stay tuned for the next edition of this series where we take a look at the Industry Leaders - these are the established corporations and their leadership teams that have paved the way and continue to lead the Creator Economy.

In the meantime, be sure to sign up for early access and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.