..and welcome to the Creator Economy

As Michael Krasny noted in his recent “Forum” interview with futurist Paul Saffo, what better way to mark a new year than by talking about the future. I encourage anyone interested in economic trends and the effects of emerging technologies to take a listen. Saffo covers lots of ideas in the interview, including his prediction U.S. will cease to exist as a nation and we’ll become a collection of city states, the new challenge of coping with uncertaintly and volatility and the three models of world capitalism. One of the most fascinating topics is that we’ve come into a “Creator Economy.” Following the producer trend (mid 1800’s-1940’s) and the consumer trend (1950s-1990s), we are in the midst of a 3rd important economic trend, characterized by the exchange of value via interactive media. Used it be that to produce a radio show like Krasny’s, you had to be affiliated with a radio station. Now anyone can create a podcast. All our interactions on YouTube, Flickr and Twitter contribute to the creator economy.

Implications of the Creator Economy for design are enormous. If the creator economy is about enabling people to create and share value, how can we prepare kids for this economy? What will be the implications to non-web product design, and how will new offline business models engage us to create value? Should be an amazing century!

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