You could take the title of Guy Kawasaki’s new book APE – Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, and replace Author with so many other creative disciplines. BusinessWeek, this week, had a section on Designer as Entrepreneur leading off with Yves Behar as the poster child. Will.I.Am has tried his hand at everything from music to technology. The recent Sundance Film Festival showed off a wide range of creative and funding services for the indie filmmaker.
The big difference is these entrepreneurs are launching specific projects or products, not companies. And doing it over and over. They are serial producers. Each of the entrepreneurs is leveraging democratization of technologies in their spaces. Each can take advantage of the recent phenomenon of crowdfunding, not go to traditional angels or VCs.
As Behar says in this interview, they are finding a sea change in how people engage in business mode with creative types. He describes how Silicon Valley viewed designers in the early 90s and how dramatically different it is today.
Differently, most are not exiting corporate jobs. They are, however, exiting relationships which are more designed to cover corporate margins and overheads of studios and publishers more than to reward the creative source.
So, what happens to the studios and the publishers? As Guy says in this interview
Traditional publishers won't become obsolete in the near future because there are always big names who will never consider self-publishing. For example, if Hillary Clinton writes her memoirs, I can't see her uploading a Word file to Kindle. And for people like Clinton, Colin Powell, David Beckham, and Nelson Mandela traditional publishing works quite well: big advance, details taken care of, appearances on network TV, guaranteed New York Times review, and an entity to fulfill orders.
In other words, they may become like headhunters – where companies like GE are only using them for top level searches. Technology is making finding mid-level execs much easier on their own.
Similarly, the average fan and consumer will find Kawasaki on his own, and increasingly through his own crowdsourcing efforts. Before his latest book was available for sale, more than 1,000 people had read it and many had posted Amazon reviews.