Consumption of Creativity

Published on Feb. 13, 2019
We are hungry to consume, but we never really think about providing something and giving back. 

If we take an honest look at our individual balance between creation and consumption, the difference is as big as Tom Brady's ego. We’re hungry to consume, but we never really think about providing something and giving back. And yes, this is coming from a person who loves social media and watches YouTube religiously.

On a daily basis, we consume the entire spectrum of things - tweets, TechCrunch articles, co-workers messages on Slack, the freshest Hulu show, daily vlogs, Instagram influencer endorsed product posts, WeChat conversations, and a16z podcasts. Our minds are oversaturated with a constant flow of information in various formats, therefore, distracting us constantly and limiting our ability to output valuable content. Remember the joy to create anything when you were a child? Oh, the excitement and thrill to build model cars, do spectacles with stuffed animals, drawings so abstract that even Jackson Pollock would question his career.

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However, today the main focus is to grab onto anything and consume whatever is thrown towards us. The information you intake is very much like the food you eat. Constant overeating creates a feeling of discomfort and limits individual productivity. Continuing to indulge in worthless content provides an instant feeling of gratification but also long-term damage. "Fake news," I whisper to myself every other morning, as the scale shows that I have gained another pound.

We enjoy fatty, sugary, and savory foods because it's our instinct -  we get instant pleasure and a feeling of fulfillment. It's also natural - we tend to enjoy high-calorie foods to sustain our lives and survive. Deep inside we also realize that we should consume these foods in moderation and have something healthier from time to time. In the meantime, people are connected to confirmation bias, which means we are more open to receiving information that goes hand in hand with what we already believe in. It's a mechanism that makes it significantly easier to understand the world around us. We also consciously know that we should regularly learn new information, including concepts that challenge our existing beliefs. It's too easy to consume junk in all its shapes and forms, almost as easy as skipping the morning gym session and sleeping in instead. Thankfully the constant improvements of technology and automation will let us be more mindful about our time as well as eating habits.

AI is coming

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As I have stated in my previous post - everything is moving towards autonomy thanks to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is automating the routine aspects of our daily lives and not necessarily taking our jobs away. For instance, computers can quickly go through tens of thousands of unstructured documents in a heartbeat and retrieve the needed data for an analyst. Does it mean that AI will take my job away? Most certainly not. Rather, I can focus my time and energy on other more valuable tasks that are slightly too complicated for AI’s capabilities of 2019 (weird flex but ok).

The shift to autonomy is happening in the automotive space as well. If the car is going to be self-driving, what am I going to do with my precious time? Consume. Consume even more! With increasingly autonomous capabilities the vehicle interior will become another sales channel to offer more stuff. Poor soul of Marie Kondō, I sure hope she is not reading this piece. This trend is the complete opposite of her advice to “keep only those things that speak to your heart. Then take the plunge and discard all the rest.”

And I believe that's exactly the problem. Passenger monitoring technology will be able to see my mood and determine if I need a wine cooler or a bar of chocolate, loyalty apps will quickly rush through my redeemed products and know that Snickers is the way to go (because only an uncultured maniac would choose Milky Way). The lights in the vehicle will slightly dim and the newest single by Cardi B will play. It's possible that a smart scent platform will deploy a hint of the heavenly and enticing smell of pizza because I haven't been to Domino's in a while - maybe I should pay them a visit.

This is undoubtedly the leading trend in the vehicle and in-cabin experience space - to cherry-pick data about me and offer the right products. 

This is undoubtedly the leading trend in the vehicle and in-cabin experience space - to cherry-pick data about me and offer the right products. 

In other words - to create another space to consume goods or content. I'm hopeful there will be service providers that will focus on how to make the interior of an autonomous car more suited for creation. I am positive that I will be able to safely place my Philz Mocha Tesora in the vehicle, but is there going to be an option to set up a video conference? Will it be a well-lit space to film a review video? Maybe in some of the pods I'll be able to learn arts and crafts?

However, the future of mobility is just one small piece in the entire puzzle of consumption and creation. We are so obsessed with consuming that we are finding new ways to plug information or substances into our systems. Let it be skimming through newsletters that summarize major events in the world or smoking steam from flash drives, watching TikTok videos of people lip-syncing to popular songs or inhaling vaporized cocktails. Obviously, the data about us is going to be monetized and there will be plenty of benefits because of that. I'd just like to draw attention to stopping once in a while and clicking 'No' when Netflix asks 'Are you still watching'. Take your brain and squeeze something out of it.

Creating is not just about creating content. Create memories instead, make the moment count. Go on that exciting retreat you always have wanted to. One of my biggest phobias is forgetting great experiences and events from my life. I'm sure the oversaturation of information I intake on a daily basis has gotten rid of memories of my first day of school or the first time I went on a boat trip. I'm sure both occasions make great stories, but I'll never know again. That's why I started to take quick notes of every little event and joy in my life - it allows me to create warm memories and exciting stories to tell. "True news," I exhale as I'm reading about my first time trying chicken and waffles in San Francisco.