Yancey Strickler | Co-Founder of Metalabel

June 22, 2022

It was an absolute honor to have Yancey Strickler on this brilliant episode of NewForum, filled with many insights about the evolution of the Creator Economy.

Yancey is a Writer, and Co-Founder of Metalabel, a growing universe of knowledge, resources, and tools that inspire creative collaboration, cooperation, and mutual support.

He is also the Co-Founder of Kickstarter and The Creative Independent, a resource of emotional and practical guidance for creatives and published by Kickstarter.

We dived into a conversation about what it means to be Creating in multiplayer mode, escaping Creator Economy, and the potential of online communities to make a significance in the 21st century. He also talked about the vision and mission of Metalabel and why it could be better structured over DAO when it comes to efficiency, effectiveness when it comes to execution, and making culture.

He also talked about the vision and mission of Metalabel and why it could be better structured over DAO when it comes to efficiency, effectiveness when it comes to execution, and making culture.

Who is Yancey, his story, background, and how did it all lead him to Web3?

Yancey is originally a Writer, and his first career was as a Music Journalist reviewing records for Pitchfork, Spin Magazine, and The Village Voice.

He started a record label back in the day and made a new friendship in that process that turned into the creation of Kickstarter.

“I’m one of the three founders of Kickstarter; we pioneered and introduced crowdfunding to the world, and I then spent twelve years of my life dedicated to Kickstarter; the last four of those as CEO and with Kickstarter. We were inspired to allow creators to fund projects without a middleman’s approval, letting them go directly to the public; let them set their vision. It’s now six and a half-billion dollars, I think that has moved through Kickstarter to creative projects in the last twelve years, so huge volume and close to 200,000 projects, I think, have been made through the site to date…” — Yancey

In 2017 Yancey stepped down as CEO of Kickstarter, and he spent a couple of years working on a book called This Could Be Our Future.

The book is a critique of the financialization of society, what they were inspired by with Kickstarter, trying to create a mission-driven company, and taking responsibility to its broader community very seriously.

Yancey shared spent a couple of years wanting to talk about the challenges of financialization and also to argue for and introduce a tool for a more pluralistic vision of value like Kickstarter.

Yancey expressed that there is value in standing by your moral beliefs and values in supporting others, and these things are part of what makes life worth living, what makes us feel good, and what makes for a vibrant society.

He added that the reasons why we want to live in some places and not others are all tied into these things, yet every metric system we have ultimately had money at the end of it, and that determines its choices.

“While I was researching this book, researching what practical paths could result in a more pluralistic world, where value is not simply attached to financial value, and this led me to public ledgers and led me to Blockchains as an instrument for ascribing any form of value to any object that could be digitally recognized, to allowing a something to be made available according to need or some action someone has taken before, and I saw it as just a space that allowed you to reset a value system and to design a value system from the ground up, and it felt to me that just the infrastructure of a public ledger as a Blockchain felt like a practical tool that can result in a lot of the things I am personally inspired by…” — Yancey

That made Yancey pay attention to the space and chat with many people in the space.

He added that Metalable began about a year ago, after writing his book, This Could Be Our Future.

Hear more about the Bentoisem, a philosophy his book introduces, a way of seeing life, making choices, using time, and structuring your organization in a more pluralist sense of value in his full interview.

What is Metalabel? What are the Vision and Mission?

“Metalable is a release club where groups of people who care about the same thing that could be they care about the environment, they care about Crypto, care about Punk, Rock, Conceptual Art, care about whatever, food from where they are from but groups of people who share the same interest, can collaborate and release projects together and it’s not just each person sending sub stacks into the void and working on their subscriber counts but its a tool and a structure that encourages collaboration, that encourages people working on projects together and by building it on a foundation of a public ledger and a Blockchain; you can distribute ownership of those works, able to distribute the financial outcomes of those works…” — Yancey

He further explained that Metalabel is creating tools and infrastructure that allows groups of people with shared creative interests to squad up to create a simple structure by which they operate and start dropping releases, which could be a new record. It could be a video, a protest, or an online gallery opening; it could be anything, but they are providing tools and trying to normalize a new action.

“The Creator Economy is a single-player mode. The Creator Economy is you being the lonely creator grinding to get your subscriber count up, being a Metalabel is creativity in multiplayer mode; it is you and five other people holding hands and releasing things together, supporting each other…” — Yancey

Hear more about the vision and mission behind Metalables and a drop release coming up in a few months that Yancey and his team are excited to put out into the world in this episode.

How does Metalabel differ from a DAO?

“I have always been skeptical of the idea that DAOs will change the world. I think online communities have already changed the world and will continue to…” — Yancey

He shared the difference between a Metalabel and a DAO. In his opinion, a DAO is a group of people who share the same token, hang out in the same discord, and theoretically vote to make decisions together. He believes very few people vote in DAO. Metalabels are a group of people who have the same interests and are releasing public work that expresses that interest.

He added that Metalable has a purpose, a point to it, an output, and not just a hang club or a social club. It has an intention behind it of creating a culture and driving things forward.

“ I think that a DAO is part of a long line of things, but I don’t know that I believe that in the long run, they’re going to be that important. I think the maturation of online communities is super important and will shape the 21st century in the way that maybe the 20th century was shaped by companies or governments” — Yancey

He further explained why online communities shape the 21st century by making and driving culture.

“Whether you are on Reddit, Discord or Telegram, or WhatsApp, I don’t know that the venue matters so much, but it is true that, say with snapshot or things like that, there’s tooling meant to make those communities slightly more structured, but I think that has been happening for a long time…” — Yancey

Explicitly what sets Metalabel apart from a DAO?

A Dao says are you interested in this coming on this discord; you can be in a social club and do what you choose to do together. It does not matter what you decide to do together, what happens. He continued to explain that Metalables intend to release culture. It is to make work. It is an artistic practice.

“So if you think about a record label, if you’re a record label that never puts out any music, that’s what a DAO is to me…” — Yancey

In this episode of NewForum, Yancey shared more thoughts on DAOs and why he doesn’t believe they will be significant in the future.

“A label is about output, it’s about making culture; the reason it exists is to make culture, to me a DAO never makes anything, I think most DAOs never make anything. I don’t think that’s wrong, it’s not broken because that is not its intention. Its intention is just to be together, and so I think it’s just what is the purpose of it…” — Yancey

Yancey dived very deep into the DAO topic explaining the pros and cons and why a structure like Metalabel is more efficient for making culture.

We also talked about the potential of a decentralized Creator Economy to impact the future of work and his suggestion on navigating the Creative Economy. The episode concluded with Yancey discussing the creative value and digitalization. He discussed his thoughts about the current hype around NFTs and if we should be worried that the potential to make a ton of money would attract all kinds of people who may not be as invested in the health of the evolving emerging ecosystem called Web3.

✨Enjoy this insightful and well-articulated conversation with Yancey Strickler!✨

“The Creator Economy is a single-player mode. The Creator Economy is you being the lonely creator grinding to get your subscriber count up, being a Metalabel is creativity in multiplayer mode; it is you and five other people holding hands and releasing things together, supporting each other…”