As the world discovered that more American kids wanted to become YouTubers than astronauts and that Kylie Jenner became the world’s youngest billionaire, the term “creator” entered a pivotal moment: It became the way to define a whole new generation of internet explorers. Then, people started to ask:

But what really is a creator?

The definition of a creator

The struggle we have to define what a “creator” is reminds me a lot of the struggle we had to define what a “startup” was. …

Exactly a year ago, we decided to go on a European tour with The Family. A bit like rockstars (but without the screaming fans), we headed to 13 cities over 9 months and explored their respective tech ecosystems. Lisbon, Tallinn, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Budapest, Kyiv, Warsaw, Prague, Brussels & Madrid; we learned a lot.

But we realized Europe doesn’t exist. What? Let me explain 😄

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The stories you hear about Berlin today are like the light from distant stars: they’re coming from the past. Most people still believe you can find 200 m2 apartments for less than €1k/month, pay engineers less than a Community Manager in San Francisco & burn money like it’s 2012 at Rocket! 🚀

These have become tech hub myths in 2018 Berlin, and they are worth debunking. Let’s see what we’ve got…

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Myth #1: It’s cheap 💸

“Berlin is SO cheap! You live like a king for €500 a month!”

  • Cost of living: A few years ago, coming to Berlin as an early-stage startup to lower burn-rate was a real strategy. Housing prices then went up 100% in 10 years but, sure, you can still probably burn 30–50% less than you would in Paris or London. Still, if being cheap is your #1 priority, you’ll now find cheaper options in Spain or CEE. …

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Follow the #BerlinCryptoCapital thread here!

Coming from Paris to start The Family in Berlin, the city only meant two things for me: Rocket Internet & Soundcloud. After a few months — and as I got more and more contaminated by the crypto-virus — I started to discover lots of great crypto projects in Berlin.

And not only did I discover amazing Berlin-based crypto projects, I also found that a big chunk of the wider scene was actually using Berlin as a platform to hire, operate & scale. Cool! …

(with love)

When I moved to Berlin a year ago to launch The Family, I knew almost nothing about its tech scene. As a Parisian, I was obviously biased, as our local ecosystem literally went from “Meh…to “wtf happened!…” in less than 3 years. I started observing the local tech culture with a fresh perspective that maybe only an outsider can have, and pointing out some habits that maybe only an outsider would notice. Now, habits never define a person or a culture forever. They’re just potential traps that sometimes prevent great individuals or teams from realizing their full potential.

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When you’re young, intertwined in the educational system, you have to know what you want to become. But you really don’t have a clue. Lots of people tell you how they followed their passion, how the road to mastery and passion played out for them. Then some other tells you how you don’t find your passion, you cultivate it.

That’s beautiful but—imho—not really helpful.

How do you find or cultivate something that is now growing yet, that is deeply buried? Where and how do you start looking?

The clues of where to start looking are way different than how the educational system is designed. When you’re 14, you’re asked that disturbing and somehow irritating question: “What do you want to become?” Then you’re told that in order to become a doctor, you have to go to med school, a lawyer, law school, a manager, business school, etc. …

I find it hard to travel and not create something. First because being constantly ripped out from people and places creates the need to build, to restore a sense of foundations, of rooting. Secondly, because this succession of new places, people, culture pierces the soul through yet unknown spots, exposing totally new perspectives, therefore new ideas, while nurturing the freedom to express them and challenging the sense of identity.

Identity is a substantial and paradoxical topic while traveling. On the one hand, confronted with extreme diversity & some form of partial loneliness, people get an exacerbated sense of geographical & cultural identity. On the other hand, projected into the future, they get to experience the underlying universality of mankind hidden under obvious cultural differences. …

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This is EXACTLY what it’ll looks like!

Like so many people, music has always been a huge part of my life. In addition of spending infinite amounts of time listening to a large spectrum of genres, I also wanted to help out musicians and founded a crowdfunding platform for musician in 2011.

On the playing part, I started learning cello when I was 6 years old, switched to guitar 10 years later and got into the quiet habit of kindly playing & singing a few tunes every other day in my room. Yes, we’re talking “Wonderwall” and all, and yes, I can see your eyes rolling! :P

Having squeezed my life into a 37L backpack to travel around Latin America, I left my guitar in France. …

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Four months ago, I decided to quit my job, leave Paris and go for a one-year trip around Latin America, alone. While I’m definitely not the only one to have taken the leap, I’ve met quite a few people telling me: “Wow, that’s my dream, but I could never do it”.

Oh yes you can, everybody can! How? Go travel alone for one week.

That’s it.

Why? I’m glad you asked :-)

1. Overcome the first hurdle

Don’t quit your job already, take a smaller step! It’s the most effective way to overcome the first hurdle. You know, that first hurdle, when you want to start the habit of running, wake up to a frozen morning of winter and… *Snooze*. To overcome that, an effective tip is to prepare the running outfit the night before, to put it in a chair next to your the bed. …

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Last month I did a Vipassana meditation retreat. The pitch is fairly simple: No talking, no writing, no reading for 10 days, meditating 10 hours a day. This is the moment where people usually ask me WHY I would inflict that kind of torture on myself! But before I tell you about the 10 things I learned during this atypical experience, here’s some (short) context to get a sense of why I decided to give it a shot:

For the past 3 years or so, I’ve started a daily meditation habit. At first it was just about starting the morning with — what I would then call ‘Seated Thoughts’ — a 5-minute session of reflecting on my thoughts, crossed-legged on my bed. It quickly evolved in a 20-minute morning meditation session everyday (or so…) and became a lasting life-changing habit. I started sharing my experience, meeting new people and at some point heard about ‘this pretty badass’ meditation retreat: Vipassana. When you start a new habit and you’re pretty pumped about it, there’s always this ‘how cute’ annoying moments that goes like this: “Oh, you’re *insert new habit here*? Cool! I have a friend who *insert super-hardcore-habit-that-makes-yours-look-just-cute here*”. “Oh you started running? I have this friend who did a triple IronMan running backwards!” “Oh you started meditating? I have a friend who did a 10 day meditation retreat without talking!” …


Hugo Amsellem

Researching the Creator Economy and the startups building for it 💪 Previously: Director at @_TheFamily

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