Seth Godin tells creative people to say “Yes”. I’m saying “Not so fast”.

Seth’s Blog: When you’re offered precisely what you were hoping for….

I’m still struggling with dichotomies that the internet presents; especially in relation to artistic expression. Yes, I’m delighted that the ‘gatekeepers’ of old have been banished to analog history. Yes, I’m thrilled and enthralled by the explosion of creativity and freedom that the technology now affords everyone with access to a keyboard. But more is not necessarily better. Without curation, of any kind, isn’t there the danger that genuine nuggets of sheer brilliance become submerged in a tsunami of drivel and dross? How to achieve gravitas in an insta-everything world, where attention spans are measured in microseconds and ideas and thoughts are relegated to mere trinkets and trivia for insta-consumption: Or as the industry jargon would say – ‘creative content’. An oxymoron if there ever was one. I could be accused of elitism – and you’d probably be right. But it’s worth bearing in mind, that the analog elitism of old invested time and money in nascent artistic talent that, although not guaranteeing a livelihood, certainly provided for the possibility of financial security down the line. Today, even the most talented and successful musicians are paid a pittance by online streaming sites like Spotify. The ‘Long-Tail’ business model, that owners of the distribution channels like Google and YouTube expound, are very profitable for them – less for the creators of that ‘content’. A pittance multiplied by a thousand ‘hits’ is still a pittance. A thousand ‘hits’ multiplied by quadrillions of sites makes the shareholders of those channels very happy indeed. I understand Godin when he says the onus is now on you – the creator- to create. No excuses. No gatekeepers to block your way. Build a ‘market’ of 100 believers in your creativity – forget about mass markets. But creative people have bills as well. Some people are getting very rich indeed when creative people say “Yes” – but I can assure you; it’s not the creators.


  1. Joe Walter

    LOL at the Elitism bit, Great article, I’m actually really glad I found this. I kind of feel like I am being submerged or diluted as you explain. I am working on a Cymatic App and have started a Kickstarter campaign

    , but I just thought it would be easier to find support than it has been. Please check out my app

    If you would be so kind as to do a write up about it I will include a link to your blog from my website,

    And add a link to your blog from within the app under credits,



    • Sean Hayes

      Hi Joe, apologies for the delay in getting back to you – haven’t been blogging over the holiday season. I sincerely wish you the best of luck with your audio app but it doesn’t really fit in with the remit of my blog – which is about photography. The “Seth” piece was a one off because it’s a subject I feel very strongly about. Best of luck in 2014 with your project.


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