When I was 22 years old, I found myself at a crossroads. I had two choices, follow the “safe” path laid out for me–go to college, get a practical degree, and find a lifelong J.O.B. that provides security, OR take the much-less-certain route, pursuing my passions and my personal creativity.
I saw traditional employment burdened by a rapidly changing culture and economy. Student debt, the eroding efficacy of a college degree, and a future where the jobs I wanted (and how I wanted to spend my life’s work) all influenced my thinking… That is when I began to see the classically “safe” path as increasingly risky. As such, I chose differently. I chose to become a photographer – and I never looked back.
It wasn’t always easy. I walked away from the careers that my parents, my friends and my career counselors wanted for me: professional soccer, medical school, a PhD in philosophy, but walking away felt right. In fact, just as I found myself starting to break through and making enough to survive, I discovered something every bit as life-affirming as my own wants and needs: I discovered the creative community. A world full of other makers, doers, builders, creators, and entrepreneurs. It was a massive motivator to know there were others out there who shared similar interests and saw a future rich with possibility.
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To that end, I began to put nearly as much energy into creating and sharing educational content documenting my journey as I did my commercial photo shoots. Some old-guard photographers told me I was “destroying the industry” by disclosing “secrets,” but hoarding knowledge didn’t sit right with me. I pushed their criticisms aside and doubled down on my commitment to share processes, tools, and ideas with the community.
Little did I know helping others find the courage and know-how to pursue their own dreams would eventually culminate in launching CreativeLive back in 2010. These ideas and this community helped form the basis of what CL is today…the place where more than 10 million creators learn skills in photography, design, business, music and more. From its humble beginning in a gritty little warehouse in South Seattle, we are today a sophisticated operation that teaches creators the skills they need to thrive. We’ve delivered billions of minutes of learning to our students across every continent in the world – something myself and the entire team at CreativeLive are extremely proud of.
So, yes, we’re more than a decade old, BUT…as it turns out, we’re just getting started. That’s why today, I’m excited to announce that CreativeLive has been acquired by Fiverr, one of the world’s leading marketplaces to buy and sell digital services like design, photography, digital marketing, audio, video and more. To explain in a bit more detail, I sent the following email to our community:
In advance of a public announcement coming later this morning, I wanted to personally reach out and share some exciting news.
Eleven years ago we started CreativeLive with the goal of helping the world’s creators and entrepreneurs live their dreams in career, hobby, and life; to empower our community with skills at the intersection of the future of creativity and the future of work. Today – in further service of that mission – I wanted to let you know that CreativeLive has been acquired by Fiverr (NYSE:FVRR).
This acquisition is a huge milestone, but it won’t change who we are, our values, or how we intend to serve you. It also won’t change your day-to-day user experience. CreativeLive will continue to operate as a standalone company. Everyone on the CreativeLive team will continue into this next chapter, and I will continue to lead as the CEO. Most importantly, this acquisition will super-charge our ability to support your learning and deliver more value as we expand our offerings, increase production velocity, and embrace even bigger ambitions.
At its core, Fiverr is a global marketplace for buying and selling digital services like design, photography, digital marketing, audio, video, and more. Imagine a future where Fiverr’s acquisition of CreativeLive enables anyone learning with CreativeLive to unlock economic opportunity through freelance work on Fiverr’s platform. Or conversely, how anyone buying or selling services on Fiverr could benefit from learning new skills on CreativeLive. We believe that this virtuous cycle – pursuing passions, learning new skills, and leveraging those skills for economic upside – is the future of work, and our goal is to take a global leadership role in this future.
As a member of our community YOU have been key to our journey, and I want to say thank you. We couldn’t have made it to this moment without you, and – even more so – you are essential to our future. We won’t be able to realize our broader vision without working to support yours. If you have any questions, there’s an FAQ here, or of course, you can always email email@example.com.
CreativeLive + Fiverr sits at the intersection of the future of creativity, the future of learning, and future of work. The democratization of technology and the advent of social networks has paved the way for significant opportunities for the next generation of creators, entrepreneurs and freelancers. Today, more than 35% of the global workforce is freelance, and in the USA alone, more than 70 million people earn money on the side via their passions – and this number has been accelerating dramatically since 2014. Thus, while many of the barriers to entry from web 1.0 and before have eroded, the need for relevant skills, a supportive community, and access to economic opportunity largely remains.
Today is a new day. It was always inevitable that remote work, the gig economy, and online education would become the norm for future generations, but the global pandemic across the previous 18 months has further accelerated this shift, far more so than most people and institutions could have anticipated. We now largely live in a digital-first world.
What Fiverr’s acquisition of CreativeLive really underpins is a future connecting skills with economic opportunity. To restate what I mentioned in my email above: We believe that this virtuous cycle – pursuing passions, learning new skills, and leveraging those skills for economic upside – is the future of work, and our goal is to take a global leadership role in this future.
The proof is in the pudding: the future favors people and companies that can create, innovate and adapt to a rapidly-changing world. Core to all this is the ability to learn new skills, think creatively, and operate with a growth mindset. Once thought to be ‘nice to haves,’ we now know these attributes are keys to success in any industry and for fulfillment in everyday life.
We are excited to be part of the Fiverr family, to expand our offerings and valuable content that increase economic opportunity for our community and today’s modern workplace.
Onward and upward – keep creating!