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Hide the Numbers

Everything you put out seems to have analytics of some sort. As a creator that’s dangerous. These kind of numbers put the wrong kind of questions in your head.

The questions that lead to quality content, art, and ideas are questions like:

  • What am I trying to say?
  • What if I try this?
  • Why does this happen?
  • What if this assumption is wrong?
  • What can’t trees fly?
  • How can society go wrong?
  • What if turtles had nunchucks?

We create quality by dipping into madness, by breaking things, and by taking risks. But numbers and analytics lead us to different questions——questions like:

  • What do people like?
  • What offends them?
  • What’s popular?
  • What’s my market?
  • How can I cater my message?
  • What sells?

These are important questions for businesses because at their heart businesses seek to mitigate risk, businesses seeks growth and stability. This is not the way that the creator minds work. When creators act from within the bounds of safety and prediction they neuter their output. One way produces the Backstreet Boys, the other, Nirvana.

To create is to bring something new into existence, and you cannot do that without stepping outside of the lines. So hide those numbers. Block those analytic pages. Punish yourself for peeking. Focus on the questions churning inside of you; wrestle with impossible, difficult, uncomfortable, and ridiculous ideas. Run blindly with scissors. Never check the temperature, or or map out a curve. Don’t be afraid to lose every subscriber, every listener, and every viewer. Make something that matters and fuck the statistics, fuck the sales.

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