FF Insights #587: It’s okay not to be okay

February 10, 2022: The rise of the creator economy; Becoming a better leader; A self-help book for introverts

Founding Fuel

[From Unsplash]

Good morning,

In her short and powerful book, How to Stay Sane in an Age of Division, novelist Elif Shafak shares a key insight about how to navigate the age anxiety we live in these days. 

She writes, “Ours is the age of contagious anxiety. A deep and ever deepening worry about the state of the world, and our own place in it, or placelessness. From newspaper headlines to lead stories to social media posts, there is one term that frequently appears in our daily lives: crisis…”

Towards the end of the chapter, she writes, “In a world that is ever shifting and unpredictable, I’ve come to believe it is totally fine not to feel fine. It is perfectly okay not to be okay. If truth be told, if from time to time you do not catch yourself overwhelmed with worry and indecision, demoralised and exhausted, or even incandescent, maybe you are not really following what is going on—here, there and everywhere. We have legitimate reasons to be despondent. When nothing seems solid or stable any more, it is vital that we acknowledge the diverse and protean nature of our emotions. It follows that we should stop judging and shaming ourselves for not being the always happy and fulfilled citizens to which we are told we must aspire.

“But acknowledging the dark side of emotions is only where we begin.

“It cannot be where we end up.”

Have a great day ahead.

The rise of the creator economy

Amol Telang is part of EY’s Media & Consulting practice and curates pointers to the most insightful things to look for in the space through his newsletter on WhatsApp. That’s how we came across these numbers on how the pandemic has turbocharged the creator economy as platforms throw more money to keep people engaged. 


  • built Super Follows, a subscription service for influencers
  • launched Ticketed Spaces, its live audio feature 
  • launched in-app tipping
  • started building a newsletter platform


  • funneled more than $250 million to creators via its Spotlight feature
  • some of the app’s biggest stars are even getting their own shows in Snapchat Discover

Facebook + Instagram

  • announced a $1B creators fund
  • rolled out several creator-focused updates and monetization features


  • launched an all-new $100 million fund just for Shorts


  • launched a $200M fund
  • added creator monetization features


  • Pinterest launched a $500K creator fund and built its first monetization tools
  • LinkedIn announced a $25M fund
  • Clubhouse added tipping
  • Tumblr launched a subscription service for its bloggers

If this space interests you, follow these links on Twitter or LinkedIn to look up Amol Telang and subscribe to his newsletter.

Dig deeper

Becoming a better leader

An interesting essay we read yesterday had some reflections by Aly Blenklin on going back to one's roots. “I recently made a few ‘fresh starts’ in my life; moving countries and changing roles in my career were two of the most significant. With my job, I decided to move away from design leadership and return to being a product designer. However, I didn't anticipate that going back to the craft would also teach me to be a better leader.”

That many people are either considering a transition or are going through it is a narrative we now hear often. That it has helped them become better leaders isn’t one we have heard much. 

“I genuinely enjoy managing and creating scaffolding for teams to do their best work. However, over the past few years, I’ve had this lingering feeling that I need to better understand what it takes to deliver products and services in the current environment to show up as an authentic leader…

“It’s difficult for a manager to stay on top of all the new tools and practices when the product space is constantly evolving. As a result, leadership’s practitioner skills naturally depreciate over time. As Rochelle Gold articulates in their article, it’s a risk when there is a gap between where decisions are made and what happens on the ground.”

Dig deeper

A self-help book for introverts

(Via WhatsApp)

Found anything interesting and noteworthy? Send it to us and we will share it through this newsletter.

And if you missed previous editions of this newsletter, they’re all archived here.

Warm regards,

Team Founding Fuel

(Note: Founding Fuel may earn commissions for purchases made through the Amazon affiliate links in this article.)

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About the author

Founding Fuel

Founding Fuel aims to create the new playbook of entrepreneurship. Think of us as a hub for entrepreneurs- the go-to place for ideas, insights, practices and wisdom essential to build the enterprise of tomorrow. It is co-founded by veteran journalists Indrajit Gupta and Charles Assisi, along with CS Swaminathan, the former president of Pearson's online learning venture.

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