The network effects of Tik Tok - Deepstash
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The Network Effects of Tik Tok Creativity

Every additional user on TikTok makes every other user more creative.

On old social networks you have to create your own version of a meme from scratch. But TikTok lowers the barrier to the literal remixing of everyone else's content. They have a wealth of features that make it dead simple to grab any element from another TikTok and incorporate it into a new TikTok.


146 reads

Flywheels & MVPs

Markets in the internet and technology age are conducive to winner-take-all effects: If you are first to stumble upon some flywheel/ a good user loop, the returns are even greater than they would've in any other era in history.

If a flywheel requires three or four or even more things to connect in your app, it takes more work to ship all of them at once, and that feels like a riskier expenditure of your team's time. Especially when founders think minimum releases are the way to go. A good flywheel is not very minimum.


61 reads

Tik Tok Duet

Tik Tok Duet

On TikTok, you can just press the Duet button and start talking into your phone, and soon you have a side-by-side of the original video and your reaction video (youc an choose from any number of their preset layouts for reactions). That's an explicit productivity boost; I can measure it in time saved for the same output.


64 reads

Tik Tok Stich

Tik Tok Stich

You can also post a question in a video and expect that some number of people will "Stitch" an answer to your question and distribute that as a new video.

A popular prompt is "Tell me you're X without telling me you're X " or any number of its variants like "Show me you're X without showing me you're X."

Stitch wasn't necessarily designed to be used in this way, but as a primitive, it's well-suited to any number of uses, including making TikTok a sort of video Quora.


49 reads

When to give up on an idea?

According to Jeff Bezos: "When the last smart person in the room gives up on the idea.

It also implies that you should bring some ideas back when a new smart person, or maybe a naive overconfident one, enters the room and champions the idea.


61 reads

The creative blank slate

The toughest job for any creative is the cold start. The blinking cursor on the blank page in a new document. 

The beauty of TikTok's FYP algorithm and the Discover page is that you don't have to create a TikTok from scratch. The vast majority of TikToks are riffs on memes and trends that other users originate. It's no shame to be a 1 to n TikToker. Many on the platform achieve their first viral hit riffing on an existing meme.


37 reads

Tiktok as assisted meme evolution

Richard Dawkins introduced the term meme in his classic The Selfish Gene, defining it as a unit of information that spreads via imitation. He noted that memes evolve via natural selection just as in evolution.

The internet has always been a fertile ground for the accelerated breeding of memes. But TikTok is a form of assisted evolution in which humans & machine learning algorithms accelerate memetic evolution. (Memes can start from almost anything on TikTok. It can be the lyrics of a song, or just the vibe of a track, or both)


55 reads



Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


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