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Prolific -- Personal Creativity Management (Original Pitch Deck)


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Prolific is the world's first PCM (Personal Creativity Management) software platform. Founded by writer, artist and entrepreneur Scott Ginsberg, this slide deck takes you through the origin story of this revolutionary new business discipline. Try any of the 300+ tools for free at

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Prolific -- Personal Creativity Management (Original Pitch Deck)

  1. 1. Original Pitch Deck September 2020
  2. 2. The Current Situation
  3. 3. The first era of creativity was industrial (1900) Rapid scientific progress brought us an unprecedented invention boom. Everything from light bulbs to transportation to radio to telephones to physics were all inseparable from our modern world, amplified by the invention of public relations, all of which had a crucial role in the first two world wars. The creative process was now officially celebrated and commercialized like never before. The second era of creativity was cultural (1950) Postwar socioeconomic issues took center stage as baby boom and middle class developed, the women's movement blossomed, and counterculture blew up. Mass media gave people a platform to express their ideas and talents in innovative ways. That's why the fifties, sixties and seventies saw popular music, literature, cinema, art and culture flourishing like never before. The third era of creativity was digital (1980) People and organizations began making gargantuan strides in every area of modern life, underscored by these revolutionary technological advances, most notably, the internet. People now had the permission and the platforms to be creative, but also had something new that multiplied their reach. Connection. Creators related to other creators on this global scale, both before, during and after the creative process, free of charge, and free of barriers. That's why change has occurred at a blinding rate since then, multiplying technological progress to the power of eleven, generating another extraordinary period of creative flourishing. So what's next? A brief history of modern creativity.
  4. 4. + The commercial utility from the industrial period + The sociocultural firepower of the postwar time + The digital connection of the recent era = The fourth era of creativity is entrepreneurial (2010) We now have the biggest creative workforce in history. Over one third of our economy is freelancing. Nearly sixty million people for whom creativity is essential to their livelihood. Upwork, the online marketplace for freelancers, did research to show that for these people, there’s not just one way of working. • While skilled services are the most popular type of independent contract work, this creative workforce ranges from highly skilled workers freelancing full time to those occasionally selling goods online. • Digital natives have grown into legitimate artists, business owners and entrepreneurs, or have at least learned to think and act like them. • Modern professionals have multifaceted careers with several sources of income. Large companies are being disrupted by entrepreneurs, and challenging employees to think that way so they can innovative to survive. This is a beautiful thing. There's no telling what kind of impact this next era of creativity will have on our world. We’ve entered the fourth era of creativity.
  5. 5. Creativity is essential for all career success. Particularly as automation eats the world of work more and more, it is the innate, human capacity for creativity that will make professionals more employable. Two pieces of research prove this hypothesis. 1. Mckinsey's Study on Automation and the Future of the Workforce. They reported that the demand for higher cognitive skills, including creativity, will rise close to ten percent in the next decade. Their data showed that there is a degree of innovative thinking that's essential in every position, regardless of a core professional focus. Creative problem solving and coming up with ideas is a highly interpersonal and emotional skill that transcends role, learning style, personality type and disposition. 2. The Journal of Organizational Creativity. Their recent studies found that the creative skillset is needed in all types of organizations and industries today. And these jobs go far beyond the artistic endeavor or scientific discovery that has been traditionally labeled as creative work. Business as diverse as journalism, finance, manufacturing, health care, government and professional services today all require deep expertise and original ideas in order to be successful. As such, these organizations need to consider how their management processes support their ability to attract, motivate, and retain creative individuals. And those who work for them need to accept, embrace and capitalize on the unique brand of innovative thinking they bring to their job, regardless of what story they've been telling themselves about how creative they are. In short: Creativity has proven to be at a premium, and is only growing in importance. Creating is something we make part of our normal life, rather than something special and separate from it. Because now everyone's job is creative.*
  6. 6. How can we create value for this growing market while also capturing value for ourselves?
  7. 7. The Current Problem
  8. 8. There are a host of personal, social, and economic anxieties that come with this kind of work, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee. There's the fear of team members rejecting your work. The longing to be noticed for your innovative ideas. The dread of having to start projects from scratch. The pressure of finishing tasks on time. The exhaustion of having to prove yourself to customers and coworkers. The disappointment of your career not following the path you imagined. Not to mention: The apathy of not wanting to do the work on certain days. The frustration of collaborating with unproductive people. The paranoia of sharing your ideas before they're ready. The difficulty of staying focused amidst distraction. The isolation of slaving away alone in your home all day. If creative professionals are going to flourish, they need to change their relationship with this unique category of problems. Creative professionals have a unique category of challenges to contend with.
  9. 9. Making things is not always easy. Earning a living from your wits is not for the faint of heart. Innovating can be downright stressful and sometimes overwhelming. And if you’re not equipped to handle the inevitable and resistance that accompanies creative work, then you can end up bitter, burned out and broke. Meanwhile, every other element of modern business seems to have its own management system: Task management systems Project management systems Financial management systems Communication management systems Customer relationship management systems Even office snack management systems. But none of those tools are purpose built to directly support creative professionals in their work. If it’s the day before a big meeting, and you’re struggling to generate, organize or execute your ideas, there isn’t one trusted system for you to turn to. Or when you’ve just started a new job and want to add value to your team, there isn’t a universal framework for how to do so. Sadly, most creatives don't have rules for what happens when this happens.
  10. 10. There are as many tools as there are people to use them. But people seldom address their deeper issues with creativity, which are almost certainly more psychological than tactical. Their prop may offer them a quick fix, but the individual's real problems never subside enough for them to take full action consistently. They just put a band aid on their inattention for an hour or two. Imagine how much time people spend managing those idiotic notifications, updates and notes on their apps, calendars or project management software applications. 10 minutes a day = 1 hour a week = 1 week a year Multiply that by the number of people on your team, and we're talking about a significant labor expense. Just to preserve the illusion of productivity. In short, people are treating the symptom, not the source.
  11. 11. What current solutions are people trying to use to solve this problem right now? Brainstorming games, social media, virtual cards, bookmarking programs and project and task management software. Research methodologies, thought leadership empires, artist communities, trade associations, freelancer platforms. Creativity mentors, business consultants, productivity gurus, life coaches and paid 
 membership programs. + Strong in novelty and digital experience
 + Low priced or even free + High structure and robust in resource offering + Ability connect with other creators + Strong accountability + High efficacy in enabling habit change - Number of features & notifications overwhelming - Consumes more time than they save. - Inspiration hoarding, but no action - Cumbersome, complicated & controlling - Too clinical or too artsy - Propaganda for selling other products - Expensive and labor intensive - One size fits all solutions - Create an external dependency TOOLS SYSTEMS SERVICES "Most tools designed to enhance your personal productivity exacerbate the very anxieties they were meant to allay. The better you get at managing time, the less of it you feel that you have." --Entrepreneur (2019) "There is an explosion in technology aimed at helping people manage their time and tasks may actually be making it harder. Your browser window now has twenty tabs fighting for your attention." --Wall Street Journal (2013) "My biggest issue with most coaching programs is they try to make you something you’re not. And you spend a lot of your time trying to put into practice what the coach makes you aware of." --New York Times (2014)
  12. 12. We need a new alternative to solve this widespread problem that's a mashup: The novelty and affordability of digital tool. With the structure and robustness of system. And the personalization and transformation of a one to one service A one stop shop for managing your creativity that's there when you need it, and gone when you don't
  13. 13. Do people need to get better at handling emergencies, or better at solving their creative problems?
  14. 14. The Opportunity
  15. 15. People are doing projects by the seat of their pants. They're constantly making things up as they go. Which has its merits, no doubt. But the long term danger of solely taking an extemporaneous path to creativity is, it makes it hard to replicate great work consistently. If every day you and your team sit down to work, and you do so without preparation, making things offhand, fabricating work out of what is conveniently around you, then there will always be a ceiling on what you can accomplish. It's foolhardy to assume people can sustain innovation without some kind of methodology to increase cognitive ease and free up their minds to do their finest work. Eventually the time comes to stop improvising and start investing in system. One that's designed to provide a repeatable and innovative experience in which your creativity can thrive. It’s time for a repeatable and innovative experience in which creativity can thrive.
  16. 16. If we want to achieve breakthrough results in our creative work, then it will be helpful to learn and employ a robust vocabulary for that experience. Because once we have a language that permits us to communicate with ourselves and others about our creativity, then we can start to make sense of this otherwise ambiguous process. Once we start thinking and speaking the words that support our artistic intentions, then we can conceptualize and describe the experience of bringing our ideas to form. That’s just as much of a superpower as the act of creating itself. Language gives you leverage as a creative professional. It expands your repertoire of mindful awareness, allowing you to notice the opportunities to increase your return on experience everywhere you go. By building an evolving glossary of what it means to be creative, you can significantly increase your chances of effectively managing the process. It’s time for a way to raise the chances of effectively managing the process.
  17. 17. It’s time to teach the creative workforce how to troubleshoot the real issues. Imagine if you could learn how to solve your creative problems efficiently, so you can get back to the real work of making things. Imagine if you had a real time toolkit to help you think about your problems in a different way. Imagine if you could understand the context behind the problem, see the experiences of others who have had the same problem, and visualize potential tools to prevent that problem from reoccurring in the future. You would become unstoppable. You would free up your mental capacity to allocate attention to more meaningful tasks. Like actually doing your work. This metacognitive skill, aka, thinking about thinking, aka, becoming aware of your awareness, changes everything.
  18. 18. Why should creativity and innovation be any different than any other element of modern business?
  19. 19. A New Category
  20. 20. Personal Creativity Management PCM TM
  21. 21. 1) We’ve defined the problem. 2) We’ve named the category. More and more professionals need creativity for their job, but the tools to manage it efficiently it don’t exist. Personal Creativity Management (PCM) Now we establish the brand. And sell the solution!
  22. 22. And we’re not going to just ask people what they want. We’ve observed how they behave, and have imagined what will change their lives.
  23. 23. Brand & Product
  24. 24. There are hundreds of apps, games and tools for creative professionals. They promise to get you organized and spark inspiration so you can achieve more. But mostly, they’re distractions. They consume more time than they save. When in reality, you should be out there executing your ideas. Introducing Prolific, the world’s first personal creativity management system. It’s designed to help you troubleshoot your own issues in a fast, personalized way. Our knowledge base teaches you how to identify and solve your specific problems in every step of the creative process. Here’s how it works. Next time you get stuck doing your work, come to our knowledge base. Name your problem, learn why you might be having it, and pick the best tool to overcome it. And then, please, for the love of god, get off our app and get back to work. :90 Explainer Video
  25. 25. You can try Prolific up to five times per month. And then, if you want unlimited access to our private library of more than three hundred personal creativity management tools, it's only eight bucks a month to subscribe. That's less than a slice of avocado toast. Look, our software isn’t another time sucking website where you pretend to do your work. It’s the place you come for answers about why you can’t. We understand. Making things for a living is downright stressful and sometimes overwhelming. But whatever problem you have, with whatever step of the creative process you're at, we've been there too. Because our app was built by creators, for creators. Whether you're an entrepreneur, employee, or some mashup between the two, it's time to get prolific. Cultivate your intellectual capital today, and grow greater profits from your creativty tomorrow. :90 Explainer Video
  26. 26. Target Market
  27. 27. Total Addressable Market •America's economy is approximately one third freelancing. •There are 60m people for whom creativity is essential to their livelihood. •And more than half of the creatives in the United States (58%) are employed in the private, for profit sector.
  28. 28. Product Market Fit In 2018, the average spend per employee of SaaS subscriptions ($2,884) was higher than the cost of a new laptop ($1,299) for an Apple Macbook Pro. That’s where Prolific fits into the market. And at $8/month, they can’t say no! —Blissfully’s 2019 SaaS Trends Report Organizations with 800 employees are now spending $15M on SaaS, up 28% in comparison to 2018, using 141 apps across the organization —Cleanshelf State of Business SaaS Spend One in ten millennials spend $200 or more every month on various subscription services. —Watersone 2019 Subscription Spend Three distinct groups based on the subscription cost per month: Low: $6.99 and below, Medium: $7-$20, High: $20-$50. *Medium group has highest conversion rate —2017 Subscription Mobile Apps Report
 who works for themselves in freelance capacity The creative professional 
 who works full 
 time for a larger organization The workforce professional who has a day job but also runs their own creative business The company executive who manages and 
 leads creative professionals “I run a one man show. I need tools to avoid burnout and 
 not becoming a workaholic, or my 
 wife will leave me.” “People on my team shoot down my creative confidence. I need ways to deliver innovative ideas to earn respect and get a raise.” "I just took a day job to support myself, but I’m afraid I won’t have time or energy left to do my art on the side.” "I have to create 
 a culture of innovation at this company so we can recruit and retain top creative talent. STRUGGLE IN A SENTENCE
  30. 30. UI & UX
  31. 31. How it is structured? •Once you've named your problem, you're halfway there. •The search bar is an open door to a locked room. •Naming the problem drives a wedge in the crack so you can get your fingers into it and inch your way out
  32. 32. How it is structured? •Most companies give knowledge bases away for free as an added value to support a product or service users are already paying for, we inverted the model. •Our PCM knowledge base itself is the product. And the program that users learn to use more effectively is their own brain.
  33. 33. What are the tools?
  34. 34. What are the tools?
  35. 35. 3 Popular Tools
  36. 36. Why 300+ tools? The more tools you have to work on a problem, the less likely you are to get stuck Now creative professionals can take some of the risk out of the equation. They already have the natural talent, Prolific tools give them more leverage
  37. 37. •Whatever unwelcome situation needs to be dealt with and overcome, they are equipped. •They’ll never consume them all the tools, but the breadth and depth of content offered promises to always have their back •Creators who go to work visualizing themselves as always carrying a tool kit stocked with powerful and useful tools are unstoppable. Why 300+ tools?
  38. 38. What does a tool look like? Each tool will be assigned its own hand drawn illustration, which is taking an abstract idea and translating it into an understanding as a visual. These images become part of our brand as well, showing up in our marketing materials as well. Based on research in subjects like visual learning, information architecture and user experience, there are five reasons for using this kind of visual language:
  39. 39. What does a tool look like? 1) User Experience — Abstract graphics are often superior to verbal descriptions because of their effect on cognition. Users can process them more quickly and easily.  Prolific is text heavy, since I'm a writer, so these images break them up
  40. 40. What does a tool look like? 2) Credibility — Abstract graphics represent facts and data, concepts and systems. People expect them to reflect accuracy and precision, believing they are the final word. Not only do abstract graphics enhance communication, they also enhance the credibility of a message. There is a sense of objectivity to the nonrepresentational graphic. It helps justify the price of Prolific and make it more professional and powerful
  41. 41. What does a tool look like? 3) Learning — The visualization of abstract concepts helps our users understand the creative process and communicate about it. A failure to remember something is often the result of a poor retrieval cue rather than a lack of stored knowledge.  Prolific images make sure users increase their ability to automatically extract information during their software use.
  42. 42. What does a tool look like? 4) Impact — Visuals reduce the time it takes for a viewer to understand and respond to info. Prolific tools create a visual portrayal that extends the viewer's ability to see, think and know, beyond just works. Using and informative approach to visual language allows the audience to perceive concepts & connections that they did not previously realize
  43. 43. What does a tool look like? 5) Marketing — Prolific visuals will be striking, memorable and artistic, which means users will want to take screenshots, save images, share them with their friends, etc. Adding visuals to our software makes our product more remarkable, harder to steal and easier to spend virally.
  44. 44. Product Feature: Tools •300+ tools for every stage of the creative process •Easily searchable by keyword, unique problem •Fast, visual and clean browsing experience
  45. 45. Product Feature: Saving •Save your favorite PCM tools and blog posts to your portfolio •Access them with a single click for later use and reference
  46. 46. Product Features: Resources •Every subscriber gets a free download of both books, Prolific (2015) and PCM (2020) •Inside readers find case studies on the tools, expanded methodology on PCM, deep dives into best practices
  47. 47. Product Features: Blog •Premium daily blog posts delivered right to your inbox •Each article gives you inspiring meditation on PCM delivered in a short, digestible, devotional format •Stay current on new tools added to the library and the latest PCM research
  48. 48. Prolific Vs. Current “Solutions”
  49. 49. Prolific Vs. Current “Solutions”
  50. 50. Prolific is a software as a service (SaaS) product. Here’s the logic of how it sustains itself financially. Users will pay an annual fee for unlimited access to our private library of 300+ personal creativity management tools. Their subscription also gives them hundreds of behind the scenes articles and outlining best practices in applied PCM. Using the freemium model, we offer all users access to up to 5 pieces of content per month (tools/articles). When they hit the limit, a metered paywall asks users to join the platform for our single subscription option of $8/month (billed annually at $96/year). These free tastes encourage users to try our product with no risk. Then, the metered paywall blocks access to the content our site offers until the reader pays. In this model, people either have access to the content or they don’t. No degrees of access as there are with membership models. Stratetically, our paywall is an implied statement that we're offering premium content. Our depth and breadth of 300+ tools (and articles about them) becomes an exclusive warehouse of value that's large enough to impress subscribers and offset the nominal monthly fee. Our users rent access to this wide selection of assets that help them solve their creative problems. This model sets our platform up for enterprise level subscriptions and other services down the road at a higher price point, offering organizationally driven offerings to increase ARR and CLTV. More on that later in the section about future optimizations. Business Model
  51. 51. Pricing
  52. 52. Launch Strategy
  53. 53. We will condition the market, not go to it
  54. 54. We will evangelize the category/problem first and our product second
  55. 55. We will show what’s missing, not what can be improved
  56. 56. We will make PCM seem like it was inevitable all along
  57. 57. Growth Ideas •Book 1: Prolific (free w/sub) •Book 2: PCM (free w/sub) •Daily blog posts (515+) •Social object tools (315+) •Fake Ad Campaigns •Gifting Options for Creators •Pay With Social Sharing •Methodology Materials •Taxonomy Materials •User Data Journalism •Manifesto Art Pieces •Pitch Deck •Past Interview Reach Out •User Recruitment Email •General Email Outreach •Newsletter For Non Users •Corporate Innovation Labs •University Relations •User Case Studies •User Testimonials •Paid Media •Earned Media •Press Releases •Send a Tool to a Friend
  58. 58. Sample Posts
  59. 59. Sample Posts
  60. 60. Future Optimizations •Data Collection & Sales •Clinical Research •Consulting & Training •Education, Government, Org •Progress Reporting •Physical Products •Powered By Prolific Badge •Licensing Opportunities •User Notification System •Account Reporting Analytics •Certification System •Enterprise Level Offering •Mentoring Programs •User Conference •Professional Communities •White Labeling Offer •API Integrations •Alexa Skills & AI Opps •Browser Extensions •Social Integrations •Gamification Levels •Application Marketplace
  61. 61. Potential Outcomes Best Case Scenario *Category of PCM established *Gets 5000 users in 2 years *Generates $475k ARR *Expand functionality Realistic Success Scenario *Gets 250 users in 2 years *Generates $25k ARR *Reinvest into growth marketing Worst Case Scenario *Prolific gains 50 in 2 years *Recoup costs and break even *We built software a small group of people use
  62. 62. Showing Early Proof of Gaining Acceptance “Prolific is fantastic, and exactly the kind of open curriculum that the world needs more of!” —Kelly, Director of L & D, Nestle Purina
  63. 63. Creative professionals hate getting stuck and starting from scratch. We think we can develop the first personal creativity management system to solve that problem in a different way. It will offer hundreds of tools to support people in every step of their creative process, from ideation to organization to execution. Users will subscribe to our warehouse of solutions, learn to properly name their problems, and adapt their favorite tools to fit their creative needs. Millions of people will start using our software to become prolific in a way they thought only geniuses could be. Creative professionals will now have a secret weapon to grow their intellectual capital, drive innovation, grow their personal brands and feel more fulfilled in their work. After we succeed in trailblazing the field of personal creativity management, we will expand our brand to offer a universe of products and services to scale our impact. Prolific will expand into enterprise solutions, educational partnerships, licensing deals, academic research, virtual communities, app marketplaces and live events. Organizations small and large worldwide will start using our software to become prolific in a way they thought only geniuses could be. They will embrace PCM as the leading strategic differentiator of the next phase of the economy. Ultimately, our methodology will revolutionize the way the human race thinks about the creative process. Prolific Company Vision
  64. 64. Founder Story The founder of PCM is Scott Ginsberg, a TEDx speaker, internationally acclaimed author of 50 books, 10 albums, 3 music films, and numerous other creative works. He's been featured on CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, NPR, FastCompany, COSMO, 20/20, WSJ and Entrepreneur and USA Today. Scott has spent 20+ years executing award winning sticky ideas for himself, his clients and his employers. Scott is also the world record holder of wearing nametags. You learn more about his other work here. Scott believes unequivocally that the methodology of personal creativity management will convincingly add new and important results to the field. Prolific will demonstrate that trying to innovate by the seat of your pants, constantly making things up as you go, isn't sustainable or scalable, for individuals or organizations. A comprehensive overview of PCM can be found Scott's two popular books, Prolific (2015), and Personal Creativity Management (2020).
  65. 65. This is the part where you write me a check for millions of dollars. Take your time. I can wait.