At RootNote, we often talk about what makes up an individual's or company's "creator stack." This is a phrase that may seem familiar to some, or be completely gibberish to others.
Creator stack is actually a term that's integral to what we're building for the RootNote platform. But it also kind of sounds like tech jargon. So let's talk a little bit about what the phrase means, where it comes from, and why it's important for content creators to understand it.
Where The Phrase Creator Stack Comes From
While the phrase creator stack isn't necessarily plastered all over the Internet just yet, we believe it will be. (And there are a few different companies with the name, so it's not totally foreign to people). That's because as content creation continues to evolve and create more and more opportunities for creators, more and more creators and companies will be using unified language to talk about the industry and issues facing content creators.
The term creator stack derives from "tech stack," a phrase used in programming to lay out all the different technologies used to create an application. ("Tech stack" is also referred to as technology stack, solutions stack, data ecosystem, and other phrases, but the most common and ubiquitous term is tech stack; any engineer or tech company employee should know what you're talking about when you say that phrase).
So if a tech stack is all of the different pieces of technology used to create a single application, can you guess what a creator stack is?
Defining A Creator Stack
A creator stack is all of the different applications and technologies a content creator or entertainment business uses to distribute content, manage performance, and run their business. Sound like a lot?
It often is.
Even the simplest creator stacks usually comprise half a dozen platforms — and that's just when somebody starts putting content out. Think about a brand new content creator. They'll need accounts on the major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and maybe Twitter). And they'll need a YouTube channel, too. They'll probably also want to use at least some form of editing app, like CapCut etc.
You see where this is going.
But that's also just the tip of the iceberg. Creator stacks include things like email marketing platforms, live streaming platforms, audio streaming platforms, merch stores, text and SMS marketing platforms, accounting software, analytics suites — RootNote! — and practically endless combinations of other apps.
However, a creator stack does not include things like the physical tools you use to make content or the personnel responsible for helping you make it. Those are obviously incredibly important, but just like a tech stack doesn't include the engineers building the app or the computers they use, your creator stack doesn't include your gear or the people who help you make the content.
Why Understanding Your Creator Stack Matters
Ok, so now that we have an understanding of what a creator stack is — why does it matter? Why start applying tech and startup terms to content creators?
Well, for starters, content creators are businesses — many of them startups. And just as creators have always had their own lingo and terminologies within their given fields, content creators as a whole deserve to have their own uniform language so they can confidently talk about not just their content, but the business of their content.
But here's the thing: creators never really understand how much they rely on different platforms for different things. And they often don't realize just how many different platforms they have to keep up with in order to maximize their content creation.
When you have an organized understanding of your creator stack, you're less likely to let important tasks fall by the wayside. And you're more likely to create systems that help you routinely create opportunities for yourself. Plus, creating an organized understanding of your creator stack can help you better identify the gaps — or just as important, the places where you may be paying for more technology than you need, or missing an opportunity to consolidate data and make things a little easier on yourself.
So here's a good exercise: start writing down all of the different platforms you use on a monthly basis in your content career. You'll probably surprise yourself at just how many different platforms make up your creator stack.