The internet is saturated in stories of the guys who "made it." At all times I am merely a few clicks away from the success stories of the Ray William Johnsons, Philip DeFrancos, and the Freddie Wongs. Freddie Wong just completed the most successful Kickstarter campaign in the history of the website for his project Video Game High School, and Michael Gallagher of YouTube's "Totally Sketch" recently released his feature film, Smiley.
They could tell us all about their trials and tribulations, and how they eventually made it by working hard, sticking out the hard times, and creating quality content. But as a desperate content creator, how can I be sure they aren't just the lucky chickens who crossed the road?
Freddie Wong once argued that it isn't all about luck. He said that it was all about the content, and he had never seen a video that was truly spectacular that didn't get success (unable to find source). That statement always hung low in my head because I started pondering the logic of this. For one thing, we have to consider of the limited real estate of Wong's YouTube viewing time. By the time the video even reached his eyes, it's likely it had already reached a certain level of exposure and success. Also, we have to consider the logical fallacy of confirmation bias. If he was watching a video with a low amount of views, it's possible he may have spotted flaws to justify such low views. If the video had millions of views, he was probably more likely to identify it's strengths.
The point is, there is a lot of content out there. Freddie Wong hit the nail on the head when he said "if there’s something that a lot of people are fighting to do, you can join the fray, but it’s often easier for you to go somewhere else." If you create completely unique, original content, there are no internet pathways to direct people to you. However, if you follow a trend to point people toward you, you will get swallowed by the competition. With the dire nature of these two options, it's hard to believe that luck is not involved when the cream rises to the top.
I don't know the answer to this riddle. All I know is, after three years on YouTube, it's hard to keep myself from getting jaded.