Announcement: I'm Building a World

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A mindblowing lesson on world building

A couple weeks ago, I was watching an interview with rapper Tyler, the Creator and I can’t stop thinking about this quote.

“A friend of mine, he has a brand and it has like 27 logos. It doesn’t just have one and my mind blew because I think we get caught up in the logo and if you guys make stuff [but] if you build a world, you could make many logos because people will associate it with that.”

In Tyler’s clothing line Golf de Fleur, the logo is a flower, but on the new shoe design, he left out the flower and instead added a boat. Tyler's clothing line is full of pastel colors, he released an album called Flower Boy, and he references the lakes and mountains in Switzerland in his most recent album Call Me If You Get Lost. Entering Tyler’s world is like getting lost in an endless summer. So it makes sense a boat would fit in his brand’s world.

Like Tyler, I was mindblown when I realized that when you intentionally try to build a world instead of just a brand, you’re not limited to one logo or symbol. Like a game has characters, maps, and artwork, you can build a world for your brand with logos, symbols, and motifs. Like Star Wars, your worlds can have multiple recognizable symbols. So instead of Luke Skywalker, R2D2, and Darth Vader, Tyler’s universe has bright colors with flowers and boats.

Like I said, this lesson blew my mind. It made me think of all my favorite fictional worlds and their symbols.

  • Harry Potter’s immediately recognizable four houses, wands, owls, etc.

  • The Marvel universe with Captain America, Iron Man, The Hulk, etc.

  • Inception’s spinning top at the end

All of these symbols and worlds were created by men and women no smarter or more creative than you or me. They were created with purpose and intention. They were created to make you feel something.

“To design a game is to imagine the person who will eventually play it […] If you’re a builder of worlds, your feelings are not as important as what your gamers are feeling”

Thinking about all of this made me change how I was thinking about building Cyber Patterns. Am I building a newsletter or am I building a world? The 1st sounds easier, but the 2nd sounds a lot more fun.

Announcement: I’m building a world


Cyber Patterns is a play on the word Cyberpunk: a genre of science fiction based around a dystopian society dominated by technology. “Cyberpunk” can also be used as a noun to mean someone in this society.

I consider this to be a blog for cyberpunk creatives, the tech-enhanced creators who want to win at the dystopian thing we call the great online game or social media. We know it’s a game and we want to win it anyways. We want more followers, money, and freedom.

We want to get paid for creating cool content. We dream of becoming sovereign creators. We type shit into our pocket-sized computers and watch our bank accounts go up. This is a blog for all of you.

And I want Cyber Patterns to feel like the home for cyberpunk creatives. That’s why I’m doubling down on the cyberpunk element of the newsletter.

  • I finally sat down and spent 2 hours designing my email to match the aesthetic of the blog covers and my Twitter. I added cyberpunk sunsets as dividers, and will likely add more symbols and even characters to Cyber Patterns over time. Thanks Tyler for the ideas!

  • I’m also going to do a better job of integrating cyberpunk culture — books, movies, and games — into my work. Many of my favorite works are cyberpunk: Daniel Saurez’s Daemon, Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Netflix’s Altered Carbon, etc. It feels like a missed opportunity if I’m not integrating this work into my own.

Altered Carbon

  • In many cyberpunk worlds, there’s an aspect of gamification. For example, in the book Daemon, AI takes over the world and assigns people to clans and gives them points for things like building cars and killing people. I’m working on building a gamification aspect into Cyber Patterns through the referral system. Currently, when you refer 1 reader, you get a guide to win the great online game. When you refer 3 readers, you get a guide to cold DMs and emails. And when you refer 7 readers, you get a book from Amazon. I feel like I could make this more cyberpunk and am gonna be doing some experimenting. Maybe I could run an experiment like Tim Ferriss on who can use the Guide to Cold DMs/Emails to get a reply from the most famous person possible. That’d be pretty cyberpunk — everyone sending messages across the internet trying to meet each other.

  • You can also bet your ass that I’ll be integrating cyberpunk themes into future events for the Cyber Patterns crew. A few months ago, I threw an event for 100+ people in NYC. In the future, I’d love to partner up with some cyberpunk artists and host an immersive art gallery or something of the sort.

Over the next 20-30 years, I have a feeling this world will be much bigger than you or I could imagine now. As I said on Twitter, my only exit plan for Cyber Patterns is death.

Ever since a kid, I’ve always considered myself an explorer. While it may be too late to build on new uncharted territory in the physical world, together we’re gonna enter uncharted territory online.

I’m happy you’re here. Cheers to building a world together.

Creators Corner

3 things that helped me be a better creator this week:

🌎 Join 60k people reading World Builders, a free newsletter about storytelling from my friend Nathan Baugh. His newsletter inspired today’s piece.

🐝 Launching a newsletter? Sign up for Beehiiv. Best writing experience, analytics, and team. Plus constantly adding new features. It’s crazy, I swear it feels like there’s a new groundbreaking feature every week.

💩 I’m enjoying the blog Death to Bullshit, a call to action against bs on the internet. The internet should not be filled with more bs. Let’s make it beautiful.

Thanks for reading nerds.

Create some cool shit this week.

Jason Levin

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Until next edition, see you on Twitter, TikTok, and LinkedIn.