The Network Effects of Creativity: Exploring the Power of TikTok and Fermat's Last Theorem


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Aug 06, 2023

3 min read


The Network Effects of Creativity: Exploring the Power of TikTok and Fermat's Last Theorem


The world of creativity and innovation has been shaped by various phenomena throughout history. Two seemingly unrelated topics, TikTok and Fermat's Last Theorem, offer intriguing insights into the power of network effects and the potential of human imagination. While TikTok represents the modern era of social media and its impact on creativity, Fermat's Last Theorem showcases the timeless pursuit of knowledge and the power of mathematical discovery. By examining these two subjects, we can uncover common points and explore the interconnectedness of ideas across different domains.

TikTok: Unleashing the Network Effects of Creativity

TikTok, the popular social media platform, has redefined the way we consume and create content. Its unique features, such as the ability to remix and react to other users' videos, have revolutionized the concept of creative collaboration. TikTok's network effects of creativity are evident in the way every user's contribution enhances the overall creative ecosystem. By lowering the barriers to remixing and incorporating elements from other TikToks, the platform has facilitated the emergence of innovative content, leading to a meme tsunami. This democratization of reactions and the global distribution of gossip have redrawn societal boundaries and highlighted the interconnectedness of online communities.

Fermat's Last Theorem: The Pursuit of Mathematical Knowledge

Fermat's Last Theorem, a mathematical conjecture proposed by Pierre de Fermat in the 17th century, captivated mathematicians for over three centuries. Fermat claimed that the equation an + bn = cn had no solutions in positive integers if n is an integer greater than 2. This unsolved problem stood as a testament to the power of human curiosity and the relentless pursuit of knowledge. It took several decades for mathematicians to finally prove the theorem, showcasing the importance of perseverance and collaboration in scientific discovery.

The Power of Remixability and Primitives

Both TikTok and Fermat's Last Theorem emphasize the significance of remixability and the building blocks of creativity. TikTok's design incorporates a vast array of primitives, allowing users to combine and link various features effortlessly. This interconnectedness of elements fuels the platform's network effects of creativity. Similarly, Fermat's Last Theorem required mathematicians to break down complex concepts into simple building blocks or primitives. By designing elegant and minimalistic solutions, mathematicians maximized their combinatorial optionality, paving the way for groundbreaking discoveries.

The Illusion of Transparency and the Gini Coefficient Economy of Entertainment

TikTok's algorithm-driven approach creates a marketplace where creators' videos can reach an unlimited number of viewers. However, the platform's pitiless algorithms enforce a high Gini coefficient economy of entertainment, favoring popular content creators and perpetuating the rich-get-richer dynamic. This highlights the illusion of transparency, where viewers may overestimate their knowledge of creators' thoughts and intentions. TikTok's personalized feed and the addictive nature of its content contribute to the phenomenon of binge-watching, transforming the way we consume entertainment.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the power of collaboration and remixability in your creative endeavors. Draw inspiration from the interconnectedness of ideas and incorporate elements from various sources to create innovative content.
  • 2. Recognize the importance of perseverance and curiosity in the pursuit of knowledge. Like mathematicians tackling Fermat's Last Theorem, stay committed to your goals and collaborate with others to overcome challenges.
  • 3. Be aware of the illusion of transparency in online platforms. Understand that viewers may have limited knowledge of your intentions and thoughts, and focus on creating engaging content that captures their attention.


The network effects of creativity can be observed in various domains, from social media platforms like TikTok to mathematical conjectures like Fermat's Last Theorem. By understanding the power of collaboration, the significance of building blocks, and the intricacies of online ecosystems, we can navigate the ever-evolving landscape of creativity. Embracing the interconnectedness of ideas and leveraging the potential of network effects, we can unlock new possibilities and drive innovation forward.

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