You Don’t Need the Best Equipment to Create Great Content

Ryan Porter

Photo by Morning Brew on Unsplash

Coming from a guy who typed this story on a $150 Chromebook

I decided to conduct an experiment. I wrote an article with a powerful, 27-inch iMac, and I wrote one with a $150, borrowed Chromebook.

The writing experience was excellent on the iMac. The screen is immense, so I can have many tabs up at once. On the other hand, the Chromebook allowed me to move around the house while I typed.

The result: I was able to produce an article with each of them. The expensive computer gave me the same result as the cheap one.

The truth

It’s cool to have the latest and greatest, but better computers don’t make us better writers.

Macs are sexy. There’s no doubt about it. But the truth is, devices like Apple computers are overrated. They are a popular brand, so they don’t have to give you the highest quality product.

A computer is just an extension of the author. The Chromebook has a functioning keyboard, and that’s all a true storyteller needs. The writer is the one with the ideas. Expensive gadgets don’t think for you.

Let’s look at cars

I live in a pretty affluent area in Los Angeles. I don’t drive north, into the city. My commute actually takes me south to the suburban neighborhoods near the beach. I see beautiful cars all the time.

There are more Tesla’s than I can count. The Model 3 has replaced the Prius.

I can’t help but feel a little jealous. I’m rocking an early 2000’s Durango. The car doesn’t have the “cool” factor, and I’m reminded every-time I go to work.

Whether I drove my car or an Audi, the result would be the same. I’d still have to go from my house to work. I’m just moving from point A to point B. I’d park either car on the street and let it sit there for the day while I worked.

There is a clear benefit to driving my current car: it’s paid off. I save a lot of money driving the old car. Though it would be nice to have a new car, it’s nicer saving $500 a month on a payment.

Let’s look at digital cameras

For a time, I was addicted to researching cameras on the Internet. I spent more time researching my dream camera than I did actually shooting with the camera I already had.

Well, I bought a full-frame camera my sophomore year of college. I blew my savings and asked my parents to support my decision.

I didn’t realize how dumb it was for me to spend as much as I did. I could’ve spent half the money I did and gotten one that served the same purpose.

The camera does not make the photographer. It’s about the skill and knowledge of the person behind the lens. Good cameras don’t necessarily produce good photos.

Balance your investments

I believe in the phrase “invest in yourself.” This doesn’t refer to traditional ways of investing like investing in the stock market. It refers to buying items that can further one’s education.

Medium and Newsbreak been a great resource for me. I’ve invested in free and paid content to improve my writing.

Some other great examples include:

  • Physical books and eBooks
  • Online courses
  • Subscription services

Anything is an investment if it takes you a step closer to accomplishing your dreams. I’d go as far to say that buying a cup of coffee is an investment in yourself.

Sometimes you have to live life on the go and you don’t have time to make coffee at home.

Will the coffee benefit you? Will the coffee make your day more productive?

Ask yourself these questions. If you feel guilty about buying things, then it isn’t a matter of money. Rather, you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

I played a lot of video games this year and I’m not mad about it

For example, as someone who talks a lot about being a productive member of society, I sure do play a lot of video games.

The fact is, I’ve invested in gaming because it provides me a brief escape from reality. Right when we went into lockdown, I bought a $70 pair of headphones so that I could talk to my friends online. Before, I used a worn out pair of Beats, and they gave me a lot of trouble.

My new headphones improved my gaming experience immensely. Some of my favorite memories during this pandemic are because of gaming. It helped me stay connected with my friends.

In this case, my friendships are my most valuable currency. What do I have money for if not to improve my day-to-day life?

Everything you buy should be the best thing you ever bought. If an item solves a pain, then it’s worth every penny. You work for a reason. If you have money, you can spend it. Just be responsible with it, and buy things that improve your life.

The money will come

I don’t like to chase anything. Whatever your after, it’s moving the opposite direction.

Spend money on your skills, and your skills will pay you sooner than later.

You should also start sooner than you think you should. New Years resolutions don’t work for a reason. You can’t accomplish a goal if you aren’t willing to start it today.

If I wanted to lose 15 pounds, and I told myself that I’d start dieting next week, what would happen when next week comes? I might figure that there’s always next week. The cycle will continue and I’ll never lose the weight.

The same goes for your dreams. I want to move out of my parents house. It’s expensive out here in LA. I could move out anytime I want, but I figure I may as well wait the Pandemic out, and keep saving. The more I think about it, the more I figure I should save.

Writing is going to get me there, but it’s going to take some work. It’s not about the money. I want to be a millionaire, sure. But, I’d rather write my way there and earn my financial freedom doing something I love first.

See, it’s not about the money. It’s about the ability to pursue our dream. Money is just in the background. It’s the cherry on top of the dream sundae we’ve been waiting our whole lives for.

Wrap up

I’d like to present a simple question. The “C” word throws people off in my industry.

What is content?

Is it art? Is it filler? Is it just noise?

I think content is in a category of it’s own. Content is not niche, but niche content is niche. The point is that better content isn’t necessarily created by better equipment.

At the end of the day, the creator creates the content. He or she puts in the work. They put their own spin on something that may or may not have already been done. They didn’t need expensive equipment to make it happen. They just needed the passion and drive to do so.

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I write about startup culture, productivity, and life's moments. My goal is to serve as a teacher for the next generation of content creators.

Los Angeles, CA

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