Virality is part gamble, part skill. Video creators can follow in the footsteps of whatever’s trending, remove all the silent bits, and thus engineer a video meant to go viral. But just because a video is meant to go viral doesn’t mean it will. Remember: virality is part gamble.

Thing is, even artful videos are a gamble. All creations are a gamble. No matter how confident you are in your abilities, it’s impossible to know if what you’ve made will move everyone to tears or make everyone vomit.

Is Pulp Fiction a viral hit or a cult classic? It broke a lot of rules, played games with the audience’s expectations, did things with music you’re not supposed to do, cast an actor whose career should have been over, and now it’s synonymous with almost everybody’s idea of great filmmaking. But when it was released in theatres, it didn’t immediately win everyone over. Why didn’t the audience realize they were watching a masterpiece? Because Tarantino engineered his movie for artistry. Artful creations are a gamble because artistry takes a lot longer to be understood and appreciated. And not all artful creations are ever understood and appreciated fully, not because they’re too profound, but because they stink.

So whether you’re making the next Pulp Fiction or a viral TikTok, remember:

All creations are a gamble.

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