The rules of the passion economy

I recently read The Passion Economy by Adam Davidson. The book has some good stories, but I felt like it stretched the main idea a bit too much towards the end (especially the part that glorified Google).

That said, I liked the chapter about the rules of the passion economy, so I’m posting them here for future reference:

  1. Pursue intimacy at scale: Identify what you love and do well, match your passion to those who want it, and listen to customer feedback.
  2. Only create value that can’t be easily copied.
  3. The price you charge should match the value you provide: Price drive costs, value is a conversation, passion pricing is a service, note your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, charge a lot and then earn it, pay may come in other ways than money, keep changing your prices and offerings, salary is a price, the price you charge should feel good to you, pricing low isn’t a strategy, and pricing is your value.
  4. Fewer passionate customers are better than a lot of indifferent ones: Value pricing requires selling to the right people, don’t rush into a niche too quickly, the best customers are those who seek you out (eventually), and passion/pricing/value/customers are all different views of the same thing.
  5. Passion is a story: You’re selling a story – it better be true, always tell the truth, you must tell your story – it is told in every detail of the business.
  6. Technology should always support your business, not drive it: Do what tech and large industry can’t do, tech-driven scale creates space for businesses built on value and passion, and tech tends toward bigness (so stay small).
  7. Know what business you’re in, and it’s probably not what you think: Change your value capture constantly and your value creation slowly.
  8. Never be in the commodity business, even if you sell what other people consider a commodity.

Much of this aligns with lessons I’ve learned about running a solo business (see references at the top of my post on LinkedIn as a teachable skill). In fact, I learned about the book from an episode of The Business of Authority, a podcast that explored the same ground as the rules across years of inspiring episodes.


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