What You Can Learn From the Passion Economy: StartEngine

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Imagine being able to make a living sharing what you’re most passionate about with audiences, at scale. The term “the Passion Economy” describes the recent emergence of marketplaces that help people do exactly that. It’s a growing trend that people like Li Jin, a partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR’s Planet Money, are thinking a lot about.

In essence, the Passion Economy helps people monetize their individuality and knowledge. For example, the digital platform Substack lets writers easily launch email newsletters to paying subscribers, and Anchor helps people launch podcasts to paying listeners.

Because these platforms handle the plumbing, such as the payment and subscription processes, the creators can focus on the content itself and make a meaningful income even if that content is niche and only attracts a few hundred subscribers. In other words, the business model of the Passion Economy is one that puts the individual creator first and one that favors authenticity and individuality over scale and mass appeal.

So why do investors like Li Jin care about trends like the Passion Economy? It’s because these overarching trends can provide insight into where growth opportunities are for new companies. Think of how the concept of the “shared economy” unlocked growth opportunities for companies like Uber, Airbnb, Turo, Rover, TaskRabbit, Postmates, and so many more.

So, as you look to invest in your next startup, take a page out of venture capital’s playbook, and think about what overarching trends you think will change the world in the next 10 years before you make your next investment.

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