The Digital Hedgehog

In Good to Great Jim Collins created the “Hedgehog Concept”; effectively the understanding that greatness comes when you combine Talent, Passion and Economic Viability. (If you want a deeper understanding on the Hedgehog Concept, you can read The Goose article explaining it in more detail).

Here’s the interesting caveat:  More with each passing day, I believe that if you 1) have a passion and 2) can find a way to utilize your natural talents to envelop yourself in that passion, there is always a way to monetize.  Always.

In The Long Tail, Chris Anderson told us WHY:  Production costs are falling.  Distribution Costs are falling.  For $300, anyone can buy a laptop and start building a following.  The quirkier your passion the more likely and more quickly you can “win” the category, building a following (a tribe) that will support you in your pursuits.  But.  But they will only do so if your content is strong and you’re planning on sticking around for a while – success is a slow burn.

So the focus has changed.  Instead of needing to factor “economic viability” into our decision of what passions to pursue, I believe we need to be that much more clear in what our true passions are (so we can stick with it for the years it will take to recognize “success”) and what our talents are (so we can provide content strong enough to define ourselves as a leader in the field).  As Gary Vaynerchuk has been quoted as saying “anyone with even a single entrepreneurial bone in their body can find a way to monetize”.

It’s been said a million ways by a million people – passion is everything. Now more than ever.

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