We grew up hearing “Do what you love, love what you do” and “turn your passion into your profession” at a time when new professional avenues were opening up, redefining what we could do to earn a living outside the tightly bound boxes of ‘Engineer’ or ‘Doctor’, and more importantly, find fulfilment in what we do.

Austria tobacco plants, 1941

Now, as we carve our own paths and have the freedom to march to the beat of our own drum, we live and enrich the new and here-to-stay passion economy.

Coined by Adam Davidson, a New Yorker staff writer and co-founder of the Planet Money podcast on NPR and touted as the future of work by Li Jin, founder and GP of Atelier Ventures, passion economy offers a space in which individuality can be monetised: our unique skill-set, thoughts, and ideas. Unlike the widget economy which focuses on mass, cyclical, and rapid production, passion economy thrives on creativity and innovation, individualising what is provided, by whom and to whom.

Three elements integral to the passion economy are the entrepreneur working on a particular skill, idea, or interest; an online or offline platform for growth; and consumers. Together, they broaden the scope of services and products provided as well as building connections with consumers, all while promoting authenticity in providers of these services and products.

Digital spaces are brimming with influencers, i.e., entrepreneurs in niche domains such as travel, beauty, design, fitness, and so on, who enjoy a large following and can influence buying decisions. The rise of influencers has upended traditional notions around fame, employment, and the brand-consumer relationship. As the world moves further online, and individuals tackle lay-offs and limited job opportunities, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the passion economy grows – empowering aam folk to launch and run a business hinged on who they are and their purpose.

Edited by Anjali Hans

Some resources and links to help you learn more about passion economy:

The Passion Economy and the Future of Work - Andreessen Horowitz
On new creator platforms, individuality is a feature, not a bug.
a16z Podcast: How the Passion Economy Is Redefining Work - Andreessen Horowitz
New jobs made possible by online platforms, how creators today are making more money off fewer fans, and what this means for the future of entrepreneurship.
Inside Patreon, the champion of the Passion Economy. | M2C2 | Media, messages, content and code.
A record number of artists, musicians and creatives joined Patreon to compensate the revenues lost during the pandemic, asking their fans to subscribe to them and pay a monthly fee. After all, if you get Netflix and Amazon by subscription, why not your favourite band? A journey into Patreon and…
The Passion Economy (Guest essay by Li Jin) at andrewchen
The Passion Economy: A Conversation with Adam Davidson - Jon Jachimowicz - Behavioral Scientist
How to navigate a new economy where developing your passion can be a path to success.
The Rise Of The Passion Economy - And Why You Should Care
The ‘passion economy’ is a term that’s been gaining popularity recently, particularly among workers in Silicon Valley. But what does it mean and why is it getting so much attention?