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The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  232 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The brilliant creator of NPR's Planet Money podcast and award-winning New Yorker staff writer explains our current economy: laying out its internal logic and revealing the transformative hope it offers for millions of people to thrive as they never have before.

Contrary to what you may have heard, the middle class is not dying and robots are not stealing our jobs. In fact,
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Knopf Publishing Group
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Garrett Haynes
I love the podcast Planet Money that Adam Davidson started and so does my wife. I got tickets to hear him speak in Seattle as part of a SAL Speaker series, but missed seeing him because we ended up going out of town that week instead. As part of the event I got a copy of his book The Passion Economy. In the book Adam says that he has coined the phrase The Passion Economy to describe the new phase we have entered into after going through the widget economy. If you want to start a business, due to ...more
Peter Schmeltzer
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not anything exactly groundbreaking
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Joe Fox: "And that's why it costs so much?"
George: "No, that's why it's worth so much."

A fascinating discussion of the emerging 21st century economy, distinguished by intimacy at scale rather than production at scale—value vs. volume—that will potentially reshape how you think about business, work, and your goals and purpose within both.
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Although overall it feels like it lacks depth, there are some inspiring and insightful sections in The Passion Economy. Davidson has identified companies that embody their founders' passions and thrive because they can offer 'intimacy at scale' that multinational bohemoths cannot. It's hard to say if his examples are exceptions or the rule, but they're a welcome dose of optimism nevertheless.
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, economics
The Passion Economy : The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century (2020) by Adam Davidson looks at various businesses that are meant to show how people have found their 'passion' and created a company. As someone whose passion is riding a bike a bit for exercise and then reading on the couch with some wine and a cat I was pretty interested to see how this could be monitised. Alas, this book didn't deliver.

Adam Davidson is one of the founders of Planet Money, which is a really good pod
Greg Janicki
Mar 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5. For someone looking to validate passion as a purpose, this a inspiring read. Clear examples that show it can work... but you still need to know your value. Passion with no direction is a fun but short-lived.
Cory Pavicich
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An early candidate for one of my favorite books of the year. It's like one long, thoughtful episode of Planet Money, read on audio by the author.
Leo Cerda
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring yet action oriented.
Lots of great stories and practical examples to put his findings into place
Great read!!
Dominic Sagar
Feb 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great way to look at the products and opportunities available in the world today. I must admit I’m off to find an OCHO bar. I would recommend reading this before you start a new job search rather than falling into your next job.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
The Passion Economy... this book won't help you quit your day job, but will certainly inspire you to consider upgrading your hobbies and interests into a better career instead of a side hustle. Descriptive stories of entrepreneurs the author researched and interviewed reveal knowing what you're good at and what consumers want will consistently improve your brand. Supply and demand, essentially.
Logan Spader
Oct 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I stumbled upon "The Passion Economy" at my local library and...


I incorrectly blame massive school debt for preventing me from getting very far with my small business ideas. So instead of pursuing a career working for myself I am stuck giving 60 hours a week to a job that I hate for pay that is too little. I choose to sacrifice time with my family for a false security of a paycheck from my employer. I have tried 3 times now to start a business with varying degrees of success
Y.S. Stephen
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Passion Economy is a clichéd title for a book. However, there is nothing clichéd in its contents. This is a book that points out a shift in thinking with regards to how we work and conduct business in today's technological age. It explains how this shift can benefit anyone trying to make a living.

The Passion Economy documents the successes of multiple entrepreneurs who stopped thinking about their product as a commodity but instead, narrowed their focus and created a service for a few custom
Nalin Savara
Aug 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Some brilliant ideas and awesome stories - which are marred by the authors tedious story telling - it’s as if the author is a good speaker but one who likes the sound of his own voice and his self important desire for attention means he will tell and tell and in a minuscule paragraph or two at the end of a chapter or section he will tell the big idea because of which he was doing all the storytelling.

I bought it one day after I binge watched many of the authors videos on YouTube ; as well as sep
Troy McConaghy
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The core idea of the book is that it's easier in the 21st century for someone to pursue their passion as a business, even if it is a niche business, because now you can reach all your potential global customers at low cost, and you can send them your product at low cost. And since it's a niche business, you don't need to worry about competition from giant companies; it's too small for them to bother.

There are other ideas and variations of the core idea. For example, the niche might be quite larg
Ronald J.
May 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We had the honor of interviewing Adam Davidson on this book, at:

Full disclosure: I'm in the book, but wasn't aware I was going to be. Adam tweeted after his appearance on the show: @adamdavidson I think of @ronaldbaker as, perhaps, my most unlikely intellectual influence. I disagree with him on everything politically. But his ideas about business are brilliant and I stole them so shamelessly that I think of them as my own.

The book lays out Adam's Eight Ru
Sagar Desai
The most interesting takeaway for me (and the book’s central argument) was that we are no longer operating in the "widget" economy, wherein the largest corporations with the ability to mass-produce commoditized products thrive and individuals have to climb up the corporate ladder to be financially successful. Instead, we are in the "passion" economy, wherein individuals can seriously pursue their unique passions and express their most authentic selves without compromising on their ability to ear ...more
Natalie Weber
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In this fascinating read author Adam Davidson artfully weaves history and biographical sketches and economic ideas into a colorful tapestry that is more storytelling than business manual. Each chapter uncovered the unique background and characteristics of individuals who are thriving in what Davidson dubs the “passion economy.” Story after story reveals how these individuals responded to the globalization and impersonalization of various industries by pursuing niche markets or meaningful ideals ...more
Wulan Suci Maria
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Many American companies have been survived in competing against fierce competition from China by shifting their business focus to niche segment. That is the biggest learning I took out of this book, aside from many tiny new information that I just discovered, i.e. ‘passion’ word actually comes from latin word that means suffering. It is interesting on how the author provide case studies from many companies to showcase the idea that focusing in niche segment will eliminate tough competition and h ...more
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is quite different to what I expected. I’d expected a lot about podcasters, bloggers, '1,000 true fans' etc, but it’s much more valuable than that as it is really about people who pursue their passions in other areas including finding niches in manufacturing, accountancy and more. The beginning is very practical, with some rules you need to follow (or at least be aware of), like 'Fewer Passionate Customers Are Better Than a Lot of Indifferent Ones', (which is admittedly very similar to the ...more
Helen Walsh
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020-books
This was an easy and fun read. I was informative. It motivated me. Where I will go after this horrific time passes is yet to be determined. I love my job, and I will remember that as I do my job, most of all when it is challenging. I also will excel outside my job in ways I now only can imagine. I will take with me a quote from the end of this book, "Now it is up to each of us to find our own paths, to define, uniquely for ourselves, what we want and what we have to offer."
Romualdas Isoda
May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The book contains great number of case studies in different industries, that may help to find you some familiar ideas, associate and compare with your business, job or other activities to be done. I found it super helpful to distinguish between products / services as commodities versus customised products / services. It concerns every personality as you can decide position your personal service as a commodity or customised service.
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I think the big part of a book like this is the idea that you can find an environment that allows your happiness and imagination to thrive. I appreciated the perspective of the origins and evolution of the term commodity. I am going to recommend this book to my son, who is a sophomore in HS, as he is starting to obsess about what he wants to do after high school.
Margreet Arnold turley
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The first part had quite a bit of economics theory in it and I almost stopped reading. With the story of the wine marketer on page 105 I got really drawn into the different stories, the background information, and the economics and psychology behind it. I love “the nudge”, chapter 11, where people can change their behavior in big ways through a small change in decision making.
Karalina Lovkina
Jul 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nothing particularly groundbreaking or unexpected in terms of content, serves more to concisely summarize ideas about how to be successful as a small business (small in comparison to a Walmart or an Amazon) rather than giving fresh ideas that few others have thought of. That said, well written, interesting and fun stories/case studies and a generally pleasant reading experience.
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Anecdotal, which I love. Not being a passionate person myself I enjoy hearing the stories of those who are. Also historical perspective bits like how accounting changed the world! Gives a good list of questions to ask yourself in the counterintuitive gif economy.
Fred Mcbreen
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Some good ideas about what makes a business successful in the modern economy. Interesting anecdotes and stories bring the ideas to life. Maybe needed a simpler, more compelling thread to bring it all together.
Gage Abell
Aug 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reads like Malcom Gladwell book interweaving many real life examples of people breaking the molds of traditional business in pursuit of their passion, which Davidson explains is not necessarily a sacrifice of profit.
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
A thought-provoking look at the changing nature of business.
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Read this too fast and am now digesting it. Will update when digested.
Jessica Sellers
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book if you’re trying to figure out what you want to be when you grow up... as an adult!! Also, if you want to have your own working gig!
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