It was like I was part of a group and they were part of the same group, but the group was comprised of “people who read a certain type of author.”
Or, I might say “Students of the Game.”
I was genuinely pleased and surprised about the raw number of books we had each read in common.
Once we discovered that, we could use a kind of short-hand that each of those authors had used. This made the conversation more insightful and more meaningful and educational.
In any field, you know the difference between a pro and an amateur.
So, it got me thinking…what if you had an app that was a recommendation engine for social connections but the recommendation engine was powered by the books you’ve read in common. (I suppose it could be also used for videos or movies or whatever).
Think about it this way.
It’s as if Amazon, Netflix, or YouTube recommends not just their content, but people you might like to talk with based on the data that they have about your consumption habits (and your feedback on the content).
Ultimately, you’d meet more people who share your passions in more meaningful ways which deepen the human experience.
That would be great, but, as they say, “wait, there’s more.”
The fact that Amazon, YouTube, etc. build this then gives you the ability to provide for yourself doing something you already like doing because it will open an entirely new set of business value creation opportunities on these platforms.
I’ll give you an example.
I have a friend who works at a big tech company but on the side, he has set up a retail site for a super niche fan club. It’s REALLY niche.
But the people are passionate, so he started selling paraphernalia to this group. Now, he is poised to rake in $4k per month in year 1 with basically no cost. That’s a nice return on the 40 hours per month he spends on it now and he’s got a lot of upside (relatively speaking of course).
So, here’s a guy who has connected with people of like-minded passion and recognized an unmet need in this global mega-niche. Now, he is going to deliver value to the community and derive increasing profit from it because the infrastructure and automation costs are so low.
Granted, he’s building on a centralized platform, but as decentralized systems come onboard, the infrastructure costs will go even lower, giving him more profit (assuming he can keep marketing.)
Essentially, he is getting paid to do what he wants to do anyway.
As for me, I would just like an app that says “here’s someone who read and loved many of the same books as you did. You’d probably enjoy talking with him/her.”
It’s because those are the folks who can help you refine your game as you pursue your craft.