One of the ways to understand the passion economy is to compare it with what currently exists within the employment market. First, there is the traditional work arrangement, where people go to a job or are assigned to projects and get paid based on time spent or units completed. This kind of work economy has been in place for many decades, and is more or less the norm across the world as a result of globalization and capitalism.
The other notable work arrangement is the “gig economy,” which exploded with the widespread use of the internet in the early 2000s. Startups such as Uber, Upwork, and Fiverr are among the drivers of the gig economy, which involves contracted employees and freelancers, who earn based on completing individual tasks.
While disruptive, a big issue with the gig economy is that workers have to keep looking for the next gig – sometimes juggling several tasks at once – in order to make a living. The high level of competition among freelancers and brands can result in a diminishing of the value of the work, with companies often hiring the cheapest contractor.
It is not believed that these two existing work models will disappear any time soon. But the passion economy is consistently luring workers away because of its ability to provide more sustainable means of making money while allowing people to do what they are truly passionate about, on their own terms. What’s more, participators in the passion economy are able to build their own niche audiences, following, or fan bases that support their work, instead of having to constantly advertise to gain customers.