Fandom and business prototyping

So you want to start your own business.  Lots of people do – and let's face it, lot's of people fail.  If you're thinking of starting your own business, you've probably done research and realize the challenges.

Of course being a fan, a geek, and otaku, you've got a great resource right there in your life – fandom gives you a place to practice and prototype your business.

A problem with many would-be businesses is that people need a time to practice it, get it right, and build their business skills.  They also need to try out different business models or ideas.

So why not use your fandom as your testing ground?

Fandom gives you potential customers (even if it's a service you offer for free to try it out), plenty of feedback, and what is likely a safe environment to fail in.  Plus it's a market you probably know better than any else, so gives you a chance to try out those skills and ideas in a more understanding environment.

  • Maybe you want your own accounting business.  Offer free services to some conventions – or a discount to a convention guest or friends.
  • Perhaps you're trying to be an artist – which probably would be very easy to practice in your fandom.  Even if the model doesn't fit what you do, you can learn business and contact skills.
  • You might be an IT consultant – so perhaps your local sports team needs help with their office, or a local band needs help with a website.

Fandom isn't just a place to try out and gain skills for your career – you can practice an entire business model.  I'd advise that you keep in mind that the environments probably different than the overall business environment, but even with that difference, it's a good place to learn.

– Steven Savage