Pop Culture On The Job: The Things You’ve learned.

One of the things we've talked about here is the advantages pop culture knowledge provides to people in their jobs.  I've decided it's worth taking some time just to explore why it's useful.  Or in short, all that knowledge in your head about video games, manga, movies, and sports is probably a lot more useful than you realized.

Let's see how you can apply it, and the first thing is . . .

You know what succeeded and what has failed.

If you're any kind of geek, fan, or otaku, you've got a head full of successes of the things you loved.  You know when a game succeeded because you saw the ads, bought the deluxe edition, played the game, and got the DLC.  You even know a good marketing campaign that made you see a movie that was awful or buy a useless product – which is a kind of success.

You also have a head full of failures.  You've seen movies that are good but had awful marketing campaigns that nearly kept you from seeing them.  You've gotten buggy games that show bad QA or just plain lousy programming.  You've watched authors go downhill and the quality of their books decline.

All of that, all of your conventions, your fanfics, your websites, your message board posts.  All of that has given you a lot of information on what to do and what not to do in careers and in business.  You know all of this because it's been part of your hobbies and your fandom for years.

This is incredibly useful information.  It doesn't even have to be directly relevant to your job or career – a failed marketing campaign is a good bad example no matter what's being marketed, a good bit of software design is good if it's a game or if it's a spreadsheet program.

Now if your job does involve things related to your fandom, then you've got even more useful information.

So take inventory of your pop culture knowledge.  You've got a lot of good business sense you've picked up – and probably a few useful bad examples . . .

– Steven Savage