“Find Your Niche” Is Terrible Advice. Here’s Why

Creators who stand out don’t “find” their niche.

The reason why is hidden in the phrase above.

Finding your niche is another way of saying “figuring out where you fit in.” And people who stand out don’t fit anywhere. Which is the whole reason why they capture and keep people’s attention.

They are different.

“Find Your Niche” is terrible advice.

Just like “Product-Market Fit” is an underwhelming aspiration.
Both of these phrases imply that your best path forward is to find an existing market and try to wedge yourself into the middle of it. Your job is to take attention that is already swarming around existing creators/companies and “steal” some away for yourself.

In short: it encourages a mindset of competition.

Meanwhile, creators and startups that create new categories of their own end up winning the game.

In December, 2020, HBR published an article titled, The Creator Economy Needs A Middle Class.

The writer’s argument was the Creator Economy is imbalanced because the top 1% capture the lion’s share of the economics. For example, “On Spotify, the top 43,000 artists — roughly 1.4% of those on the platform — pull in 90% of royalties.”
What the article fails to acknowledge however is the role category design plays in the outcome of creator (and startup) earnings. When you successfully create a category of which you are King, you capture 76%+ of the economics. And if you don’t (if you to compete within an existing category where someone else is already King) well, then you don’t.

“Find Your Niche” is dangerous advice, because it implies your best path forward is to compete with other people.

“Create Your Niche” is far better.

You don’t want to fit in.

This is an Atomic Essay from the Ship 30 for 30 daily writing challenge.

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