[ 3 min read ]
Turns out there more than three categories of things people buy / pay money for to get. I’ve just found it out and it happened thanks to the fact that I write these posts (I mean the series in which I document the process of finding new income sources).
What are they? Yes, I’ve found more than one!
The fourth category is entertainment. People buy entertainment. A lot of it. And entertainment is a big thing in the era of YouTube! Human beings like to be entertained. It’s close to selling services (most people would file it under this category), but, like in the case of knowledge, I like to make it a separate category. I can see its distinctiveness more clearly that way.
What is this category? What things count as entertainment?
Anything which makes people feel good. Which makes them laugh. Stand-up comedy, street performances, sketch comedy shows, caricature, pranks, funny literature, and the like.
How many people think of entertainment as their career or a way of making money? More and more these days, but it’s still marginal compared to traditional professions (the so called “real careers / jobs”).
The fifth category are experiences (or ‘intellectual nourishment’ - I think that’s a better name). Again, it can be thought of as selling goods or services, but I think it deserves to be a separate category. It may appear that it’s close to entertainment, but not exactly. Its goal is not the entertaining of human beings, but giving them something to chew over.
What is this category? What things count as experiences?
Art, rather obviously. Of course, entertainment can be art too — of course, it all depends on what art is to us, but this is not something I want to elaborate on in this piece. What else? Theatrical performances, movies (again, both can be art too), and literature (can be art too).
If you sell a piece of art, or a ticket to a play, or opera, or movie, or a book, technically and formally it’s like selling anything else, cottage cheese for example. But apart from “technically and formally” it’s not the same.
The sixth category is emotional support. I’m not sure if that’s the most fortunate name for this category but for the time being I don’t have any other idea (maybe I will change it later). You can name it as you wish.
What is this category about?
Entertainment and art also are about emotions. But this category is different. It’s not about making someone laugh or giving him or her something to reflect on, it’s about helping this human being cope with the reality of life. Listening (hearing them out), letting them know they’re understood or accepted (belong), letting them know they’re not alone in something (there are other like-minded people, or other people in a similar situation), letting them know that they matter.
I guess religions play such role, but not all. Some yes, some no.
I think our law (the law we have in our countries) makes it difficult for us to see the variety of things people are willing to pay for. Law tosses everything into one or two or three baskets because it’s easier for law makers that way.