Artist entrepreneurs should satisfy three factors, but most books only cover two

I need to clarify this project for myself:

There are plenty of potential ideas which I have come up with, but one breakthrough I had was that I am working with a multifactorial problem, whereas all of the material I am reading online only deals with two factors.

Three Factors

When reading about a succesful businesses, you can read a lot about finding product and market fit. How Gobble tweaked their offerings until they found a meal combination that their clients loved.

You can also read about start up investors talking about team and fit, like how ycombinator judges potential investments.

But I want to read an article that explains how to get all three right.

The three factors are :

  • founder
  • product
  • market

Steven Pressfield deals with issues of being an artist and that fits for me, maybe it is different for you. For me it is more like:

  • artist
  • product
  • market


My hypothesis is that there is a delightful overlap of these three where we are all very happy and have all our needs met.

This hypothesis is based on my first principle that the world has everything that we need, and it is possible to get everything we need. Additionally, it is even possible to get almost anything you want, if you pick only one thing.

Define Success

If you find and work this overlap, well, that is where I am hoping to find a next level for myself.

Success to me would be a sustainable, passive business that resonates with me. It creates a ton of value for people, throws off a sizeable income, and does it in a good way (legal, ethical, moral). Bonuses might include meeting cool people, gear, and access to experiences. I want to have a few fundamentals filled.


The issue is that, most online articles (and off line books) deal with only one, or at most two, factors. All three are important to balance. How do you integrate all three factors?

Issue Examples
  • missing artist - there might be a great product and market, but if the artist does not want to do it, then it will not work. for example, there is great money for full time management consultants, but most people do not want to get that long path to get there. or put in the hours once they get there. for some, it is a great fit. or like if there was a magazine that paid a ton of money and i had to write about some boring aspect of cats.

  • missing product - people love a topic, artist loves doing it, but could not figure out how to make it work financially. i do not know of anyone in particular, but there are those small town bands that people love, but cannot support a full time living. if people love them, well, maybe the band really does have something, but how sustainable is it as a business. how long can they maintain that output, to those fans? or keep it going.

  • missing market - someone loves to do something, but no one really cares about it. they are writing or building for not a market or the market does not know about them.

Integrate all Three Factors

Walk before you run -> Get two factors working.
  • Run multiple experiments to get the system going.
  • You can have multiple experiments running at the same time.
    • a music gig - fulfills artist
    • a part time job - fulfills product and market
    • a skill education (like marketing, coding, analysis) - fulfills artist or does not fulfill artist but fulfills market
  • Maybe some aspects of those could be combined. Maybe not. But once you get two factors working, then consider how you could get a third in there. Or what it would take. Maybe it does not actually just because you drive for Lyft, and like teaching, and other people want to make money driving for Lyft, does not mean that you create e-courses on driving for Lyft.
    • Or maybe it does. Creating an e-course on driving for Lyft could be a start, then now you know how to create e-courses that help people a lot and sell really well.
    • Well now you have a skill, and can make e-courses on a compelling topic. Or take the skills from making the e-course and make compelling videos. Now you have a market, product, and artist fit.
  • Or maybe you realize that you just like meeting people, and that is why you like Lyft, so start exploring that aspect, meeting and interviewing people and maximize that, have fun with it, then share it.
    • Like Humans of New York. It came on. This guy was taking portraits of people in New York and putting them up online for a long time, and getting small amounts of traction. He then started interviewing people and posting content about their stories. Maybe he did not like interviewing peope at first, but man the stories really struck a nerve, and his amount of work and output, well that skyrocketed the content.

[Sidenote: I am realizing there is something like getting on with making a hit.]

Two Factor Potential Solutions

If you have two of the factors working, consider potential solutions:

1. Missing artist

Potential solution?

Artist takes the skills they have, applies self awareness on what they find fulfilling, and rebuild with a business in mind.

Leverage the contacts and experience.

One person I think of is les stroud. i loved that fucking guy\'s show called survivorman. he was and is the only person to have actually done a survivor show. what set him apart was that he was out there, with little or NO tools, and just had to stay alive for 3-5 days. and he had no support, no snacks, no CREW. he filmed himself, like he had to walk, set up a camera, walk back, then film himself walking up, then get the camera, check the footage, then set up another shot. all while trying to survive. you can look into it, but other people, well they had canned situations where they were pointed to water sources, had people build their shelters for them, and given help from the crew. still good shows, but not the authentic, brutality of survivorman. anyway, he did not want to keep doing it, so he went to playing blues music. i sincerely hope he is happy and has enough money. and if you like blues music, check it out or support him.

2. Missing product

Potential solution?

Keep it as a hobby, love it, minimize the harm. or take value out in other ways (non-monetary) like it helps build your legacy, it lets you meet cool people.

But if you want money out of it, those might all be about iterating different business models.

Tweak. Experiment. Be patient. Work.

Figure out a business structure, maybe that is learning on your own, maybe that is partnering with someone that you really love. educate yourself on business models, read small giants, blue ocean, personal MBA. experiment and tweak.

Missing market

Potential solution?

Keep it as a hobby and just make sure you have having fun with it. It serves you and does not harm.

Alternatively, improve, iterate, tweak aspects of your product (including marketing) as it finds fit.

Be patient. Be working.

Examples might be that singer who started as a country singer, then became a pop star (Taylor Swift). Or a christian singer, then a pop punk star (Avril Lavigne). Or a rapper, then a spanish american rapper (Someone else).

For me

Here is a list of my limitations and assets.

  • artist - i like writing. have analysis skills. curious. journalist approach, learn with me.
  • market -
    • not sure on scale (50-100k followers)
    • cool people that i want to be around.
    • something related to my something i am really fascinated by.
    • people willing and able to responsibly pay money.
  • product - ideally it is something passive. or that i do normally and enjoy so it is passive. that is the idea with the blog.
    i am writing all these articles normally. i have been for years. and they just live in notebooks and on my computer. so if someone else can benefit from them, then that would be great. empower other people.
    to make a product, i have so far learned how to purchase a domain, a host, compared different hosts and hosting options, installed wordpress, set up wordpress. my new stuff is tweaking the blog to be fast enough, and light enough. maybe i will learn SEO. the major focus right now is on learning the process of creating good content. content that is really helpful for people, and that resonates with me, and that fits things i am fascinated by.
    right now, business fascinates. business as a tool for lifestyle design. a big dream would be to learn AND DEPLOY enough about marketing, value creation, content, business form, web development, SEO, that i can have a subscription based blog that people pay for annually, love what they get out of it, and match what kinds of things i like to write about, investigate, and share. with that produce bigger things that deliver more value for people. monetize. and deploy money skills so that i can have a robust solution to the money problem.

in the meantime, i am already winning. i like writing, and organizing, and it is fun even if no one else is reading right now. and i feel like i am on a path, so that is cool too. and the pursuit, i can have a good life, now.