Another key to success: don’t be afraid to CANNIBALIZE YOURSELF.

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ERIC, are you gonna give us another Steve Jobs and Apple lecture? You betcha.

If you’re not afraid of killing yourself, you’re going to (really) die.

Apple had the iPod, which was doing well. But Steve Jobs realized phones will be the future, especially when you could have a phone with an iPod in it.

Steve Jobs decided to make the iPhone, which would “cannibalize” the sales of the iPod.

Folks thought he was crazy. The executives would say:

But if we add an iPod to the iPhone, we will lose money and sales on the iPod! We will cannibalize ourselves!

Steve Jobs then said,

If we don’t cannibalize ourselves, somebody else will instead.


You cannot be so focused on self-preservation that you will stop innovating.

For example, I believe it is better to thrive than to just survive.

In 2013 I wanted to give away my workshop lectures for free on YouTube, because I wanted to give access to folks who probably couldn’t afford the workshop, or have the time to attend.

I asked a few friends of mine for their opinion. They all thought I was crazy. They thought by giving away my lectures for free, fewer people would attend my workshops. That I would be hurting myself.

I was like fuck it, I wanna do it. So I did it. And eventually, it helped. I have had students watch the YouTube lectures, and then attend a “real life” workshop, because the video built a sense of trust in my knowledge and legitimacy.

Also, now I have students watch the YouTube lecture before attending a real workshop. So less time wasted on me lecturing, more time to actually practice and shoot.

Three. What trends do you see happening?

Some trends I see:

  1. Digital cameras are getting cheaper
  2. Smartphones are getting cheaper
  3. More people are buying smartphones, especially the developing world
  4. Apple continues to dominate the planet
  5. Phone cameras keep getting better
  6. Storage is getting cheaper
  7. More photographers using social media, or sharing/uploading images
  8. More professional photographers entering the market
  9. Larger market of beginner photographers who want to learn how to take better pictures
  10. More people using Google

Ok, so these are trends. If you can identify a trend before it happens, you can skate to where the puck is going to be (Wayne Gretsky hockey quote).

Think long term.

How is photography going to be different, or the same in 10 years from now?

For me, I think photography education is a huge market, that is gonna keep getting bigger and bigger. Therefore, you can make a lot of money by teaching photography workshops, leading photography expeditions or tours, and selling experiences.

Four. The beauty of open-source and free

I make my living from workshops and selling experiences. I market myself and get myself in the public eye through my books, content, blog posts, videos, etc.

I keep all my information open source because I feel it is the ethically right thing to do. I grew up poor, and information empowered me. I want to dedicate my life to giving back.

The unintended consequence which is good for me is that the more open and free my information is, the more it gets shared. Then ERIC KIM becomes more famous. Then ERIC KIM can get more students for workshops, or sell HAPTIC INDUSTRIES products.

Everyone wins.

  1. People get free and empowering information that can help them.
  2. ERIC KIM makes a handsome profit, and can help his family, and continue to help others.

It is a positive feedback loop.


The more I help others, the more others help me, and the positive cycle keeps on giving. It is like a perpetual wheel, which keeps creating unlimited value for everyone.

To become richer, give more, and do more.

Six. Don’t be scared

Don’t be scared by giving away your information for free or openly, you will be at a disadvantage.

I don’t know about you, but I like generous people. I trust them more. And I’m willing to give them more money.

Consider this:

  1. The more you give
  2. The more people find out about you
  3. The more likely someone will buy your product or service
  4. You make money
  5. You use that money to help yourself, your family, and to give more.

Isn’t this what humanity is all about? Help yourself, and help others?


For inspiration, study the life of STEVE JOBS, especially his “fall from grace” by getting kicked out of Apple, starting NeXT, and being a beginner again.

Last piece of advice:

Don’t focus on surviving. Focus on THRIVING!



ERIC KIM x HENRI NECK STRAP  by HAPTIC INDUSTRIES // Portrait by Benjamin Thompson

If you want to make a living (or a killing) from photography, download:



Table of Contents

Learn how to make a living from your passion:

Photography Business 101

How to Make Money with Photography

Photography Marketing 101


How to Hustle.

Entrepreneurial Principles

How to be a Full-time Photographer

Photography Blogging

How to Teach Photography

Social Media

How to Save Money


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